Did You Know?

You are perfect. Just as you are. And in this moment and every moment, the yoga practice you love is waiting to help reveal your perfection to you. To uncover your inherent wholeness. Will you follow the call?

Our 200 and 300 hour Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training Programs are designed with you in mind. We believe wholeheartedly in:

  • Approaching yoga asana as a tool to foster functional movement
  • Inclusivity and accessibility for all bodies, ages and ability levels
  • Giving ourselves and our community members permission to be ourselves, just as we are
  • Fostering an understanding of trauma, holding a safe space for practitioners and students, and conveying the tools to teach a trauma-informed practice
  • Providing space for students to develop their personal practice
  • Creating a path between interested, dedicated yoga practitioner and an inspired, capable and confident teacher

Our 200 and 300 hour programs take place one retreat-style weekend per month for 12 and 18 months, respectively, and represent a solid investment in your personal development, your future and the yoga you believe in.

Email us today to follow the call!

On the precipice…

In 2009, I found myself on the edge of a cliff. In the steep. At the moment of “about to”.

I had just ended a relationship, moved cities, and changed jobs. My life was in turmoil, but I caught glimpses here and there–like the sun stubbornly piercing the clouds–of stillness, and that place beyond stillness, and I decided I wanted more of that.

So I enrolled in a 200 hour yoga teacher training program. Yoga helped me with the turmoil and the chaos and the anxiety of in-between-ness. Yoga helped me balance on the precipice, and it gave me a path forward. A map to help me move onward.

For a year as I was skillfully guided through the rich and yielding labyrinth of my body-mind, I felt illuminated by moments of that sun-pierced stillness. I began to experience myself as more than myself, and it felt like coming home. I began to understand that yoga is not so much about learning, as it is about uncovering what we already know in our deepest, truest selves, and I felt excited and inspired and called to share what I had gleaned.

I began to teach, and life carried on in the way that life does. And in 2015, I realized it had carried me to another cliff. Another ending-beginning. Another in-between.

The problem with the precipice is that we can’t always see a clear way forward. Sometimes it feels like the only way down is to leap into the nothing-ness before us. We’re handed a map, but it’s partly blank, and life relies on us to fill in the missing pieces.

That map came to me in the form of 300 hour yoga teacher training with Amanda McMaine. I didn’t know where I would end up at the end of the 18 months of study and self-inquiry, but I knew it would be unexpected. I knew that if I leapt into the unknown that I would come out the other side, like that sun through the clouds, more myself than I had been before. Uncovered, and more precious for having been hidden for a little while.


I leapt.

You Are Ready.

You’ve completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training program. Maybe you’re teaching, maybe you’re devoted to practice and self-study. All you know is that a small voice keeps saying I want more.

More looking inward. More openness to all the world has to offer. More strength like the mountain. More fluidity like the river running. More stillness. More dancing. More shady-forest quiet. More sun-shining laughter. More time with yourself. More time in community. More.


Join Program Director Amanda McMaine, Partner Cara Sparkman and our extraordinary guest teachers for 18 retreat-style weekends of more self-inquiry, self-care and self-discovery. Advance your yoga, your teaching, and your life.

  • Experience the beautiful inter-weaving of the science of kinesiology with the ancient art of yoga asana.
  • Understand how advances in cutting-edge evidence-based research can enhance our skills as practitioners and teachers
  • Enjoy a multi-disciplinary approach, including modules on Qi Gong, Nada Yoga, Cranio-Sacral Anatomy, MBSR, the work of Brené Brown, Alexander Technique, Anatomy Trains, and more.
  • Assimilate the importance of healthy functional breathing as the basis of optimal health, and understand adept applications of traditional pranayamas for the modern practitioner.
  • Deeply explore common postural deviations, “modern-world injuries”, and how yoga can help.

All of this and more is waiting for you at The Essence of Yoga Center. You are ready. Now take the leap!
Contact us today to sign up!

A Spring Workshop for Renewal and Revitalization!

March 23rd, 12:30 – 3:30

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380 S. Mill Street, Lexington


Amanda McMaine, ERYT 500, MS, YACEP


Fluid Strength…The Embodied Life!

“Discover for yourself the delightful sense of grace, fluidity, and connectedness that is possible when we practice with attention to the myofascial lines of support that we all embody…”


Amanda’s spontaneous, insightful, yet precise teaching style grows directly out of 40 years of experience on the mat. Her guidance, which encourages interoceptive awareness and mindful embodiment, fosters self-discovery and transformation, while allowing students to experience the essence of yoga for themselves–a union of body, mind, and spirit. Expect an afternoon of inspired, intelligent instruction as you enter the world of movement, breath, and spirit–journey toward a new level of healing presence, peaceful equilibrium, and empowering self-care. The time with Amanda will fill your yoga practice with fresh insights for months to come!

Amanda McMaine, an internationally-recognized yoga teacher and therapist, is an owner of The Essence of Yoga Center for Self-Inquiry, in addition to serving as Director and lead trainer for the 200 and 300 hour Yoga Immersion Teacher Training Programs.

