Southbury, Connecticut
Heritage Hotel & Spa
Matt Giordano
The most comprehensive system to advance your practice and gain mastery in your body

July 19-21, 2024

 Elements of Mastery: 3-Day In-Person Training + 10-Hour Anatomy Pre-Training Online 

Alignment-based yoga tends to be dogmatic—there is one right way and nothing else—while flow-based yoga practices don’t provide any support on how to do the postures or transitions. This has become the great divide in modern yoga, and this is where Elements of Mastery comes in. Elements of Mastery is a hybrid training course that provides you with technique-based instruction rather than dogmatic alignment. What is the difference?

Dogmatic alignment provides you with one way of making a shape in your body, claiming that anything else is incorrect. However, MOST of these “alignment” instructions are not actually based on anatomy or biomechanics (how the body operates). They are either aesthetically based or simply a passed-down set of rules that have not been updated for decades. 

Elements of Mastery provides Chromatic functional alignment and techniques that are based on anatomy and biomechanics. Chromatic technique is not limited to joint alignment but also includes isometric muscle engagements and recognizes that individual bodies require alteration of instruction. Technique includes timing; knowing what do to and how to do it are part of it, but WHEN to do it is also a major part of Chromatic technique.

Chromatic functional alignment and techniques are flexible, not absolute. There are myriad ways to approach any given posture, and they’re entirely based on intent. Together, we will explore anatomically backed Chromatic techniques based on specified intent instead of arbitrary aesthetics. An intent may include reducing risk of joint injury, increasing stability, improving balance, increasing mobility, reducing current stress levels, developing stress resilience, increasing cardiovascular health, increasing strength, increasing breath capacity or control, and so on. Setting a clear intent will determine the appropriate actions, sequences, functional alignment, and technique choice for our practice.  

    Yoga Retreat Puerto Rico theyogimatt
    Yoga Retreat Puerto Rico theyogimatt


    Elements of Mastery goes beyond the physical postures and transitions. It includes the elements known in yogic philosophy as the mahabhutas:

      1. Earth
      2. Water
      3. Fire
      4. Air
      5. Space

    These five elements provide insight into our physical, mental, and emotional patterns, giving us a massive opportunity to transcend our limitations on and off the mat. Each element helps us understand our strengths, tendencies, and growth potential.

    Some qualities of each element:

    Earth: Strong, Stable, Safe, Dependable, Grounded

    Water: Adaptable, Flexible, Emotional, Creative, also Grounded

    Fire: Fierce, Transformative, Charismatic, Captivating, Motivating

    Air: Light, Connective, Freeing, Momentous, Inspiring

    Space: Universal, Purely Potential, Aware, Wise

    How do these qualities relate to asana (the physical yoga practice)?

    Each of us embodies all elements; however, our individual life circumstances and genetics strengthen certain elemental characteristics over others. While we will go into much greater detail in the immersion, here’s a quick example: If you tend to be more earth centered or identified, you may prefer holding postures longer and moving more slowly, while a water-centered person might want to move at a more moderate pace. A fire-type person would prefer intense, interval-type training, while air may perfect movement at a more rapid pace. Of course we each embody all elements, so you are likely drawn to some variety of the above examples. In Elements of Mastery, we will explore all movement types in a safe, controlled manner, and we will learn Chromatic techniques to improve each movement type in order to balance our physical embodiment of the elements and improve our physical well-being.


    • Strength
    • Stability
    • Joint Integrity
    • Appropriate Muscle Tone, or Resting Tension
    • Reliability
    • Trustworthiness
    • Groundedness
    blissflow reverse warrior yoga pose


    • Transformation
    • Motivation
    • Integrated Core
    • Power
    • Captivatingness
    • Energy—Abundance of Effort
    • Presence
    Yoga Retreat Puerto Rico theyogimatt


    • Momentum
    • Adaptability
    • Flexibility
    • Mobility
    • Creativity
    • Receptivity
    • Groundedness
    blissflow reverse warrior yoga pose


    • Light 
    • Connection
    • Freedom
    • Power 
    • Celebration
    • Inspiration
    • Joyfulness



    Featuring an All New Online Pre-Training Course: The Pose Factory 

    Perhaps the most exciting and unique aspect of this hybrid training is The Pose Factory. This is a comprehensive and thorough 10-hour pre-training course to educate you on how to BUILD your poses from the ground up. This course will cover the following:

