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Retreats and Retreat Leaders


RETREAT DATE - May 21-27, 2021

Join School Yoga Institute for this unique & comprehensive Trauma Informed yoga Teacher Training at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat!

Trauma-Informed Yoga is a rapidly growing field based on neuroscience research. It is quickly becoming a necessity for individuals wishing to become more effective yoga teachers, leaders, healers, or trauma recovery facilitators.

This program is specifically designed for Yoga Teachers (RYT-200 required) or Health Care Providers who wish to broaden their scope of knowledge in the field of Trauma Recovery. This training is for professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of how trauma affects the brain and the nervous system, as well as how to increase awareness and sensitivity when working with trauma survivors. Trainees will learn how trauma lives in the body and the incredible healing potential that is available through embodiment practices and breathwork. After completion of this training, graduates will feel empowered to share Trauma-Informed Yoga classes in their communities and beyond.


This program qualifies for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) with Yoga Alliance for RYTs.

Teacher Bio


Jeanine Talento


Originally from New York, Jeanine was introduced to the healing benefits of Yoga in 2006. The emerging yoga community in New York City at this time quickly shaped her passionate and soulful energy toward a life of service through spirituality. Her love for somatic arts, healing through yoga, and travel were illuminated when she studied & completed her 200hr YTTC with School Yoga Institute in Fiji in 2013. Jeanine moved to California in 2016 & completed her 500hr advanced professional teacher training at Prana Yoga Center in San Diego. Jeanine has been studying Psychology since 2009 and has since dedicated her life to the fusion of Yoga & Psychology.

Jeanine is passionate about Embodied Cognition, Trauma Informed Yoga, Women’s Empowerment, Yoga for Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, and Teens/Juvenile youth. She has studied Trauma Informed Yoga with David Emerson, Social Justice & Leadership with Hala Khouri & Seane Corn, Somatic Experiencing with Peter Levine, Yoga for Sexual Trauma with Zabie Yamasaki, and the Teaching Yoga for Juvenile Youth with James Fox of The Prison Yoga Project. As a student first, Jeanine is passionate about continuously increasing her scope of knowledge within the trauma recovery field. She is currently in a year long graduate level program with Dr. Gabor Mate studying trauma through a more compassionte & de-stigmatizing lens.

Jeanine currently facilitates 200hr, 300hr, and Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Trainings internationally. She hopes to create a safe space for her students to transform their inner worlds and move through healing with grace and love.


  • Anatomy of the brain
  • Understanding the nervous system
  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology research studies about embodiment and trauma
  • Considerations for working with & teaching yoga to trauma survivors
  • Understanding symptomology ~ Yoga for Anxiety & Depression
  • Depathologizing & destigmatizing mental illness
  • Inclusive language
  • Resourcing
  • Pranayama for trauma
  • Understanding triggers
  • Leadership tools
  • Productive & effective hands-on adjustments
  • Effective communication techniques
  • Self care within community care
  • Ceremonies & rituals
  • Daily Schedule

    7:00-8:30 Somatic Study
    8:30-10:00 Breakfast
    10:00-1:00 Lecture/Special Topic
    1:00-3:00 Lunch
    3:00-6:00 Practical Application/Consideration for TIY
    6:00-7:00 Dinner
    7:00-9:00 Ceremony/Movement Medicine


    Please purchase The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk. Reading is not required prior to the training unless trainee feels so inclined. We will be using Van Der Kolk’s book as a reference throughout the course.



    $1300 – QUAD ROOM
    $1500 – DOUBLE ROOM
    $1800 – PRIVATE ROOM


    Please contact the retreat leader directly on their website for the terms and conditions of the retreat.

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    Davis and Henry scaled
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    How is Istmo Retreat, Panama dealing with COVID-19

    We opened Istmo exactly 5 years before the date we closed (temporarily) for the Coronavirus Pandemic.  On Feb 19th, 2015 we welcomed our first group and on March 14th, 2020 we hugged our last group (for now) as they headed back to Chicago.  

    Here are photos of our two bookend groups. 

    And in between these two beautiful groups, we have hosted and developed deep friendships with so many amazing guests and Retreat Leaders.  As our business grew over the years, my understanding of my personal purpose grew too, and it became clear that I am here to support inspirational leaders as they enable self-exploration, connection, and transformation in their community.  

    At this difficult time, I look around me and see that the retreat leaders we have worked together with at Istmo, have found a way to continue supporting their communities.  Even though they cannot physically be in touch with their folks, this has not stopped them from their commitment to support their communities with a depth of on-line resources. Here are a few of the on-line classes, seminars, workshops, etc. of some our past and future retreat leaders:

    CONGRATULATIONS on your new online ventures guys!

