Tj Maher is back this Summer with 100 Hour Yin Teacher Training… I sent 5 questions across the ocean for him and he sent me 5 back! This was my interview with him, reflecting and moving forward…
It was magical, so many amazing components came together so harmoniously. The studio for one is beyond words, its such a special blend of old European motifs in the building coupled with a true spirit of Zen. I felt at peace throughout the training and feel like that passed on to the students. Speaking of which the group was such a lovely bunch of Yinsters each of whom added to the special quality of the training. And last but not least you made the space so nurturing for all involved with your attention to detail, care and generosity. Its so clear how Wild Wolf’s Studio is such a healing, fun space to play in and attracts so many awesome souls when it is run by someone filled with so much love.
- What parts of becoming a Yin Yoga teacher trainer that you are most surprised by?
A very welcome surprise was the large amount of interest in Yin trainings, I wasn’t sure until I started reaching out to studios and the response has been great. I embarked on this path because I realized my Art & School Teacher backgrounds paired really well with my Yin & Meditation experience. All of this was fueled by my love & passion for these processes and practices but you can never be sure if it will take off or if there will be enough interest out there for it to work. It has become clear to me now that people & studios really crave Yin & Yin trainings and it is encouraging to see that there is a growing understanding of how taking time to rest & recover is integral to our health.
Also, while not a surprise about teaching, I always love the new things I learn from my students and from each group. This happened often when I taught art to kids and it is one of my favorite parts of teaching. Anytime I can’t imagine what else could possibly be done with a pose a student discovers and shares something new with the group that they had to figure out for their unique anatomical variation. I love being a part of a group of learners & explorers always growing & sharing.
- What are your plans for your next learnings? I remember you saying some Tai Chi and more silence!
I am really excited to take a 200 hour Qi Gong Teacher Training this year in Thailand. Qi Gong has been a practice I have been self-educating on and practicing for several years now while searching for the right teacher & program to study in first-hand. I find it is a practice that pairs well with Yin Yoga in that they both explore Chi (Qi) and refine the practitioners awareness of the body. My mind is always looking for integrations and evolutions of practices for health & wellbeing so I can’t wait to have new modalities of practice to integrate and share during the Yin trainings.
As for more silence, I think you are referring to the meditation retreats, I am always looking for just the right moment to attend another long meditation retreat. I hope to be able to automate more of the YUJMU training processes (like marketing in particular) this year by possibly hiring an assistant. Until then my meditation retreat is my daily Zazen practice
- Tell us what to expect at the YYTT this year.
The training is always refining and evolving so lots of new bits here & there plus all of the same magic of last year. Everything flows more & more intuitively for the trainees, from the lectures to the practice sessions, the immersive quality of the experience is really front & center. We will be exploring a spectrum of approaches to a Yin class, lots of opportunity for dialogue & questions and a whole batch of new friends to share our journey with. The manual is in its 2nd edition and the lectures have gone through about 3 major iterations since last year. I also have found a great new documentary for the Yin movie night
- Share some of your favorite snippets from the testimonials you have received.
I love receiving feedback and the testimonials are each very special to me as they are a representation of someone’s time & appreciation. Helping others is the backbone of why I offer these trainings and hearing how others are then benefiting and bringing love to those around them is just miraculous to me. One of the testimonials I received actually brought tears to my eyes and still does a bit when I read it:
“When I first saw the course advertised I was telling my friend about it over the phone & I told her I would love to do it but really couldn’t afford it as we needed to spend money on our house – my husband overheard the conversation & suggested I sell a diamond bracelet he gave me as a gift when we first met. I felt guilty about this as the bracelet was a gift & thought that if I did sell it I should use the money on the house. My husband said the bracelet was a present to me so I should spend the money from it on myself. I rarely wear jewellery so he thought I would get more from the yoga course – he was definitely right – this training has been worth hundreds of diamond bracelets to me & I don’t feel selfish spending the money on myself now as I feel that my family & friends have benefited from this course through the changes in me.
Thank you so much for helping make those changes – I feel excited to carry on my training now.”