These programs offer an experienced, knowledgeable and supportive faculty who work collaboratively to weave a seamless yoga tapestry of east and west, science and spirit, past and future. The curriculum is practice-oriented, designed for those wishing to deepen their relationship with yoga and/or expand their teaching expertise. The Essence of Yoga Center is uniquely located on a beautiful and serene campus which provides the perfect setting and inspiration to help you ‘find the teacher within.’


$50 for teacher trainees and graduates

                            Join us for a ‘sip and snack’ reception after the workshop!!


                      Join Amanda and partner, Cara Sparkman, after the workshop for time in community. Refreshments will be provided, and Amanda, Cara, and guest teachers will share information about their upcoming 200 and 300 hour training programs at The Essence of Yoga Center. If you’ve ever thought of diving deep into your yoga practice (or teaching!), don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about these unique programs. New 200 hour program is beginning October 26th .

“We here at The Essence of Yoga Center are passionate about providing the best education possible for prospective teachers and those interested in deepening their personal practice. Our vision is the ‘higher purpose’ of evolving the consciousness of the planet, one student at a time, starting with ourselves.  We want to set new standards for yoga practice and teacher training that combine modern, evidence-based, scientific research and reflective methodologies with ancient philosophy, and mindful, spiritual practices to support the never-ending conversation between East & West, Science & Spirit, past, present & future.”


Integrated Wholeness: a Yoga Nidra Practice

This 25 minute iRest-inspired yoga nidra is like a mini-vacation for your body and mind. By moving through the layers of experience, we come to a place where we affirm ourselves as unique individuals who are, at the same time, deeply connected to the wholeness of life.

If you’d like to engage with this practice, find a quiet place to sit or lie down where you won’t be disturbed. Take time to make sure the body is supported for going into a state of deep relaxation, and then enjoy this gift to yourself.

Now Enrolling: Workshops for Self-Care, Self-Inquiry and Self-Empowerment

Join us for a week of day-long workshops designed to offer an in-depth look at several disciplines and subjects complementary to your yoga, and to your life. Join us for one or more individual days, or for the whole week!

For the whole week: $900 // For one workshop day: $150 // For half day (Sunday, May 20th only): $75                                                                         

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 // 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. // Elizabeth M. Stites, C.Ay – Ayurveda                 

Description: Spend a day exploring the ‘sister-science’ to yoga. While Yoga and Ayurveda were both born out of the Vedic Tradition,  Ayurveda embraces ways of living that enhance the therapeutic benefits of your asana practice, and yoga is utilized in Ayurvedic practice as a tool to maintain alignment with your ideal self. Join us to learn more about how these ancient arts complement and enrich each other, and to enhance your ability to leverage the principles of the three universal energies–Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We’ll explore postures, sequences, tools and techniques to bring alignment and balance to our own particular mix of bio-energies, as well as to those of our students.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 // 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. // Matt Branstetter, MATS, LMT, CYT – Eastern Practices and Qi Gong

Description: Like yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi have deep roots going back centuries. Although these movement and philosophical systems have much in common with yoga, they have a power and energy all their own. Spend time exploring the basic principles of Qi Gong and Tai Chi, and explore how they may enhance your teaching and your life.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 // 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. // Romi Kalova, C-IAYT – Chakras

Description: What role do the Chakras play in your practice, your teaching, and your life? Through movement, sound and discussion, we’ll delve into the subtle body anatomy of these spinning wheels of energy. This day will take us deep into embodied understanding of the Chakra system, and help to uncover the wisdom within us, and how we can carry that wisdom off the mat, and into the world.

Friday, May 18, 2018 // 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. // Lauren Higdon, LMT, CYT, CIMI – Yoga for Pregnancy

Description: Whether an expectant mother has a well-established practice, or whether she takes up a yoga practice for the first time during pregnancy, it is crucial to understand how to effectively and safely guide students through this transformative time of life. Through asana, demonstration and dialogue, we’ll consider indications and contraindications for each stage of pregnancy, focus on pelvic floor and core integration, and proper alignment and preventative techniques to provision the long term health of the mother.

Saturday, May 19, 2018 // 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. // Amanda McMaine, MS, E-RYT 500, YACEP – Forward Bends

Description: This day of embodied practice will lead us to a deeper understanding of what ‘holds us back’ in forward bending. Although forward bends can be soothing and nourishing to the body and nervous system, they can be harmful if not practiced with an eye toward ideal alignment for each practitioner. We’ll address common movement patterns and postural habits, and learn how to tailor poses for individual instruction, as well as how to skillfully present forward bends to a group class with a varied population.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 // 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. // Karen DiGirolamo, LMT, E-RYT 200 – Tennis Ball Therapy

Description: Tension and stress can accumulate in the body and lead to such diverse concerns as pain, decreased range of motion, and blocked or disorganized energy. Tennis balls can help! Spend this afternoon learning how to locate tension and stress in your body, and to use tennis balls–with the help of subtle movement, focused awareness, and the power of the breath–to restore your health and well-being.

Contact us today to sign up for one or more of these foundational training days!