    Likewise, here at Istmo too, despite the travel restrictions we have found a way to fulfill our purpose of supporting inspirational spiritual/thought leaders as they bring about transformation in their community.  We have partnered with a dear friend (who actually was the first person ever to host a retreat here at Istmo) to offer an online Yoga Teacher Training program in Spanish – supporting him with the website, marketing efforts, and conversion of a course that has been imparted in person for years, into a rich online offering –

    And we continue to stay open to inspiration for other purpose-driven ways we can support you, our family, our staff, and our community.  Yes, LOVE does always finds a way!

    In the meantime, we are keeping most of our staff on, and maintaining our beautiful Istmo facilities so that when we can finally travel, explore, and be together, Istmo Retreat Center will be open and ready for you!  Stay strong, stay safe, and connect deeply with your purpose. Love has found a way!  

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    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    Have you ever found yourself wishing you had more SPACE?

    Our day to day lives often leave us craving for some SPACE and time to really connect with ourselves.  


    The last time I really felt I had SPACE to delve deep into myself, was during my Yoga Teacher Training.  There was something so nice about being a student again, my meals were cooked for me, I got to spend my time with like-minded people, I got to study about subjects I was truly interested in, I had teachers I could go to with questions…  I had days strung together, where all I needed to do was learn about yoga, practice yoga, meditate, eat healthy food (prepared by someone else), and gently explore the transition within myself from yoga student to yoga teacher.

    Today, you can get your yoga teacher training through an online program, or at your local studio over a few intensive weekends.  These are all valid and amazing options, but sometimes you just need that uninterrupted space. That SPACE is priceless.

    Here at Istmo, we are constantly working to create that SPACE for YOU.  A space where you can comfortably be in contact with nature; a space where there is no pressure to shop, consume, or be something besides your genuine self; a space of no responsibilities other than exploring; a space to spend time with like-minded individuals; and a space that lets you feel supported as you grow in self-acceptance and grace.  

    Host a retreat your students can't stop raving about 
    ForcesOfNature2019 460

    Request our Pricing, Availalbity, and Terms and Conditions of Service

    treat yourself to one of our upcoming retreats

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    Re"treat" yourself in Paradise! 

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    gherandasana variation
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    This Winter make time to slow down…

    This Winter make time to slow down, deepen practice, open to insights, and nourish the body & soul in the sun.

    More than another “yoga vacation” – this 7-Day Yoga Retreat Immersion with Jennifer Whitney, a lovely yoga and buddhist teacher from Brooklyn New York, weaves together the transformative practices of yoga, meditation, pranayama, dharma lecture and self-study. All with plenty of time to relish the warm sun and deepen your connection to nature in the heart of winter. 

    A deliciously long two-hour challenging vinyasa flow class every morning will inspire you to break out of habit movements and ways of relating with your body. You can expect lots of movement, inversions and arm balances with time to workshop a peak pose each day. Jen’s yoga classes are designed to cultivate both strength and flexibility. Movement practice extends throughout the day with a group nature walk, and time for swimming and beach activities as nourishes you.

    You’ll balance movement practice with three guided meditation sessions each day. A meditation in the morning breeze of the tropics is quite possibly the best way to start your day. Additional sits help ground the practice, and provide opportunity for deep insight and calm.

    The middle of the day features a dharma discussion. Each day will explore a theme that is developed throughout the week. Dharma discussions deepen our understanding of how the practice applies to our lived lives, builds community, offers opportunities for questions, and provides a structure for your own internal explorations throughout the retreat. There will be opportunities for one-on-one dokusan interviews.

    Jen offers a unique teaching that integrates wisdom from Yoga and Zen traditions into a style of practice that challenges you to question, investigate, grow and love more deeply.  She has been teaching for over a decade, and is passionate about living into the teachings herself, and sharing an understanding of how we can most fully express our unique lives.

    Questions:  More information:

    Sample Schedule (subject to change)
    6:45am – Morning Meditation
    7:30am – Breakfast
    8:00am – Nature Walk
    9:00am – 2 hour Asana Flow Class
    11:00am – Pranayama
    11:30am – Meditation
    12:00pm – Lunch & Free Time
    4:00pm – Dharma Discussion & Meditation
    6:00pm – Free time (Sunset walk)
    7:00pm – Dinner
    9:00pm – Restorative Yoga/Other Activities/Early Bedtime

    Please note, the first and last day will run a half schedule to allow for travel.

