- The Art & Anatomy of Assists - 50 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Costa Rica - MAY 2019

Led by Bianca Scalisé, Steph Góngora, & Erin Kelly

Join Bianca Scalisé (@Bianca.Scalise.Yoga), Steph Góngora (@casa_colibri), and Erin Kelly (@ErinKellyArt) for a 6 day 7 night 50-HR Hands on Assist Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) on the beautiful South Pacific coast of Costa Rica! 6 days of bliss, beaches, and ALL the yoga and assists you could ever wish for at Flō Retreat Center, Steph’s personal paradise just outside of Uvita, Costa Rica.

An intimate and community building experience (capped at 30 participants), this 50 HR YTT is the perfect setting for those wishing to continue and expand upon their yoga journey. In this module we dive into the Anatomical and Energetic “why” behind manual assists. Come explore the multidimensional benefits that hands on assisting can offer your students, from enhancing their physical experience in a yoga posture to the energetic and emotional feeling of support and connection assists create.

The first 5 days will be full, but gratifying and then you have ONE FULL FREE DAY (May 24th) to explore and play! What better place to immerse yourself than our beautiful river & waterfall hide-away? Upon completion, graduates who have previously completed and registered for a 200HR Yoga Alliance approved teacher training program will be eligible to apply this 50 hour training toward their 500HR Yoga Teacher Registry as part of our 500HR Module-Based Training. (Yoga Alliance School Registration in process). 

Training Basics

*****Training Dates*****


Arrival = Saturday May 18th, 2019, after 2pm
Training = Sunday May 19th – Thursday May 23rd
FREE Day = Monday May 24th
Departure = Tuesday May 25th, 2019, before 12pm


It is highly recommended that you arrive at Flō Retreat Center on Saturday May 18th (after 2pm) to give yourself time to check into your room and prepare. Your lodging for the night of May 18th, 2019 is included in each Accommodation Package. Similarly, lodging is covered the final night (May 24th), and all trainees must be checked out by 12pm on Saturday May 25th 2019, unless other arrangements are made for a longer stay.



In an effort to provide valuable, but accessible continued education, Authentic Movements offers a variety of flexible payment options that include variations in lodging and payment structure. Please review the options below, and email us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

  • PAYMENT PLAN DORMS + CABINAS: $500 down with $1500 due on or before March 18th, 2019. Total = $2000 USD
  • PAYMENT PLAN DOULE ROOMS: $500 down with $1700 due on or before March 18th, 2019. Total = $2200 USD



Please note that all $500 deposits are nonrefundable & nontransferable. If you’re utilizing the pay in full option, then $500 of your payment becomes that nontransferable/nonrefundable deposit. See below for full refund policy. 


  • Lodging @ Flō Retreat Center – Check in May 18th, 2019 (after 2pm), check out May 25th, 2019 (before 12pm)
  • 5 Day Intensive 50-Hour Teacher Training Module + FREE day of explorations with optional office hours!
  • Course Book w/ Syllabus
  • THREE Freshly Prepared Meals Each Day (Vegan, Veggie, Omnivore Options – Dinner Provided May 18th, Breakfast May 25th)
  • Daily Coffee/Tea/Fruit
  • Daily Flow Classes in a Variety of Styles
  • In depth Courses on Hands on Assisting, Alignment, Anatomy, Quality of Touch, Teaching while Assisting, Philosophy of Assist
  • Plenty of Hands on Assisting experience and opportunity to receive assists from a variety of teachers
  • Free Tank Top
  • Room Service Charge & Tax
  • Assuming eligibility and satisfactory completion of all hours/tests, ability to add this 50HR continued education module toward our 500HR module program. (Yoga Alliance Registration in Process)

Additional Items (Not included):

  • Round trip airfare (suggested airport -SJO).
  • Transfer to/from airport (we can assist with booking this)
  • Snacks
  • Optional Excursions including taxi rides up/down the mountain


Click here to be re-routed to our payment page, where you can select your payment option from the dropdown menu, and check out with credit card or Paypal!


This 50 HR Advanced Yoga Teacher Training is for anyone wanting to integrate verbal, passive and/or active hands on assists to their public or private yoga classes. We believe that being confident in your ability to aid your students makes for a more helpful and impactful teacher. Going through this YTT will provide you with key techniques to take away and apply to your students as well as a deeper understanding of the body so you will feel empowered to apply your techniques to a range of students, beginner- advanced.