    • Dogmatic, “traditional” versus functional alignment
    • Biomechanics based on each element
    • Elemental systematic approach for each posture:
      • Earth: Alignment, technique, and muscle engagements prioritizing balance, stability, and strength of the muscles that surround the ankles, wrists, hips, and shoulders
      • Water: Prioritizing mobility, flow, and transitions to get in and out of postures smoothly and seamlessly
      • Fire: Prioritizing core and midline connection for power, strength, front-body strength
      • Air: Prioritizing expansion, lightness, maximizing breath efficiency, front-body flexibility, decompressing the spine
    • Injury awareness, management, prevention, and rehabilitation for each pose and posture category
    • Full-spectrum study: Standing poses, balance poses, heart openers, hip openers, forward folds, seated postures, arm balances, twists, and side bends



    This course will be available as a stand-alone online training in November 2024; the cost of purchasing the online course will be $995. HOWEVER, if you take Elements of Mastery, the course comes with it at no extra cost, and you will get early access before it’s available to the public.

    Online Posture Breakdowns and Rebuilds (list of postures is subject to change):


    • Foundations: Tadasana, Plank, Downward Dog, Chaturanga, Upward Dog, Warrior 1, Warrior 2
    • Standing Pose Essentials: Reverse Warrior, Side Angle, Triangle, Revolved Lunge, Chair Pose, Low Lunge 
    • Balance Poses: Standing Hand-to-Big-Toe Variations, Eagle Pose, Tree, Dancer, Half Moon
    • Heart Openers: Wheel, Bow, Camel Variations, Wild Thing, King Pigeon, King Cobra
    • Hip Openers/Seated Folds: Ankle to Knee, Pigeon, Fire Log, Seated Forward Fold, Cobbler’s Pose, Janu Sirsasana, Wide-Legged Forward Fold
    • Arm Balances: Crow, Side Crow, Flying Pigeon, Koundenyasana 1 & 2, Titibhasana
    • Twists and Side Bends: Revolved Lunge, Revolved Triangle, Revolved Chair, Seated Spinal Twist, Hurdler’s Stretch, Janu Sirsasana

    In-Person Practices, Transitions, and Techniques (subject to change based on group’s needs):

    • Earth: Ankle-to-hip coordinations, weight shifts and transfers, improving the arch of the feet
    • Water: Side-to-side and rotational movements, fluid transitions between standing poses, vinyasa transitions, oppositional tension for improved mobility
    • Fire: Shoulder blade functionality, core connectivity to movements of the shoulder blades, coordinating core and hips, crossbody repatterning
    • Air: Diaphragm & deep core coordination, coactivating thoracic breathing and spinal muscles for decompressing the spine
    • Space: Aligning mindset and autonomic nervous system for improved stress response; tools for regulating the nervous system; skills for finding inner stillness, peace, and joy



    Elements of Mastery is a system to help students gain a profound connection to their physical body. While every yoga practice has its benefits, it is rare to find a system that is designed specifically to develop mastery in our physical body. This system is a step-by-step format that provides you with a clear way of recognizing your body’s blind spots and gives you the exact techniques to bring awakening and MASTERY to these areas of your body. Without an instruction guide, we are just guessing and hoping to stumble upon the practices and skills we need. Elements of Mastery takes the guesswork out of the equation and allows you to focus your time and effort on what you need in order to attain a new level of integration between mind and body.

    What if I am not a teacher?

    This training is all-levels appropriate; there is no teaching prerequisite, and you do not need to be a teacher. You will gain a tremendous base of knowledge and skill about the body, practice techniques, and asana. The teaching techniques provided throughout this training will only serve to enhance the way you approach practicing yoga.


    Online Pre-Training

    Saturday, June 1: Welcome Meeting

    • Welcome meeting on Zoom at 10am Eastern Time
    • Online course opens (at your own pace)
    • Suggested 2 hours per week for 5 weeks
    • Learn functional elemental alignment for each major posture
    • Postural injury awareness: myths versus facts
    • Muscle engagements that enhance each elemental quality
    • If you cannot attend the 10am meeting, it will be recorded for you


    In Person: Suggested Arrival Day

    Thursday, July 18: Suggested Arrival

    • Fly or drive to U.S. (New York or CT airports)
    • Take train (Metro North) and Uber or rental car to Connecticut
    • Check-in at Heritage Hotel & Spa at 4pm or later
    • Enjoy the hot tub, sauna, pool, etc.
    • Settle in and sleep