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    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    Meet Peggy Kelly – International Iyengar Yoga Teacher

    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar
    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar

    Peggy began teaching yoga in British Columbia over 30 years ago and has taught in Mexico, Europe, and the southwest United States. She is certified to teach and to recommend teachers for certification.

    She has visited India often to study directly with BKS Iyengar, and his children Geeta and Prashant.  She studied Ayurveda with Bri. Maya Tiwari, David Farwley and the American Institute of Ayurveda,  where she received her certification in 2003.

    Peggy is the founder of the Austin Iyengar Yoga, Texas and also participated in the establishment of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States.   Peggy has studied yoga with Senior Yoga teachers in India, Europe, Canada, and the USA.  In addition to yoga and Ayurveda, Peggy studied “Insight Meditation” with Rodney Smith.

    We are very proud to have Peggy here at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat for a retreat starting on December 1st, 2017.  To register please contact –

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    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    Conocer a Peggy Kelly – Profesora de Yoga Iyengar

    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar
    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar

    Peggy tiene mas de 30 años dando clases de yoga y está certificada para ensenar y recomendar a maestros de yoga interesados en presentar exámenes de certificación.  Visto India muchas veces para estudiar directamente con BKS Iyengar, sus hijos Geeta y Prashant y estudio Ayurveda con Bri. Maya Tiwari, David Farwley y el Instituto Americano de Ayurveda, donde recibió su certificacion en el 2003.

    Peggy el la fudadora del centro de Yoga Iyengar en Austin, Texas y también participo en el establecimiento de la Asociación de Iyengar en Estados Unidos.  Peggy ha estudiado con ucos otros maestros en India, Europa, Canadá y EEUU.  Además de yoga y ayurveda, Peggy estudio “Insight Meditation” con Rodney Smith.

    Estamos muy orgulloso de tener a Peggy aqui en Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat para un retiro de yoga este 1ero de diciembre 2017.  Para mas incripciónes escribir a

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    Brenda Lyons - Qigong and Fluency and Flow Yoga Retreat
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    Meet Brenda Lyons – Fluency and Flow Retreat Leader

    In April of 2016, Brenda Lyons hosted a Qigong Retreat at Istmo, it was a great success!

    During the week of February 19th to 25th 2018, Brenda will be hosting her second retreat at Istmo.  The Fluency and Flow retreat will combine Spanish instruction, yoga practice, a beach setting, and local culture.  

    Learn Spanish through Yoga in Panama
    Learn Spanish through Yoga in Panama

    With this Fluency and Flow retreat, Brenda combines her two loves – teaching Spanish and teaching yoga.  She is a RYT 200-hour yoga teacher with 16 years of experience teaching Vinyasa Flow and Restorative Yoga.  Currently based in Panama, Brenda teaches vinyasa, detox, restorative and hot yoga at Casco Yoga in Panama City, as well as gives private and group Fluency and Flow classes throughout the city.   Her latest endeavor is completing her 800-hour Integral Yoga Therapy Certification at the Kripalu Institute in the U.S.

    Brenda is also a Spanish teacher with over 20 years of experience licensed in the state of Vermont with an M.A in teaching second languages.   She is an International Baccalaureate Spanish examiner and has lived and studied in Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and Panama and has visited every predominately Spanish-speaking country in the world except Paraguay, which is now at the top of her list.  

    Brenda’s specializes in working with people who don’t think that they can learn a second language.  By combining learning Spanish while relaxing the body and mind through doing yoga, she hopes to convince people otherwise. 

    This retreat was held in 2018.  

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    Quigong on Playa Grande Beach
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    Qigong Workshop at Istmo

    Over the weekend of April 15-17, 2017 the Istmo Resort hosted a Qigong Workshop for the first, but undoubtedly not the last, time.  Led by certified U.S. instructor, Brenda Lyons, the workshop, officially entitled Qigong for Health and Energy was deemed a great success by all of the nine participants who attended.

    Over a buffet of delicious Indian dishes served family-style at a long wooden table, we (the attendees) got to know each other.  After dinner, the workshop kicked off with a session that introduced the history and purpose of Qigong and gave us a chance to practice a qigong routine and start learning the Five Element Form.  Like the fire which followed, the introductory session combined a lecture format with guided instruction in the basic movements of the practice.

    Quigon In Panama.
    Quigon on Playa Grande Beach

    The weekend workshop resumed on Saturday at 7 AM with morning Qigong exercises on the beach, a five-minute walk away from the Resort.  After an energizing breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit, the workshop resumed with the second-morning session in the beautifully enclosed pavilion situated amidst the forest and purposefully built for just such activities.  This session focused on the relationship between the Qigong movements, the life force energy of Qi, and overall health.  The physical practice included warm-ups, stretches breathing exercises and a walking meditation.

