Dear Yogi friends!
In June, I had just returned from a 9-day study retreat in Northern California with Master Yin teachers Paul and Suzee Grilley.
On my journey to become a well-educated teacher and Certified Yoga Therapist, I’ve had the opportunity to study with many senior and master teachers. Needless to say, I’m used to a certain quality of experience. Particularly, in the last two years as I’ve taken a deep dive into Yin Yoga training and completing workshops with the incredible Bernie Clark and Sarah Powers. However, the Yin training I attended with Paul Grilley and his lovely wife Suzee was truly life changing!
Both Paul and Suzee demonstrated Yoga in so many simple, yet powerful ways, it was truly inspiring. From how they spoke to each other… lovingly, respectfully and often even joyfully, to their thoughtful explanations of both functional anatomy and the teachings of Yin Yoga. Not to mention their enormous generosity. They told us that they claimed no ownership over Yin Yoga and that they had decided years ago there would be no system to maintain, no proprietary sequences, no patents, no ‘Yin police.’ They invited us to make Yin Yoga your own!
But it was more than that. At one point Suzee said,
“The purpose of Yoga is to become more kind, more compassionate.”
They especially encouraged us to use our new knowledge with compassion and understanding with those teachers who may not yet have learned to teach yoga from a functional lens (asana adaptation to individual skeletal variation).
My fellow students in the training were seasoned, well educated, international-based Yogis so committed to learning from Paul and Suzee that most had traveled thousands of miles to participate. And some of us had waited almost two years for the opportunity to attend in this highly coveted training! As you can imagine, our after dinner discussions were rich with a variety of yoga stories and wisdom. Yet we always concluded that teaching Yoga to human beings is essentially the same, no matter what language is spoken or country lived.
I am certain of one thing. I’ll never stop taking courses from others. I continue to commit my time, money and resources to learn, train and study with teachers further along a Yogic path than me. I hope you won’t either. Yoga is the topic – but it’s the people, the connections and the love that are the real. And these are really the reasons I’ll sign up again and again.
Love & Namaste,
Shauna MacKay, B.P.E., E-RYT, C-IAYT, is an inspiring and passionate teacher known to bring a depth of knowledge and intention to her classes that take students far beyond the physical practice. With a background in athletics and trained in therapeutics, students from a wide variety of levels find a place in her class. Shauna is a teacher’s teacher, with a passion for teaching and fueled by a commitment to never stop learning. She is a graduate of YogaWorks 200 & 300 Teacher Training programs. Additionally, she has acquired several advanced qualifications and certifications: Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew© Advanced trainer, Integrative Restoration – iRest© Yoga Nidra training, Yin Yoga, Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program, Yogaworks Restorative Teacher Training – Level 2, Yoga of the Heart© Cardiac and Cancer Certification, Yoga of Awareness Cancer Training at Duke Integrative Medicine; Yoga for a Happy Back Certification, Dr. Yang’s Yoga for Cancer, Chakra Yoga and Street Yoga. She is mentor and faculty member in the Yogaworks 300 Professional Teacher Training program. She is a trained Master Integrative Coach and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.</
Shauna will be leading a YIN YOGA Teacher Training & Weekend Immersion at Prana Yoga on October 12-14.