This training is open to everyone although we do recommend at least 1-2 years of regular, solid practice. You don’t have to be part of our 500 hour program or have an approved application to attend a module however keep in mind that we cannot retro-actively assign module credits if you later decide to enter the program. Which means that if you’re eligible for the 500HR program (meaning you already have a 200HR certificate from a registered school), we recommend you apply and wait for your acceptance letter before submitting payment to a module. There is no cost for application, and no time limit to complete the training. If you’re not interested in the 500HR program, there is no need to apply! Simply put down your deposit to snag your space!  Not sure if you’re the right fit for this training? Email us here!

500HR Module BASICS

500HR Application

Sample Schedule

*6:00am – 7:00am – Coffee/Tea + Fruit

*7:00am – 7:30am – Meditation/Mantra/Journaling/Pranayama

*7:30am – 9:30am – Morning Flow Class

*9:30am – 10:30am – Breakfast + Break

*10:30am – 2:00pm – Lecture + Workshop + Teaching Methodologies

*2:00pm – 3:00pm – Lunch + Break

*3:00pm – 5:00pm – Lecture + Workshop + Teaching Methodologies

*5:00pm – 6:00pm – FREE TIME

*6:00pm – 7:30pm – Restorative/Yin/Slow Flow

*7:30pm – 8:30pm – Dinner

This schedule may vary on a daily basis, and there may be a bit more free time on some days as well as some short and helpful homework assignments.

We ask that students do not bring cell phones to class and please be on time to avoid delays. Some morning or evening studio time will be silent time to allow those with a meditation practice to create a calm and comfortable space. While those looking to register with Yoga Alliance for the 500HR program will need to attend all sessions to accumulate the required hours, we ask that you honor your body and simply observe whenever needed.

What to Expect

The Authentic Movements 50HR Art & Anatomy of Assists Module will offer a safe community space to explore and practice the basics behind safe, helpful and enjoyable assists.

This module is broken up into two main sections: Anatomy of Assists (understanding) and Art of Assists (feeling). We will navigate assists in this way to create a more clear, wholesome and well-rounded approach to assisting our students.

The “Anatomy of Assists” section of this module will clearly define why we touch our students from an anatomical  perspective. We will dive into understanding why we choose to place our hands where we do, how to apply pressure in a safe and supportive way and how to assist the individual rather than the yoga pose. As you learn different manual assist techniques we will discuss the specific parts of the body we are aiming to effect and how we are aiming to effect them.

In this section you will

  • Gain understanding of how to keep your students safe & reduce risk of injury in a general class
  • Learn when to assist and when to leave someone be/back off
  • Gain specific & practical techniques you can use in every yoga class (and a few advanced assists too)
  • Gain knowledge of basic anatomy to know where to place your hands, how to direct your pressure and why you are assisting the way that you are.
  • Gain knowledge of the body so you can feel confident to experiment and improvise with assists.

With this solid anatomical understanding of why we are touching our students we can then move to feeling into The Art of Assisting.

In the “Art of Assisting” section of this module we will explore how helpful assists feel, how to deliver specific “qualities of touch” through our hands and how to communicate with our students on a more subtle energetic level (through breath and presence). Assists are something we can only get better at by practicing. In this module there will be a lot of hands on practice; you will have plenty of opportunity to get comfortable and confident giving hand on assists and you will gain deeper understanding by receiving many assists from many different teachers. Through practice, experience and honest feed back we will develop a feel for assisting that will allow our assists to be more intuitive and less mechanical.

In this section you will

  • Learn “The Multidimensional Assist” ( Physical, energetic, and emotional aspects of assisting)
  • Practice communicating with your students through breath, presence and tone of touch.
  • Explore different Qualities of Touch & practice delivering them.
  • Experience the profound feeling of support and connection touch offers in the Yoga room
  • Learn how to assist a beginner, intermediate, advanced student and adjust your assist as needed


Instructor Details

Meet Steph Gongora & Bianca Scalise

Bianca Scalise (@bianca.scalise.yoga) has a heart on fire to share the healing and soul enriching practices of Yoga and meditation as well as make a positive impact in the world. 

Bianca is the creator of Amor en Acción, a Yoga and Seva project that combines self love & selfless service into week long Yoga retreats/ Humanitarian Trips. On our trips we collaborate with non- profits to positively impact communities in need in the areas of education, child nutrition, women’s empowerment and wildlife care. Join our next Amor en Acción trip here.

Bianca studies Yoga and mediation all over the world. She recently completed a 500 hour certification program with Dylan Werner, with whom she also toured internationally to assist intensives and workshops. She is currently pursuing an additional 500 hour program with Yoga Medicine. Dynamic and tantric Meditations are sprinkled into her classes as well as her love for anatomy and understanding the body.   www.biancascalise.com

Steph Gongora (@casa_colbiri) is a certified yoga and aerial teacher currently based in Uvita, Costa Rica. She completed her first formal 200-HR training with Meghan Currie, and continued to pursue an additional 300-HR training with Christina Sell at The San Macros School of Yoga. During her many years in Austin, TX, she regularly attended additional training and continued education with Erinn Lewis of Sukha Yoga, and recently started another online 200-HR study with Alanna Kaivalya.