    Training Day 1: Earth and Water

    Friday, July 19 [6.5 Hours] 
    • Guests of the Heritage Hotel can start with complimentary breakfast provided by the hotel
    • 10a The Elements and The Mastery Approach
    • 11a–1p “Earth” workshop:  Improve balance; strength; standing postures; feet, ankle, and knee alignment; glutes and hamstrings
    • 1–2:30p Lunch
    • 2:30–4p Postural breakdowns, injury awareness, personalized workshopping your challenge points
    • 4p “Water” workshop: Improve hip mobility, graceful transitions between postures, low back and pelvic alignment, outer hips & inner thighs
    • 6p Dinner on your own at the hotel or one of the many amazing local restaurants. Suggestions will be provided!
    • Hot tub/sauna/pool time

    Training Day 2: Fire and Air

    Saturday, July 20 [7 Hours]

    • Suggested: Light or early breakfast
    • 9–11a Fire: Coordinating the shoulder girdle and the core with arm balances
    • 11a–12p Pattern revelation: How each element manifests physically, energetically, and mentally/emotionally. Example: Psoas and deep-core endurance can show up as determinationa and resilience.
    • 12–1p Applying “elemental lines” to untangle physical patterns
    • 1–3p Lunch at hotel 
    • 3–4p Partner postural assessment—seeing and reversing physical patterns
    • 4–6p “Air” Part 1: Shoulder mobility training, alignment and “rhythm” for all types of binds
    • Dinner on your own at the hotel or one of the many amazing local restaurants. Suggestions will be provided!
    • Hot tub/sauna/pool time

    Day 3: The Heart of Expansion

    Sunday, July 21 [6.5 Hours]

    • Breakfast
    • 10a–12p Heart opening and breathing techniques
    • 12-1p The EOM Meditation System
    • 1p Lunch at hotel included in the training
    • 2:30–4p Redefine your pose alignment: Learn how to choose functional alignment according to specified intent and personalized goals
    • 4p “Space” element: Accessing stillness to gain internal freedom through asana, breathwork, and meditation
    • 5:30p Secrets to unlocking mastery in every action
    • 6p Certificates and celebration!

    MONDAY: Inside-Flow Training Begins

    Enjoy an optional spa day add-on

    • For those of you staying for Inside Flow with founder Young Ho Kim and Senior Teacher Rebecca Rasmussen: Your training begins Monday July 22


    Class Levels
    • All classes: all levels appropriate, and modifications and variations will be provided based on your practice

    Included in the Training

    • 3 days of in-person yoga at the Heritage Hotel and Spa
    • Lunch each day at the venue
    • 10-hour online pre-training for anatomy
    • Yoga teachers will receive a total of 30 Hours Continued Education that can be submitted to Yoga Alliance

    Hotel Rooms Not Included

    • Hotel rooms are provided at a discounted rate for this training, but you MUST book your own hotel room separately from the training
    • Staying at the Heritage is not required but strongly suggested to make the most of the experience
    • Spa treatments are not included but can be optionally added on
    • The pools, hot tub, and sauna are available for all guests of the hotel











    3-Day, 20-Hour Training ($995 Value) + 3 Meals ($150 Value) + 10-Hour “Pose Factory” Course ($995 Value) = $2140

    TUITION AFTER JUNE 2oth: $1495

    EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT TODAY: $995 or $335/3 Payments


    I cannot speak highly enough of the experience I had with Matt. He not only taught almost everything I know and love about yoga in a wonderfully unique way, but with the most genuine sense of passion and dedication.   I was blown away by Matt’s knowledge and broad range of retreat activities from the yoga to a handstand workshop, meditations and a satsang.  My favorite aspect of this experience was how personal it all was. Matt interacted with all of the yogis from start to finish – meal times, downtime in between yoga classes and after dinner. It was so fun and down to earth and the connection is felt instantly.  



    Amenities & Cancellation Policy

    Free WiFi

    WiFi is free, and it is accessible throughout the hotel.

    Hot Tub & Pool

    Heritage Hotel & Spa offers free access to the outdoor and indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna to all guests of the hotel.

    Restaurant & Bar

    The hotel has a very nice restaurant and bar right inside the hotel for post-training dinner.

