Interview Murielle & Sebastian Pucelle : Yin Yoga Teacher Training by Gabrielle Harris
Gabrielle : I don’t teach and don’t plan to. Will this course be suitable for me ?
Murielle & Sebastian : Yes of course you do not need to be a teacher or even to have the desire to teach in order to follow our training. We build the level 1 around a functional approach of the Yoga practice and we believe it will completely change the way you look at your practice as well as your teaching. We also share a lot of information to enrich the Yin Yogi such as a multitude of variations and transition poses, helping the practitioner and teacher to sequence a class.
G : Can I teach Yin Yoga after level 1 ?
M & S : Yes we are sure you will be fully equipped to teach a Yin class with confidence after our course. Not only do we provide the technical aspect of the practice but we also share all our experience as teachers. In Yin, the Bhava or the mood of the class is very important: we take a lot of care to create a conducive frame for the practice during our training, we also use specific cues to guide and influence the practitioner. All of this is discussed in depth in our course.
G : I already teach Yin Yoga so how will this course help me ?
M & S : Well if you have not studied with Paul & Suzee Grilley yet, this course, especially our level 1, will empower you with a new method, attitude and approach of Yoga, which is function over form. We also define targeted areas of the body. Each Asanas specifically stimulates different parts of the body. Our teaching is based on this approach thanks to Paul & Suzee Grilley, this is the genius of their teachings. We also have a level 2 & 3 which is more based on our personal exploration through the years. We think as teachers and for all teachers/practitioners some ongoing exploration, education, retreat and trainings are a must. Once you get on the Yoga path you realize the more you learn the less you know, it is an appreciable place to be to keep one humble.
G : Is this course recognized with Yoga Alliance ?
M & S : Yes we are Yoga Alliance recognized since 2012, we have been postponing this for a long time due to personal reasons , but many students were after the continuing education the Y.A offer so we did registered with them.
G : How many people are on a course ?
M & S : We usually have around 20+ participants, but we have reached 40 in some of our training (that would be the maximum number of participants we take on board for our training)
G : I am already a trained physiotherapist/body-worker, how will the course benefit me ?
M & S : We do have body-workers, P.T, nurses or acupuncturist attending our training. It is a tremendous asset if you have already some form of expertise or background in the medical, energetic, or even meditation field as we are blending those in the Yin Yoga Practice.
We try to approach the practice with an intelligent, scientific, non religious angle. We always try to support our reasoning, thought and belief with some scientific study. Often participants report that our course overlaps nicely with what they have studied, but now under the frame of a Yoga training.
G : Do I need to know about Yin Yoga before doing the course ?
M & S : Typically we ask for at least 2 years of regular Yoga practice before embarking on our training, Yin is not a prerequisite since we start the course with the fundamentals of the practice such as “keep the muscle relaxed and stay longer in the pose.” We also cover anatomy, energetic and meditation related to the practice which will allow you to understand and convey the Yin approach with confidence and self-reliance.
G : Do I need to have a meditation practice before doing the course?
M & S : No not at all, actually Yin Yoga will help you to experience the qualities of meditation a little bit at the time. Yin is a crafty way of stepping into a meditative state of mind, first because the slow pace allows you to withdraw from the sympathetic nervous system, allowing us to rest and relax.
Then as the body starts to unwind one becomes more mindful of what is happening, inducing an introspective mood. The attention is naturally drawn inward and through the letting go of the outside world the Yogis establishes themselves as a witness. Through this process we start to develop the ability to truly observe the most minute sensations, the mind sharpens and becomes one pointed.
Yin Yoga is such a conducive practice for meditation, it will appeal to the advanced Yogi and beginner alike due to its contemplative nature.
G : I have an injury, can I still do the course ?
M & S : As you can guess it will depend on the severity of one’s injury, but if you are in the process of recovery then the practice will help you to support the healing process. In Yin Yoga we never assume that a chosen pose is the right one for you, we always establish from the beginning a communication with the student to find the right variation of the pose at this moment. Ultimately we are just guiding each student to find his/her own pace, edge and variation of the poses.
We have from time to time people recovering from serious injury, with limited range of motion and so far all of them benefited greatly from the practice, working the connective tissues moderately but consistently has a therapeutic effect on the damaged areas of the body. We are just listening to the need of the moment and support the constant healing process of the body.
G : How does this course differ from other Yin Yoga Teacher Training ?
M & S : Well we teach in English but with a French accent..! Haha
We know we have a solid course. First we value the importance of a firm foundation before moving to the more subtle aspect of the practice, that is why we emphasize anatomy and a no non-sense systematic approach of Yoga on our level 1.
This is before moving to the more subtle and abstract energetic part of the practice using the Traditional Chinese Medicine view, and by developing a keen and discerning meditative skill which is our level 2 and 3.
I cannot really comment on what other training are offering, but we have 3 decades experience from different disciplines such as martial arts, bodywork, yoga and meditation.We believe in a non-dogmatic approach of Yoga overlapping with other traditions such as Taoism or Buddhism.
We want to help the students to find their own voice as a teacher, but also to refine their aspiration on the yoga path. Aspiration is a feeling, an intention, attitude or movement within us, if the meaning of Sadhana is an ego transcending practice, let’s surrender to a deeper, higher, more substantial aspect of our beings, recognizing our ability to reconnect with a flow of inner aspiration and guidance. With this understanding, the process of surrender naturally unfolds.
G : What if I don’t complete the course ?
M & S : We usually ask for 100 % attendance during the training in order to get the diploma, of course if for any reason you miss a part of it, you can still follow the course you just have to let go of the piece of paper, no big deal..!
G : What are the enrollment policies ?
M & S : There are 2 prices for the training : we have an early price and a normal price. A deposit is required to secure your place. Enrollment polices will be sent to you before you enroll.
G : How is level 1 different from level 2 and 3 ?
M & S : The main difference between the 3 levels are the theme as we are moving from the gross the the more subtle aspect of the practice :
Level 1 focuses on anatomy, functional approach, methodology, asanas and their variations, revealing the confidentiality of this approach. We strip down the Yin approach learning the nuts and bolts of the mechanical aspect of Yin, to digest and integrate the essence, heart and spirit of this quiet practice.
In our level 2 we assume that you already know what Yin Yoga is about so we concentrate on the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) view the energetic side of this practice. We look at Yogic and Daoist philosophies to realize and appreciate the connection between the two traditions.
Then in our level 3 we use the Yin practice to explore and investigate the nature of the mind, we are eager to share the Samatha path. We have developed a practice where we blend Yin Asana, a technique of Pranayama, and Dharana or Ekagrata (one pointedness of the mind). We merge these practices together until the boundaries between body, breath and mind cease to be felt. It is not uncommon to experience a fading away of our individuality and simultaneously an heightened sense of oneness.
We back up this practice with an analysis of Raja Yoga and the Yoga Sutras. We really start to move towards the subtlest aspect of the practice, moving from the body towards the mind.
We have also a Level 4 in the making, which will be based from Buddhist and/or Yogic philosophy in a residential retreat format, with a part in silence and of course a daily Yin practice . This will be the culmination of our 200 hours training.