In March of this year, I made a somewhat last-minute decision to travel to Montreal and study with Kam Thye Chow again. It seems that many of my decisions surrounding my 12-year study of TYM have been last-minute, but they always seem to turn out well. It's a little more difficult to be spontaneous while raising a child and running a business than it was without these beloved chains (and, really, last-minute these days is anything with less than a month's notice), but fates aligned and it worked out. Kam is teaching in Canada, the Bahamas, Austria, and Thailand this year. If I wanted to catch him, I knew Montreal was my chance.
I went for a specific purpose. After twelve years of practicing Thai yoga massage, I feel I'm ready to teach others. I've already been teaching yoga for fifteen years, so this is an easy next step for me. However, one of the things I like best AND worry about most is there is no licensing and very little internal regulating of the tradition and practice. As I understand it, anyone could hang a shingle that says "THAI YOGA MASSAGE" and be good to go. As practitioners, it frees us up immensely (I don't have to pay someone else to tell me I can do my job. yay!), but it's worrisome that this beautiful bodywork can easily be denigrated by a well-intentioned and poorly-trained practitioner. I've seen it happen time and again in the yoga world, and I feel protective of this practice that has brought so much joy, connection, and loving-kindness into my life and untold wellness into others' lives.
So, what's a well-intentioned, well-trained woman to do? Take a somewhat last-minute trip to Canada and ask your teacher face-to-face, "Do I have your blessing to teach Thai Yoga Massage?" Which is what I did.
I love Montreal. I would move there in a heartbeat if I could. Well, for April-October, that is. In any case, I didn't have to twist my own arm very much to book the flight, make arrangements for the kid and dogs, reschedule the appointments, and hit the road. It did take some determination to get there (waking up at 2 a.m. to drive to Detroit to fly to Montreal to book a taxi to get to class by 9 a.m.) and lots of kind consideration from others (thank you Jason, Irina, students, and clients), but it was so very well worth it.
Kam is one of those teachers who is easy to be around. Incredibly full of knowledge, yet humble. Disciplined, yet approachable. Funny, worldly, down-to-earth... I pretty much adore the guy. And yet, I really had a difficult time summoning up the courage to ask. It didn't help that I was late every single day. On the last day of the five-day training, it dawned on me that the reason everyone was there before me was because class started at 9 a.m., not 9:30 a.m. Uh oh, eep! I'm blaming it on the grief. (see blog below) However, on that last day, I went to lunch with Kam and two others from the class, took a deep breath in, and said, "Kam, I really want to teach Thai Yoga Massage." He looked me in the eye, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, "Elizabeth, go teach Thai Yoga Massage." Outwardly, I smiled and said thank you. Inside, pure disco. (Think Michael Jackson, 1979, Don't Stop "Til You Get Enough.)
Relief! Joy! Excitement!
So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen of the cyber world, I am announcing Reden's first ever Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner Training! WOOO HOOOO!
Our training will be right here in good ol' cow town Columbus, August 17-21. I am blessed, honored, and entirely thrilled to begin to share the knowledge I've gained over the last fifteen years of study with anyone ready to learn. Metta!