An athlete her whole life, Steph practiced gymnastics until high school, taught pole fitness during college (where she studied Biology and Chemistry), and started a serious daily yoga practice over three years ago. Her teaching style combines precise breakdowns of form and anatomical cuing with a creative flow style, stressing unusual transitions and authentic movements practices. She has developed a deep love and respect for inversions of all kinds, which is what promoted her to write her first two books in early 2016 – The Beginner’s Guide to Handstand & The Beginner’s Guide to Handstand Pressing. She later added The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Yoga Practice for those looking to deepen their personal asana exploration.

Steph is happily married with five furry children and officially moved down to Costa Rica in the fall of 2016 to start construction on a Functional Medicine/Yoga retreat center on the South Pacific coast. She is overjoyed to share FLŌ Retreat Center with other beautiful souls, and hopes you enjoy her paradise as much as she does! When she isn’t doing yoga, she enjoys reading, writing, anything outdoors, writing more books (probably about more Yoga), and spending time with her (not so) little family. www.casa-colibri.com

Erin Kelly @erinkellyart is a traveling yoga teacher based in Venice Beach, California. She is known for her personal grace and fluidity of movement in both practice and teaching, and can often be found upside down or cultivating creativity through unusual transitions. Her teaching style is refreshing and playful, while still incorporating precise cues and pose breakdowns to help students understand the movements of their bodies and the path to personal growth.

She continues to develop a strong personal practice, studying various lineages, and consciously chooses not be defined by a particular school or style. Erin has studied under Megan Currie and is a regular in the LA yoga studio scene. She has also spent many hours training with Tearson Bickmore, as well as received extended hours in Dharma and Rocket under a Yancy Schwartz mentorship.

Erin has written for or been featured in Mantra Magazine, Yoga Guide Magazine and Yoga Journal, as well as made many appearances on national and international media sources. These days, you can find her focusing her time on creating unique, informative, and stimulating classes, workshops ,and trainings, often with her teaching partner Steph Gongora.

A true artist by nature, Erin received a BFA in Oil Painting with a minor in Art History from The Maryland Institute College of Art. She is passionate about the idea that if we open our bodies up physically, we can tap into all sorts of creative, emotional, and psychological breakthroughs. Whether it’s with a paintbrush in hand or just through body movement, Erin is continuously creating her own form of art and expression and believes we all have this freedom of expression. www.erinkellyart.com

Accommodation Details

Flō Retreat Center - An Eco Friendly Wellness Venue

Flō Retreat Center is on 40 acres of land located in Uvita, Costa Rica (South Pacific Coast) and is home to Steph Góngora and her husband Dr. Ben House (plus a variety of furry creatures – wild and otherwise).

Situated only 2.5KM up the mountain from Central Uvita, Flō is secluded and peaceful, yet convenient and accessible (by 4×4 car please). The long winding private drive to the main building plantel translates to extreme privacy in both the practice and living space. Wake up to monkeys and toucans playing in the trees above you, and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of crickets and tree frogs.

The main two story building has a common area for eating and working + large communal kitchen and shared bathrooms on the first floor. Eat breakfast overlooking the salt pool and watch the ocean tides out on the distance. Turn your head slightly in either direction for just-as-stunning jungle and foliage views. The perfect place to sip tea, catch up on some emails (“jungle wifi” available), or just swing in a hammock and relax.

The second floor of the main building holds a large portion of the lodging space with two dorm style rooms (3 bunks, 6 people each), and two double rooms, which can be fitted with queens (for a couple/friends/partners) or one set of bunks in each. The dorm rooms share a large bath between them, and the double rooms have beautiful ocean view sliding doors. All rooms will have access to a wrap around deck and come equipped with screens, ceiling fans, and AC units for hotter jungle nights.

Stroll slightly toward the cacao grove next to the main building, and you will run into the beautiful yoga studio. Mostly open air (with screens for bug blocking), this space will provide ample area to explore the practice on your mat. Full use of blocks, blankets, straps, and wheels will be offered during this intensive, and it’s a quick walk to the main house for bathroom breaks or snacks.

Keep walking toward the jungle, and you will enter the sacred cacao forest. Here the laden cacao trees will shade our  Cacao Forest Cabinas, small but efficient bungalows housing 4 attendees each. Shaded, quiet, and peaceful, these adorable tiny houses come equipped with screens, AC, and have access to a communal shared bathroom in each cabina.

