Rebecca Mayne is a San Francisco yoga teacher with a deep background in the practice and a childhood spent as an athlete.
She’s gearing up to lead an August retreat in Peru for a group of local and international yogis. The best part? You can either attend as a teacher-in-training and leave with your 200-hour certification or pick seven days to simply enjoy the sun, sand, culture, and yoga.
With a pitch like that, we were dying for all of the insider information.
How long have you been teaching?
I was certified in 2008. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Yoga Studies. I went to a small school called Naropa University in Boulder.
Did you always know you wanted to teach?
I’ve explored other things. I started my Marriage and Family Therapy license and put that on hold when I was pregnant with my son Leon, who’s now almost 3.
I’m really glad I did, because now there are Master’s degrees in Yoga Therapy, and other new programs continue to be developed. Loyola Marymount has a program focused on Physical Yoga Therapy, and more programs focused on spiritual and internal therapy keep popping up. It’s a newer field and it feels like the timing is right.
When did you become a full-time yoga teacher?
I was full-time after college, applied to graduate school, traveled for a year, started my Master’s, had my son and then went back to teaching full-time when my son turned six months old.
What’s on your yoga bucket list?
To be in a state of fewer classes but more effective offerings. I’d love to do more writing and publishing and dive deeper into a particular component of the practice to help people connect. The 500-hour teacher trainings are something I think about. I want to be able to offer 500-hour advanced teacher trainings by the end of 2017. That will keep my hands full for a long time! There really are infinite possibilities.
Where can we find your classes?
I teach public classes and corporate classes and I absolutely love them.
Who’s inspired you?
A huge range of teachers. Dice Ida-Klein from Southern California – he’s awesome and I love the physical component and his creative sequencing. I thrive off of it.
Jason Crandell’s anatomy and physiology portions are amazing. His queueing is lovely.
Tara Judelle lives primarily in Bali and is a very, very spiritual teacher in a beautiful way. Her understanding of the body and how she links that to our awareness and the meditative qualities of the practice are really spot on.
I personally love the further reach of teachers outside the Bay Area.
What other forms of exercise do you do?
I grew up as an athlete and when you transition to yoga, you have to be kept engaged. When you do vinyasa you have to feel like you’re working. You want to break that sweat.
Why lead retreats?
I feel like the depth that’s possible on a retreat is greater than what’s possible when we’re taking a class, workshop or a training in our normal environment. When we’re in our normal environment we’re asked to straddle two worlds and constantly move back and forth between the two activities (yoga and the rest of our lives).
How do retreats differ from class?
In an immersion setting like a retreat you don’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning, or any of that. You can just focus on your practice and studying on a daily basis. Instead of setting your day up with yoga then undoing it by getting stressed out throughout the day, you’re able to maintain that positive state and then add to it on a daily basis throughout the retreat or training. It also affords you a great opportunity to travel somewhere new.
Some of the greatest teachers during retreats or immersion trainings are the people that you meet. We’ll have people coming to Peru from around the world – Belgium, Germany and the US. It makes it a richer experience rather than it would be if everyone were from your neighborhood or city.
As I’ve gone through various trainings, my international connections have been powerful in introducing me to travel teaching. It’s nice to connect to the communities in different places and have a place to land and teach. It makes it richer in every aspect.
How many retreats have you led?
Four smaller ones, and I’ve been a part of other teachers’ trainings as well. This is the first I’ve totally spearheaded myself. The first Rebecca Mayne teacher training.
Was this a goal of yours?
It’s high time this has happened. Teaching yoga classes for sixty minutes or leading a workshop is really, really fun and very important, but you can only go so far in that short amount of time. People only have so much time, and understandably they want their workout in addition to the more subtle benefits of the practice. Most yoga teachers don’t sign up to be workout instructors – we want to go deeper.
What’s a typical day like?
Everything is optional. You can engage with as much or as little as you’d like. There’s are options: you can come for all twenty-three days and do a 200-hour teacher training, or if you can only come for the first eleven days you’d complete Module 1 and can finish Module 2 with me at a later time (in San Francisco or Costa Rica in 2017). If you aren’t into a teacher training, you can pick seven nights of your choice within that three week span, hop in, and do what you’d like.
- Wake up at 6am
- Self-led practice where you’ll lead yourself based on what your body’s feeling
- Silent group meditation
- Breakfast featuring all the best Peruvian superfoods
- Anatomy/Physiology to really understand why the alignment is so important in each pose
- Sixty-minute class centralized on the theme of the day
- Three-hour siesta to surf, play, study, rest, or explore the nearby towns
- Yoga Sutra/Chakra System Class
- Lecture with yoga philosophy, restorative yoga, and guided meditation
You also get a break day between the two modules and a few modified schedule days.
What’s the deal with alcohol?
There’s a balance. We enjoy a beer or a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner. Maybe on a break night a few more, but still in moderation.
If obstacles didn’t exist, what would be your dream class to teach?
I’d love to take all my students on a huge backpacking trip to some incredible mountain range in Nepal or Alaska or Wyoming or Colorado and just do yoga. I think I tend more towards mountains. As amazing as beaches are, there’s something so exhilarating about being in high country. The air is thinner, it’s awe-inspiring, and going that extra mile really gets you out there.
I have a retreat coming up in the Dolomites in Italy and it’s going to be amazing because between the yoga sessions people can hike, mountain bike, rock climb, and enjoy the playground of the Northern Italian Alps.
Want in? Same same. Follow Rebecca to sign up for her retreat in Peru or book her classes at The Pad in San Francisco.