Interview: Lindsay Jean Thomson at the 2011 Yoga Journal Conference
1. What are you hoping to learn and bring back to the IO Community?
There are so many ways to move and to understand and express movement. I hope to find new ways of doing this, to expand my verbal and physical vocabulary. As a teacher, my intention is always to make the practice accessible and beneficial to all students. I’m very excited to share some new techniques with the IO community!
2. You attended Jason Crandell’s all-day intensive on Technique and Precision. What are some common mis-alignments that you most often see?
I don’t like to use that word because I think “mis-alignment” implies that something is being done wrong. To me, the beauty of yoga is that there really is no right or wrong. There are many ways to practice, though sometimes I see students try to push themselves beyond their ability level or sacrifice one part of their body to stretch, strengthen or expand another part of their body. I encourage mindfulness and part of being mindful is being present to what is – not pushing beyond.
3. What do you find most inspirational about Jason’s practice? What can we learn from him?
Jason teaches us how technique can be a useful tool, but he isn’t dogmatic or rigid about the alignment of postures. He encourages us to hold the postures as a means to being present and to understanding the body rather than the means to an end. And he reminds us that the ultimate purpose of yoga is to still the mind.
4. For those who didn’t get a chance to attend the conference, what other yoga resources would you recommend to yogis who want to get inspired and evolve their practices?
There are so many! Some of my favorite books are: The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar, The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks, The Gift by Hafiz (translated by Daniel Ladinsky), Light on Life and Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar, and anything by Eckhart Tolle, Robert Thurman or Pema Chodron.
5. What do you find most rewarding about being a yoga instructor and IO Yoga Manager?
This practice has been life changing for me. Yoga teaches us that avidya, ignorance of our true self and our place in the world, is the main cause of suffering. If I can help to lessen pain even the smallest amount for a relatively small group of people, it’s a blessing. I am so honored that people place their trust in me to help guide them in their practice.
As the new yoga manager, I am enjoying meeting and hiring talented teachers and cultivating our community at IO, which is truly a sanctuary for so many wonderful people.
6. Any other insights you wish to share?
Practice, practice, practice! Take deep breaths, and be nice to yourself.