    By then, the retreat aspect of the weekend was beginning to set in and there was a long break after lunch so we could rest, relax, or swim as they desired, with dinner to look forward to.  A luscious repast of tortillas, beans, vegetables, and yellow rice prepared the students for an evening of rest and relaxation.  Many of the participants remarked that they were now getting the first full night of sleep they’d had in months.

    Qigong on the Labyrinth
    Qigong on the Labyrinth

    As Sunday dawned, we gathered on the circular platform that doubles as a labyrinth for walking meditation.  The quietness of the place was preserved, but mindful walking was replaced with the flowing movements of a Qigong practice.  The final session took place back in the pavilion and concentrated on the “microcosmic orbit”, the pathway of yin and yang energy that circulates up and down the front and back of the body.  This session also tied up the loose ends regarding the benefits of Qigong with time set aside for Q & A.  Brenda also provided the participants with a handbook and a set of movements (the Five Elements Form) that they could easily

    use at home, thereby ensuring that qigong would become a permanent part of our lives.

    Some of the students had commuted from Coronado and left before the delicious closing lunch of rice noodles in a scrumptious peanut sauce topped with steamed vegetables, but all of us realized that they had gone through a transformational experience that seemed to have ended far too soon.  It was widely agreed that Brenda did a wonderful job blending lectures about Qigong’s history and health benefits with movement sequences that unlocked the power of Chi, the energy that surrounds and flows through us.  There was no question that the weekend was a health retreat in every sense of the word.  You could see the aura of relaxation envelop us, leaving us refreshed and ready to tap into our newfound energy.

    The success of the workshop was also due, in large part, to the graciousness of our hosts, Ayesha and Sean, and their two children, 4-year old Noah, and Kamila, who had just turned 3.  The wooden cabins we stayed in blended smoothly into the undulating grounds of the resort.  The greenery that surrounded us made us almost forget the extreme lack of rainfall in the area.  The rooms were extremely clean and comfortable.  Istmo is a great place for a weekend away at any time, but it is best suited for workshops like this one, which they hold on a regular basis for groups of up to 20.  In this case, both the Qigong workshop and the accommodations were excellent value.  And we have made a new set of friends with similar interests that we will surely keep in touch with.  Thank you, Brenda, and thank you, Istmo!

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    Taller Peggy kelly Iyengar Yoga en Panama
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    Como llegar a ser un Profesor Certificado de Yoga Iyengar

    Primary Source:

    Mi casa familiar era en Pune, Maharashtra, India, el mismo pueblo donde está ubicado el Instituto Memorial de Yoga Iyengar (RIMYI), el <<corazón y alma de la Yoga Iyengar>>.  En 1993, mientras visitaba mis bisabuelos en Pune, agarré el teléfono y llamé al RIMYI.  Yo quería tomar una clase con el mismo B.K.S. Iyengar, o por lo menos uno de los profesores del instituto.  ¡Qué ingénua!  Me dijeron inmediatamente que si iba a tomar una clase en el instituto, tenía que llegar con una nota firmada por un maestro certificado de yoga Iyengar (CIYT), que decía que estaba practicando la yoga Iyengar por más de un año.

    Yo no estaba cualificada para asistir a una clase de RIMYI en 1993, y 22 años después como un Profesor de Yoga Hatha, todavía no estoy cualificada…

    Siempre he sentido atraída hacia la yoga Iyengar, la instrucción detallada, los maestros estrictos y con experiencia, los ajustes y el uso de props.  Durantes mis estadías cortas en Mumbai, visitando a mi familia, siempre trataba de asistir a algunas clases de yoga Iyengar.  Aparte de eso, no ha sido fácil encontrar un profesor certificado de yoga Iyengar cuyas clases podría asistir regularmente.

    En la Ciudad de Panamá, tenemos la suerte desde hace unos años de tener a Alejandra Trossero, una profesora de Iyengar Nivel Introductorio II, en Fusion Panama.  Y ahora, Alicia Ramos, una profesora de yoga Iyengar certificado Intermedio Junior III, viene desde México a Panamá para liderar un retiro desde octubre 16 al 18 del 2015 en Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat en San Carlos.

    ¿Nivel Introductorio II? ¿Intermedio Junior III? ¿Qué significa todo esto?