    Check-in & Checkout

    Check-in dates are flexible. You can either arrive the day before (Sunday, June 18) or the morning of (Monday, June 19). Checkout dates are also flexible: Checkout on the last day (June 21) or the day after the training (June 22).

    Optional Spa Treatments

    The Heritage Hotel & Spa has many offerings, such as massage and facials. You may book your treatment ahead of time with the hotel. It is suggested to stay a day later or arrive earlier to enjoy.

    Golf Course

    On the property, located just behind the hotel, is a beautiful golf course. Should you like to bring a significant other who is not interested in yoga, this may be a fun option for them.


    Cancellation Policy

    This training is nonrefundable for any reason unless canceled by the instructor due to COVID restrictions or otherwise. If you are not able to attend for any reason, you may sell your spot to someone else, just like you would a concert ticket. You must notify us with the new attendee’s name and email address. If you have already taken any part of the online portion of the training at this time, you will need to pay an additional 50% of the training cost to cover the cost for a second online course for the new attendee.

    Please take precautions leading up to the trip. If you cannot attend for any reason, including COVID, you will be responsible for the full payment of your spot unless you find a replacement as mentioned above.

    Plan Your trip

    Transportation Information




    There are many easy options when traveling to Southbury CT. Southbury is located right off of the major highway called I-84. Please ask the hotel for taxi/car service suggestions. Travel is not included. You are responsible for booking your own travel and getting yourself to the hotel.

    From the New York Airport (JFK, LGA, or EWR):
    1. Rental Car: The easiest and most flexible option would be to rent a car at the airport and drive to the hotel. The hotel is located approximately 80 miles from JFK Airport, 85 miles from LaGuardia (LGA), and 85 miles from Newark (EWR). The drive will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.

    2. Private Car or Taxi: You can also hire a private car or taxi from the airport to take you to the hotel. This can be a more comfortable option than public transportation, but it may be more expensive. You can check online for private car or taxi services in the area.
    3. Public Transportation: If you prefer not to rent a car or hire a private car or taxi, you can take public transportation. However, this option can be a bit more complicated and time-consuming. You can take the AirTrain from JFK or EWR Airport to the subway or train station, then take the train to Southbury, CT. The nearest train station to the hotel is the Waterbury Train Station, which is approximately 10 miles from the hotel. From the train station, you can take a taxi or Uber to the hotel.

    If you decide to rent a car, the hotel offers free parking, and you can easily explore the surrounding area. Additionally, if you’re flying into JFK or LGA, you can take advantage of the hotel’s shuttle service for an additional fee. To reserve a spot on the shuttle, be sure to contact the hotel in advance. The shuttle service is not available for EWR.

    From Bradley International Airport (BDL):

    1.  Rental Car: The easiest and most flexible option would be to rent a car at the airport and drive to the hotel. The hotel is located approximately 35 miles from BDL Airport, and the drive will take approximately 40–50 minutes, depending on traffic.
    2. Private Car or Taxi: You can also hire a private car or taxi from the airport to take you to the hotel. You can check online for private car or taxi services in the area.
    3. Public Transportation: If you prefer not to rent a car or hire a private car or taxi, you can take public transportation. However, this option can be a bit more complicated and time-consuming. You can take the Bradley Flyer shuttle from BDL Airport to the Hartford Bus Station, then take the bus to Southbury, CT. The nearest bus stop to the hotel is the Heritage Hotel bus stop, which is located right in front of the hotel. You can check online for the bus schedule and ticket information.

    From Westchester County Airport:

    1. Rental Car: Renting a car is the easiest and most flexible option. The hotel is approximately 55 miles from the airport, and the drive will take about an hour, depending on traffic. There are several car rental companies located at the airport, and you can reserve a car in advance to save time.

    2. Private Car or Taxi: You can also hire a private car or taxi to take you to the hotel. This option can be more comfortable than public transportation, but it may be more expensive. You can check online for private car or taxi services in the area.
    3. Public Transportation: You can take a combination of buses and trains to reach the Heritage Hotel & Spa. First, take the Bee-Line bus from the airport to the White Plains Train Station. From there, take the Metro-North train to the Waterbury Station, and then take a taxi or Uber to the hotel. This option can take several hours and requires multiple transfers, so it may not be the most convenient option.

    4. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and book your transportation in advance to avoid any stress or delays.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Connecticut!

    Thanks for treating yourself to the practice of yoga.

    Need Something Else?

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