Jonathan Thompson is an Ashtangi, YogaLondon 200-hour teacher trainer, and a deeply sensitive and emotionally intuitive person. Here he talks to us about the impact of his father’s early death, the mutually supportive relationship he has with his mother and how, for him, yoga, coaching, and psychology are all different sides of the same coin. Oh, and he definitely believes in ghosts.
We learn about cheating at school. We know copying someone else’s homework right before the lesson is wrong, but sometimes you get away with having ‘done the work’. Then, by extension, we learn about plagiarism and copyright infringement; it’s wrong to take someone else’s work and pass it off as our own.
But what’s the stance on stealing sequence and yoga lesson ideas from other teachers? Is this as bad as plagiarism and cheating? There’s no doubt about it that yogic stealing happens. One of the founding principles of yoga is asteya – or non-stealing. The third of Patanjali’s yamas, asteya is also the urge to covet what another has. We might want the charisma of another teacher, the smooth teaching style, the easy grace. But that is not ours to take. What we can take are their ideas.
So how do we sort out the ethics of yogic stealing? (more…)
There is one thing that you can guarantee all yoga teachers will share: a love of yoga. Apart from that, the only other thing you can guarantee is that they will be entirely different. And that’s what’s so great about them!
But, there is a clichéd view that if you’re a yoga teacher you should be a vegetarian (at the very least). You should also be a teetotal, green-juice quaffing, new-age hipster, wearing mala beads and smelling gently of incense.
And if you ARE exactly like that, then how 100% cool, but if you’re not, it doesn’t mean you’re any less of a yoga teacher. Or does it?
I gave up eating meat in my twenties, but when I fell pregnant I started eating it again as my body was craving meat. Now, with a fast metabolism and a busy and active life, I still eat meat occasionally, but I do question whether this is in line with the principles of yoga. And I know I’m not alone.
So, does it go against the principles of yoga to eat meat? (more…)
Yoga is good for you. This fact has been pretty much established by scientists, researchers, experts and long-lived, healthy yogis themselves. Yoga is now prescribed by some GPs, people are referred to yoga classes by physiotherapists. It has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of high blood pressure, heart disease, lower back pain, depression, and stress. It also helps to increase muscle strength, combat osteoarthritis and improve balance. (more…)