giving golD


(good towards yoga alliance continuing education)

An exploration of public speaking, finding your authentic voice (no more “yoga voice”) and the tools to weave a spiritual theme accessibly into every element of a yoga class. 


Heather Lilleston

If there is one thing that can go really bad in a yoga class, it’s the spiritual teaching. 

If there is one thing that can be the most special thing about a yoga class, it’s the spiritual teaching.


During this week we will explore the art of public speaking through the form of teaching yoga and mostly as it relates to weaving a spiritual theme into every element of a class with authenticity and accessibility. We will look at the tools necessary to communicate to a wide audience with clarity, precision and gentleness, welcoming all minds into a conversation exploring tangible yet elevated material, while connecting the dots of the mind to the physical body, playlist, sequence and more.


Open to anyone interested in refining their public speaking skills, their teaching skills (not necessarily yoga, though this will be the form through which we discuss many of the tools) as well as their general sincere communication skills. (For YA certified yoga teachers, this counts as 20 hours towards YA continuing education).


I decided to take Heather’s ‘Giving Gold’ after teaching yoga for almost 10 years and in desperate need of a refresher. (That said, the course would have been just as valuable to me - if not more - as a newer teacher.) On a personal level, this course helped grow my self-confidence along with the ability to conceive of new ideas and connect the dots in a dialogue that was previously more scattered. 

Anyone who’s taken one of Heather’s group classes knows she has something different to offer than the rest - something more real and raw; A dialogue that’s no-B.S., down-to-earth, accessible while infused with her deep knowledge and studies of the yogic scriptures and Gods. Heather manages to teach a thoughtful & creative physical sequence while inspiring a spiritual inquiry free from the esoteric jargon I recoil from with some other teachers. So it seemed she’d also have a lot to offer as a teacher trainer, which she did! Heather leads the group with the fierce command & confidence her years of teaching have given her while nurturing each individual’s success with her sensitive hand & clear direction. 

Giving Gold’s curriculum is condensed and efficient. From a robust manual, suggested inspired readings, to journaling, public speaking techniques, breaking off with partners, to group discussions, to final presentation and supportive feedback. Besides becoming a better teacher the best part is making new friends and spending quality time with Heather. I highly recommend.
- Aubrey

The Giving Gold course was such a fulfilling training for me on many levels. I sharpened my public speaking skills and was able to really dive into what makes a yoga teacher, or any public speaker, really connect to their audience. Going through this experience with the other students in the training was such a moving, emotional exercise. We all got to practice being our most open, vulnerable selves in a safe and supportive environment. It’s an experience I will take with me always. - Gillian

Giving Gold exceeded my expectations. Yes, I learned a practical framework and set of tools to improve my ability to speak in public - but this training was so much more. Heather offered a thoughtful approach, provided honest feedback, and helped to hold space for all of us to actually do the work. She's extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the process, and has a genuine interest in helping others find their voice - it was truly an inspiring journey. I valued the time to reflect and work out some of my own past experiences, those stories that will one day make for a great gift to share with others. Perhaps most of all, I was inspired by the group and felt everyone approached the process with an openness and honesty I rarely find in my normal day to day. I highly recommend this training and am grateful to have been part of it. - Matthew

Holy shit, Heather's knowledge and ability to get to the core of pretty much anything is incredible and so admirable. It's so clear that she's put so much time into deep thinking, studying and like she says herself, endless internal debate. Heather is wholly qualified to lead this training, and it felt awesome to feel that power in the room, from a guidance perspective and also straight up inspiration to keep working, keep studying, keep understanding. When Heather talks about finding the gold nugget, the truth of what you're trying to share, she is the queen master of it, and also shares the tools to be able to do this yourself. Disclaimer - it is hard work and what's required is that you (as a student) does it, but it is worth it, and the best part - there's guaranteed massive learning and Heather's got your back through it all. - Maria 


How to Give a Ted Talk by Chris Anderson

An Offering of Leaves by Ruth Lauer-Manenti



  • Spiritual Teachings - 3 to 5 minute suggested gold nuggets to inspire & kick start the class

  • Weaving the Theme: Linking your golden nugget throughout class and relating it to the sequence, alignment cues & playlist.

  • Short Led Body Scan Meditations to prepare for physical alignment cues related to the focus of class

  • Verbs & vocabulary good for teaching yoga and expanding your use of languaging

  • Tools to explain tough concepts

  • The do’s and don’t of telling stories about yourself: how it is useful & how it can be unnecessary

  • Deciphering your point into ONE sentence

  • Power of repetition & simplicity

  • Relating what we do on the mat to outside the classroom - why is this relevant to talk about?

  • Talking to the most pessimistic person in the room

  • Current Affairs/Politics in yoga? - out or in?

  • Sussing out your own personal take on something ancient, poetic, & probably not to be tampered with

  • Encouraging curiosity and inquisitiveness vs. telling people what something is, what truth is or isn’t.

  • The Art of Languaging: Intonation, Breath Work, Cadence, When to Be Silent, Projecting, Using the Voice to make your point land the right way & more.





Are you feeling a little stunted in your yoga practice?

Got to a certain point but can't get past it?

Teaching yoga but need a little inspiration boost?

Interested in yoga philosophy and understanding more

about the spiritual aspects of yoga, but don't know where to begin?

JOIN Heather & YFBP for our newest edition:



For Teachers & Students

 (50 Hour Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Accredited)

This is a week immersion in focused practice for both students and teachers. You can use these hours towards further accreditation with yoga alliance, or simply to feel what it’s like to spend a whole week steeped in practice, in old school retreat style study. 



Proper Alignment/Asana Practicums

Being a Real Person/Practicing Yoga

Subtle Body Anatomy

Hatha Yoga Pradipika

The Yoga Sutras




Doing a Personal Retreat

What is Yoga?

Weaving a Spiritual Theme 


Art of Assists

Teaching Privates

Making a Damn Good Playlist


SCHEDULE (subject to change)


Arrival, Check In, Intro & Class


8:30am - 12:30pm Yoga/Lecture 

12:30pm Lunch

2:30pm - 6:30pm Lecture/Practicum

7pm Dinner



For more details or to reserve your spot, contact:


Mentorship Programs:

If you are a YA certified yoga teacher, and want to sharpen your teaching skills or have some serious one-on-one time with an experienced teacher, consider the possibility of a Mentorship. Heather is available as a Mentor in LA or NYC. Contact her HERE for more details on how to refine and hone your teaching skills.

200-Hour Teacher Training

Whether you want to be a yoga teacher or not is irrelevant; the experience of a teacher training furthers one's personal evolution and yoga practice rapidly, and will open doors for you and inspire new insights, no matter who you are or what your previous yoga practice has been.

Continuing Your Study As a Teacher or Student

Even when you become a teacher, the learning never stops, and often the craving to sit in the seat of the student again becomes primary to the act of teaching. If it's your time again to delve into the art of student-hood to enhance your teaching and/or practice, email Heather for more information about upcoming programs and opportunities she is part of to further your skills and widen your knowledge as a yoga teacher.