Finally, the River Walk Rooms, a short stroll down the trail toward the river, each house 2 people (couple or friends), have their own private bathrooms, and access to a small communal kitchen! There’s plenty of lodging for everyone, rather you want to be in all there action or away from it!

But what about when you’re not practicing?! The days will be full, but in your free time, we encourage you to cool off in the pool, or take the short 1/2 KM walk down to the river, where you can explore one of the property’s SEVEN waterfalls, splash in one of the multiple natural swimming holes, or just explore the jungle walking paths. Town is an affordable cab ride (again, 4×4 recommended) away, where you can access grocery stores, beaches, national parks, restaurants, farmer’s markets, and souvenir shopping.

All rooms come with: linens, ceiling fans, screens, access to fridge, outlets, river temp showers, locking doors/windows. 

Want to know more about Flō?

To Browse through additional photos and find about a bit more about Flō, click here to peruse their website!


...And Claim Your Slot in Paradise

Again, this 50HR training is open to everyone. You do not need to be a yoga teacher (registered or unregistered to apply). If you are already part of our 500HR program, or simply aren’t interested, but still want to attend the training, just click the button below to be re-directed to the cart page and payment option.

If you ARE a 200HR teacher from a Yoga Alliance Registered school (whether you have paid your dues or not), upon the acceptance into our 500HR Module Based Program, you have the ability to add this 50HR module toward your continued education certificate. It costs nothing to apply, and since we cannot assign credits retroactively, we highly recommend that if you have any interest in pursuing this program, you apply before putting down your deposit or before attending this module. 

Space is reserved with either a $500 nonrefundable deposit (if you’re choosing either of the payment plan options) or the paid in full amounts for Cabinas + Dorms or Double Rooms. If you’re paying in full, please note that $500 USD of your payment becomes your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, while the rest of the funds are eligible for our refund & cancellation policy, as described below. 

In order to be eligible for your 50HR certificate to put toward either miscellaneous continued education or our 500HR Module Based Program, you must complete all required hours, both in person, and privately (homework) for this teacher training. Bianca, Erin, and Steph have no responsibility or obligation to provide a certificate to those with missing hours or whom them feel have not put in the necessary effort and attention.

You will receive a confirmation email after your deposit and/or application within 48 hours confirming your space in the training.

  • PAYMENT PLAN DORMS + CABINAS: $500 down with $1500 due on or before March 18th, 2019. Total = $2000 USD
  • PAYMENT PLAN DOULE ROOMS: $500 down with $1700 due on or before March 18th, 2019. Total = $2200 USD


Click here to be re-routed to our payment page, where you can select your payment option from the dropdown menu, and check out with credit card or Paypal!


Bianca, Erin, and Steph are dedicated to providing affordable continued education. Because of this, we are interested in offering limited partial scholarships toward all modules. If you are interested in a scholarship and are unable to utilize the current payment methods, please email the questions below to [email protected] for our consideration. While we cannot accept all scholarship requests, we will do our best to be accommodating, and will always work toward additional offerings.

TO APPLY for a scholarship, please answer the following questions via email:

  • Full Name
  • Are you currently a registered & teaching yoga instructor? Tell us a bit about your movement practice/teachings.
  • HOW MUCH of a discount do you need to make this accessible? 
  • How do you plan to utilize this opportunity in your life?
  • How will a reduced price help you make this work?

Scholarship Recipients will be notified within 7 business days whether or not we can accommodate their request. We may also be open to smaller deposits and a flexible payment schedule.

Cancellation Policy & Legal Fun


We understand that life happens and things change. We will do our best to be flexible, however, the closer the cancellation is to the actual start date, the less likely it is that we will be able to fill your space. We highly suggest you purchase travel insurance in case of any emergency change of plans, and are happy to answer any other questions that you might have! DEPOSITS ARE ALWAYS NON-REFUNDABLE & NON-TRANSFERABLE. Thanks for understanding.
Date of Cancellation Payments Made Deposit
Over 2 months prior to start date Fully Refundable Non-Refundable  & Non-transferable
Less than 2 months prior to start date Non-Refundable Non-Refundable & Non-transferable

***Once the program begins, there are no refunds of fees, no exceptions.***

Videography and Photo Release: There will be Photographs and video taken during training and used for promotional purposes. By signing up for this retreat, you are agreeing to allow any photographs taken of you to be used by Steph Gongora, Erin Kelly, Bianca Scalisé, Casa Colibri, Flō Retreat Center, and/or Authentic Movements.