In this podcast, I’d like to introduce you to Peter Thomson, my first yoga teacher. I started yoga with him way back in the 1980s. If not for him, I would not be a yoga teacher today. Peter sees yoga as a way of understanding life, as a meditative activity and training. He talked about this in his classes and I was hooked. I started teacher training with him in 1991 and apprenticed with him for 11 years at The Glebe Yoga School before leaving to start The Yoga Nook in 2002.
Peter sees asanas as mental, as well as physical, constructs. He sees practice as a process of eliminating problems and believes it is important to have a method with which to do this, and to recognise the mental effort and discipline involved. This mirrors Mr Iyengar’s words in “Light on Life“:
“You cannot hope to experience inner peace and freedom without understanding the workings of your mind and of human consciousness in general. All behaviour, both constructive and destructive, is dependent on our thoughts. By understanding how our thinking works, we discover nothing less than the very secrets of human psychology. With this right perception and understanding of our minds, the door opens to our liberation, as we go through the veil of illusion into the bright day of clarity and wisdom. The study of mind and consciousness, therefore, lies at the heart of yoga.”
Mr Iyengar’s backbend intensive in 1991 inspired Peter to consider the dome shape and how it relates to asana, in the sense that both a dome and a well-constructed asana are energetic shapes that support themselves from within. Peter has also had a long association with the certification process in Australia. I hope you enjoy listening to him discuss his ideas and inspirations.
Peter teaches retreats and workshops in Asia, Australia and America. You can read more of his writing on these subjects and find details of his workshops on his Facebook page.