Talk Radio With Heart & Soul
WRNP 1320 AM Radio Providence, RI
Cardinal Points would like to welcome Jenn Thomas, artist, Yoga teacher and medicinal mushroom enthusiast to our show. Jenn shares how a car accident initiated her involvement with Yoga over 20 years ago. She started by practicing with a friend, who was a Yoga teacher, in peoples living rooms. Jenn discusses the prevalence of Yoga today compared to when she began. “Now we have a huge variety of Yoga.” Jenn recommends a beginners class or introductory series of classes to start. “Yoga is like magic. You start practicing and it has a significant impact on your life.” Yoga allowed Jenn to reconnect with her body after her accident. Yoga is not just something we practice on a Yoga mat but it is a lifestyle. “It feels like the asana practice, the physical postures help us to let go of the business in the mind so that we can make the effort to sit still.” Yoga supports our meditation practices. Yoga brings balance. “Balance is everywhere. Having thoughts that are balanced, having responses to events that are balanced, having a sense that your relationships are balanced.” Jenn discusses her experience with Sean Corne’s Off the Mat and Into the World leadership program. This program teaches the beauty of collaboration and how it affects change in us as individuals, in our communities and lastly the planet. Jenn then educates us about Yin Yoga. When she took her first Yin Yoga class she was blown away “how quiet my inner world became through the practice and I wanted more of that.” After that first experience she claims that her body felt so amazing and her mind was so clear. After a weekend training with Sarah Powers, Jenn intuitively knew she was the teacher for her. Sarah’s teachings have the influence of Buddhism and spiritual psychology. Yin Yoga works with the “fascia body”. “So much is housed there. Our energetic capacity is housed in the fascia.” Our fascia connects all things in the body. “It’s what makes us whole is some ways.” Yin Yoga is a slow mindful practice that affords us the opportunity for self inquiry and self reflection. It allows us to come up against our uncomfortable edge and “discover we have the capacity to rest in the midst of that.” Because of Jenn’s spiritual practices she’s finding an “inner ease” in her life. She no longer tries to control everything around her, “to be able to do life as it comes.” “Happiness is a laudable goal. Happiness is a state of being that is always available.” Jenn begins our last segment with a reading from the Chinese Classic text Tao Te Ching. The Tao is the underpinning for the 5 Element Theory which is a big piece of traditional Chinese medicine practices. The 5 element theory is related to the seasons of the year and the elements in the Universe(water, earth, wood, metal(air), fire). Each element is related to an organ system in the body. Jenn then informs us about the medicinal benefits of Reishi or Lingzhi mushrooms particularly those grown and harvested by the Alphay Company. “Lingzhi mushrooms are smart. They go into your body, have a conversation with your body, then they go to work.” They are know as adaptogens. They recognize what your body needs and fulfill that need. “They restore balance.” Jenn then shares about her recent experience in a 5 day Thai Yoga Bodywork (TYB) training that I taught. She finds TYB to be a great gateway to help others connect with their bodies. Jenn reminds us that it is important to have Sangha, a community of like minded people. It helps us to realize like a web we are all connected. “We are the web, we are every intersection, we are every space.”
Today’s Cardinal Point: Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do. ~Rumi
Jenn Thomas has been practicing and studying yoga for over 20 years. She received her 200-hour certification with Tom Gillette, became a leader for Off the Mat/Into the World with Seane Corn, and is currently engaged in a 500-hour training with Sarah Powers’ Insight Yoga Institute, a graduate-level training with renowned western masters. Jenn is also a longtime artist and teacher (painting and glass), a two-time small business owner, and a life coach. She is developing and deepening practices that integrates Yoga, Buddhism, and spiritual psychology.
Jenn’s way of weaving language and poetry into the fabric of each Yoga class draws each student into the heart of who they truly are and the beauty of being alive – on and off the mat.