Swan Mentorship Program

Calling all Yoga Teachers & Yogis desiring one-on-one time in a fully orchestrated, customized private practice and education setting over a 2-month period with selected, experienced Swan Mentors!


The Intention of the Mentorship Program:

The intention of this program is to find a more personal advisor that specialized in a field that a teacher/student wishes to evolve in as a means to accelerate learning and get personal feedback. It will activate regulated discipline and inspiration within you so that you are encouraged to go deeper.

Since the modalities and focal points of yoga are vast, there is a wide range of means as to how the program can be specified, making it a co-creative, modified, educational course that is very palpable in one’s everyday life, making you the co-pilot of your customized, 2-month Yoga University time.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Swan mentorship program, please send an email to deb@swanriveryoga.com.

Program Description

What is the Swan Mentorship Program?

The Swan River Yoga Mentorship Program is an in-house program at Swan River Yoga designed to uplift the current teachers, staff and community with additional study, tailored to your desire to learn, improve and receive worthy and valid feedback from an approved, experienced teacher and faculty member of the Swan community.

It honors the experience and senior recognition of teachers that have devoted their life to the service of others in the teachings of yoga with valid education, personal practice and the greatest experiences of all, having taught and done yoga for quite some time to allow it to steep into their lives. It also honors the time they will put in to you personally, experientially and intuitively counseling you with feedback, homework assignments, and class observations (both of the apprentice’s classes, if the apprentice is a teacher, and of the mentor’s).

This course is a personally customized, two-month apprenticeship program created by mentor and mentee together. What is also wonderful about this course is that you do not necessarily need to live in New Orleans to participate. You can choose to drive or fly in at the scheduled times you choose or to do these teachings via Skype/ Face Time/Video!

Students/teachers that sign up to be an apprentice will receive a list of choices to custom suit their needs and to highlight the areas in which they care to improve. The Apprentice will also set up the personal times they can attend meetings with the Mentor personally or on Skype.

The Apprentice Will Receive: (within a 2 month customized time period)

• 6 one hour private sessions or 4 1.5 hour private sessions (6 hours)
• 1 observation of the Apprentice’s yoga class with feedback after (2 hours)
• 2 observation/shadowing of the Mentor’s yoga class with discussion (3 hours)
• Personalized weekly homework assignment meditated on for you
• Grading of homework assignments
• Email correspondence daily to check in with your assignments & offer you incentives, inspirations, videos, mantra, etc based on your tailored course.
• Swan River Yoga Mentorship certificate of accomplishment

**Note, if you are not doing this to get feedback on teaching yoga, the course will adjust to offer more privates instead of the in-class observations.

***Note; this is designed to be over the course of a maximum of 2 month period.

This is a chance for any teacher to take their teachings to the next level with serious feedback and individual attention. It is also a chance for a student to have precious one-on-one time with a teacher they resonate with.

No other observations will be allowed at Swan River Yoga except in this Mentor program or our Swan School Yoga Teacher Trainings, making time for observing public class quite a rare educational gem.

This is the most personal and hands on attention you will find outside of the classroom setting over a specific duration to improve your skills with honesty, feedback, council and deep care at the feet of a caring teacher as they will direct their attention to your skill, depth, integrity and evolution as a yoga teacher and/or Life being.

If this sounds like a program you wish to explore at Swan River, the current list of approved Mentors are those offering the Advanced Teacher Training. This list will grow with anyone completing it as well as the list of requirements. One does not have to be a Swan River Yoga Teacher to do the Swan Mentor Program. Any Apprentice with 200 hours is eligible. If the Apprentice’s class is at a different studio location, we ask that you pay for the Mentor to attend your class there.

Eligibility for the Program

Who is eligible to be an Apprentice for this program?

This program is a motivational educational program for those who teach yoga and wish to improve and serve their community even more optimally. It can also be tailored for someone that wishes to receive private study with a teacher that inspires them. It is designed both for those have taken a yoga teacher training course anywhere (it does not have to be from Swan River Yoga) or those who want to deepen their understanding with the motivation of discipline and one-on-one contact.

If you are a teacher, taking the Swan River Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Course first is highly recommended, but permission may be granted if you have at least two years of teaching experience first.

Who is eligible as the Mentor at Swan River Yoga?

Mentors and Senior Teachers are very specifically chosen at Swan River as to bring the greatest experience, depth and understanding of the teachings to you. This is the list of what your Mentor has/had to do to become eligible for the Mentor Program as an Advisor and to receive Apprentices.

  • A 200 hour (or more) certified yoga teacher certificate
  • Minimum 5 years of yoga experience teaching at least 3 yoga classes per week during the entire 5 year duration in any recognized and approved style of yoga
  • Minimum of 6 years practicing yoga, which includes asana, meditation, mantra, dharma, selfless service and being kind to others.
  • A register of at least 50 hours per year of continuing education hours after initial certification
  • Completion of the 100 hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at Swan River Yoga.
  • A mentor serving on the Swan Mentorship Program is required to sign a Swan Code of Ethics Agreement.


