The prospect of yoga teacher training in a warm climate in the middle of winter sounds amazing to most of us. Maxine Iharosy thought so too when she was offered a spot in the Shakti Initiation: All Women’s Leadership Training. She was lit up by the possibility.

However, taking stock of her finances led her to feel she had to decline the offer.

One of the program’s teachers told her not to give up on the opportunity and mentioned that other students in the past have used crowdfunding in order to attend. At first, Maxine felt there was no way she would feel comfortable asking others for money but through the guidance of Robin ( her mentor in this process), she realized that attending this program could benefit her AND her community.

Maxine realized that through leadership training, teachings, and insight into another part of the world, what would benefit her could benefit her others. She would be asking for a gift (financial help), and in exchange would bring back renewed energy and passion for teaching and insight into another culture.

Maxine is a wonderfully community-minded, spiritually connected being with a passion for travel, the outdoors, and teaching yoga that connects her life experiences, readings and storytelling to the practice. 

As her role as the Tone Studio manager comes to a close, her focus will be shifting towards more personal offerings for classes, private sessions and workshops with the vision of bringing some of her greatest passions together- nature, community and yoga with Inner Wilderness Yoga.

Maxine also serves as an administrator and teacher for the Sarana Institute, which is committed to bringing mindful and self-compassion training to others. This summer Maxine was part of the team that offered The Young Adult Program to Sarana Springs in Chatsworth, Ontario. The program gave young adults (aged 18-30) the chance to connect with nature, mindfulness, and learn leadership skills.

Maxine is so grateful for all those who supported her through the crowdfunding process. It increased her awareness of the interconnectedness between student and teacher and teacher and community and wholeheartedly recommends this process if you are willing to be vulnerable and do the hard emotional, physical, and spiritual work.

[7:00] The beginning of Maxine’s crowdfunding journey

[9:10] The giving and receiving aspect of Maxine’s experience- the teacher/student balance

[10:55] What allowed Maxine to ask for help- the mindset she adopted in order to ask, confronting self-doubt and pride and looking to where the root of those feelings are coming from

[12:30] Asking herself:  Who am I to ask for money? How will my training benefit others? Acknowledgment that yoga isn’t as validated as other health-related professions in society or even sometimes in the mind of the teacher.

[14:00] Practical aspects Maxine’s crowdfunding process

[16.25] The gifts Maxine offered her contributors based on the amount of the donation

[17:25] How Maxine emotionally processed the donations

[19:00] Did Maxine have a backup plan if her goal wasn’t met- the power of intention and belief

[20:25] How she felt when she met her goal- fears and questions and the most difficult point of her journey to Bali

[23:00] Processing (still) the financial and emotional support she received

[23:30] The hard prep work for attending the Women’s Leadership Training and the work while attending the training

[24:35] Feedback from supporters when Maxine returned home

[26:15] How it built relationships with her supporters and students outside of her yoga classes

[27:00] The clarity crowdfunding and training brought to her life and her feelings of responsibility to the community

[28:25] The ‘hats’ Maxine wears in her work life

[29:35] Maxine’s teaching style

[30:30] Sarana Institute Young Adult Program

[31:20] Vision for her personal yoga offerings with Inner Wilderness 

[33:20] Advice to those considering crowdfunding

[35:55] Keeping in touch with your contributors

[38:00] Shannon’s closing thoughts


Maxine’s Indigogo Campaign Platform

Shakti Initiation: All Women’s Leadership Training

Maxine’s Website: Inner WIlderness Yoga

Sarana Institute

Sarana’s Young Adult Program

Blog Post: “Comparison of Crowdfunding Websites” by

Gratitude to Our Sponsor — Schedulicity