    Estos son los distintos niveles de certificación para profesores certificados de Iyengar, los cuales son:

    • Introductorio I y II
    • Intermedio Junior I,II y III
    • Intermedio Senior I, II y III
    • Avanzado Junior I,II y III
    • Avanzado Senior I y II

    Las cualificaciones mínimas para empezar el Entrenamiento de Profesor Iyengar es:

    • Debes ser un estudiante de Yoga Iyengar por un mínimo de 3 años.
    • Estás obligado a asistir a por lo menos 3 clases por semana, y debes tener una práctica diaria.
    • Un profesor deberá determinar si eres apto para empezar el entrenamiento de ser profesor.

    Una vez cualificas, ¡su entrenamiento durará 2 años!

    Después de 1 año de entrenamiento, podrás asistir al examen de Nivel Introductorio I.

    Después de 1 año más, podrás asistir al examen de Nivel Introductorio II.

    Estará cualificado para enseñar solamente cuando ha aprobado el examen de nivel introductorio II.  Si desea seguir al próximo nivel, Intermedio Junior, deberá enseñar por 18 meses a este nivel antes de tomar el examen que sigue.

    La certificación de Intermedio Junior está dividida en 3 niveles, después de esto un profesor está certificado para enseñar clases de nivel intermedio.

    Podría estar practicando por el tiempo necesario, pero como está escrito en el sitio años de práctica que le da el derecho a una certificación en particular, sino la calidad de la práctica. >>

    ¡Increíble! ¡Qué entrenamiento tan riguroso! ¡Y qué honor y oportunidad tan grande tener Peggy Kelly, uno de los miembros fundador

    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar Iyengar Yoga in Panama
    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar

    del Iyengar Yoga Association del Estados Unidos y el fundador de Austin Yoga Institute, aquí en Panamá!

    Fuente Principal:

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    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar
    Retreats and Retreat Leaders

    How to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher?

    My family house used to be in Pune, Maharashtra, India the same town where the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI), the “heart and soul of Iyengar Yoga” is located.  Back in 1993, while visiting my grand-aunts in Pune, I pick up the phone and called the RIMYI.  I wanted to take a class with B.K.S Iyengar himself, or at least one of the teachers at the institute.  How naïve!  I was promptly told that if I was to take a class at the institute, I had to appear with a note signed by a certified Iyengar yoga teacher (CIYT), saying that I have been consistently practicing Iyengar yoga for over a year.

    I was not qualified to attend a class at RIMYI back then in 1993, and 22 years later as a Hatha Yoga Teacher, I am still not qualified…

    I have always been drawn to Iyengar yoga, the detailed instruction, the strictness and experience of the teachers, the adjustments, and the use of props.  During my short stays in Mumbai, visiting family, I would always try to attend a few Iyengar yoga classes.  Besides that, finding a certified Iyengar yoga teacher whose classes I could consistently attend, has not been easy.

    In Panama City, we have been lucky to have Alejandra Trossero an Introductory Level II certified Iyengar teacher at Fusion Panama, for the last few years.  And now, Peggy Kelly the founding member of the Austin Iyengar Institue, leading a retreat from December 1-3 at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat in San Carlos.

    Introductory Level II?  Junior Intermediate III?  What does all of this mean?

    These are the different certification levels for certified Iyengar teachers, they are:

    • Introductory I and II
    • Junior Intermediate I,II and III
    • Senior Intermediate I, II and III
    • Junior Advanced I, II and III
    • Senior Advanced I and II

    The minimum qualifications to start an Iyengar Teacher Training is:

    • You need to be a student of Iyengar Yoga for a minimum of 3 years.
    • You are expected to attend a least 3 classes a week and should have a daily practice.
    • Be judged by a teacher to see if you are apt to start teacher training.

    Once you qualify, your training lasts 2 years!

    After 1 year of training, you can appear for the Introductory Level I examination.

    And after 1 more year, you can appear for the Introductory Level II examination.

    You are qualified to teach only after passing the introductory level II examination.  If you want to continue to the next level, Junior Intermediate you will need to teach for 18 months at this level before being able to take the next assessment…

    The Junior Intermediate certification is divided into 3 levels, after which a teacher is certified to teach intermediate level classes.

    You could have the necessary time practicing, but as the site states:  “It is not just the “time” or “years” of practice that makes one eligible for a particular certification but the “quality” of practice.”

    Peggy Kelly with BKS Iyengar

    Wow!  What rigorous training!  And what an honor and great opportunity to have Peggy Kelly – who began her study of Yoga in the late ’60s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, having since studied with Senior Yoga teachers in Europe, Canada, and the US. In India, Peggy has studied with B.K.S., Geeta, and Prashant Iyengar, and other Yoga masters. – here in Panama!

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