This ever growing but current Swan Senior Mentor list is:
Keith Porteous
Kelly Haas
Michelle Baker

Junior Mentors:

Areas of Study

An Apprentice might sign up for:
Because the Apprentice tailors their direction, this is a list of examples of what they might choose to focus on.

*Observation of an Apprentice’s classes with the Mentor as a student of a class the Apprentices teaches, with critical feedback later. (This can occur any studio with the studio’s permission.)

*Observation of a Mentor’s class at Swan River Yoga
with a question and answer period later as to the content of their class.

*Specific focus on a particular Marga (path) of Yoga, be it:

*Jnana Yoga – deeper philosophy of a particular scripture such as The Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Bhakti Sutras, Buddhist philosophies, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or book, style or teacher of your choosing along with improving & editing your dharma talks with feedback.

*Bhakti yoga – gaining a greater breadth of mantra, songs and melodies to chant, pronounce properly, basic and more complex harmonium skills, leading kirtan, singing from the heart, voice projection and technique, Bhakti Sutras or Bhagavad Gita focus.

*Raja Yoga – gaining greater insights to leading numerous types of meditation (standing, seated, lying down, mantra, emptiness, loving kindness), learn numerous visualizations from Reiki trainings or Tibetan Buddhism.

*Nada Yoga – learning how to play various instruments including the harmonium, crystal bowls, crystal tuners, metal bowls, gong, drums, proper vocalization, the sargam scale practices, Sanskrit pronunciation, learning the proper rhythm of kirtan, learning to offer a Sound Bath.

*Hatha Yoga – asking to be lead in more advanced poses to advance your practice, or instructions on leading and articulating the poses with greater clarity, ideas on adding meta-physical to the physical, Sanskrit names of poses, proper sequencing with direction and purpose, or, learning more specific styles, levels or expressions of yoga such as Beginners, Yin, Prenatal, Yoga Therapy, Advanced, Slow Flow, Restorative Yoga, & Yoga Nidra.

*Art of Assists – learning more complicated or creative physical hands on assists with priceless feedback, a greater quantity of choices for key poses, eagle eye, demonstrating, recognizing and articulating form and alignment.

*Yoga Therapeutics – getting deeper into dealing with injuries, injury response and chronic imbalances of the body as well as injury and more in-depth exploration of anatomy and the mechanics of the body.

*Yoga Therapy – dealing with specific conditions of the body such as acute and degenerative diseases, injury, aging, osteoporosis, arthritis, menopause & dying.

*Subtle Anatomy – learning more about the chakras, the subtle body, energy work, sensitivity, energy clearings, Reiki

*Ayurveda – reading Doshas/constitutions more clearly, giving classes based on dosha harmonization or dosha counseling, diagnosis, recognition, theory and proper prescription with advice on reading your dosha and others. Prescriptions could include, what poses, diet, oils, body work, body movement, time of food and time of sleep.
Learn to make body scrubs, body oils, mists & food for others based on their dosha.
**Learn Ayurvedic body work techniques such as Abhyanga, Shirodara, heat therapy, cold therapy and marma points. (coming in December 2016)

*Thai Yoga Therapeutics – learn about Mother energy, marmas, sen lines and basic Thai hands on assists that can be given in class, Savasana or private yoga sessions.

*Seva/Karma Yoga and Dharma: consultations in Yogic ethics and right life choices that uphold the environment as well as creative opportunities to serve others and upholding the community, activating in-dependence in right relationships, student/teacher relationships, money, sexual energy, sexism, racism, social justice, non-violence & conduct that affects all others. Learning more about the laws and philosophies of Karma.

*Teachings & tools on dealing with Trauma in a classroom and with a student & better recognizing what others hold within them and what they have possibly been through.

*Therapy and Counseling others on aging, dying, leaving the body and death and any of their affects as taught by such philosophies as Ram Dass and the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Homework assignments will be given to you once you go through a consultation with an approved Swan Mentor.


Junior Mentor Invesment: $720

Payment Plan: $360 upon registration, $360 at completion of the program.

Senior Mentor Investment: $900

Payment Plan: $450 upon registration, $450 at completion of the program.

**Please Note: This can be scheduled months in advance if you need time to fulfill your payment plan.

Payment plans: You may pay half of the investment to enroll and half at the completion of the mentorship. This can be scheduled months in advance if you need time to fulfill your payment plan.

(*Note: Typically, private sessions at SRY are $70 per hour. This is an approximate dollar value of $900, yet there is priceless time that will be spent meditating on you so that you are personally attended to, intimately learning and growing. This type of attention can’t be enumerated. This does not take into consideration the offsite time the teacher will put in for you beyond the personal hours they will offer you privately and hands on. This course is an accessible way to gain the feedback of a teacher you respect.)

Please join the ever growing invitation to learn, grow, and remain inspired, independent and creative. Being well-established in the Self is the best thing you can offer your community.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Swan River mentorship program, please send an email to deb@swanriveryoga.com.

Swan Senior Mentors

Michelle Baker

Keith Porteous

Kelly Haas

Swan Junior Mentors

Laura Johanna

T.Q. Sims