What is a little known or surprising fact about you or your work?
I usually have a song playing in my head, either an original one or something I heard. I have even written songs in yoga class on more than one occasion. In that case, music and lyrics came to me and I left the room quickly to record the tune on my phone. On another occasion, I made up a puppet skit when I was in Savasana. You may not be surprised that I am easily distracted.
What led you to Iyengar yoga?
When I was in high school in 1980, I was really into track and cross country running. I read an article in Runner’s World about a guy (Ian Jackson) who used Iyengar Yoga to help him run faster. I bought Light on Yoga, and started learning yoga sequences from the book. When I got to college, I started taking classes in Iyengar style, and that was much better than trying to figure out asanas from a book! I like how Iyengar yoga is so specific. There is a right way to do the poses which we are all striving for. I also like that the use of props allows modifications for each individual need.
What poses do you find challenging?
I’m terrible at elbow stand. My shoulders are too tight. I also find downward dog challenging because of the tight shoulders, but also because of tight hamstrings.
What do you like to do when you are not doing yoga?
I play guitar, hike, do projects around the house, and read fiction on my kindle.
How has practicing yoga impacted your life?
I’ve been practicing yoga ever since I started in 1980. You might think that would make me highly advanced, but it hasn’t. Instead, I think of what my body would be like if I hadn’t done yoga – probably unable to get off of a couch, or lean over to tie my shoes. Also, it has helped me be more focused and balanced, and less susceptible to minor upsets in my life.
How does the IYCWM yoga community contribute to your practice?
I love this community because of what Susan Elena brings to it. Besides her deep knowledge and experience, she also has a light approach to teaching that makes me feel welcome and encouraged. It would be a a rare class without laughter.
Any advice for beginners?
If someone finds it hard to practice at home, I suggest starting with one or two poses for 5 minutes or so, and gradually adding things in later. No need for a 90 minute practice right off the bat! Because the most important part is just building the habit. Also, be gentle with yourself and try accept your body as it is right now, not as you think it should be.
Catch Tom at this upcoming event:
Looking for a fun musical evening to take the dreary out of mid-January? Step inside a cozy club in the heart of Northampton, and treat yourself to an exquisite concert featuring the dynamic duo, golden-voiced singer song-writer, Tom Knight and fiddler extraordinaire Dan Foster. Then after the concert, stick around forthe best karaoke in Western, Mass: a sing-around-the-piano-party club with host and accompanist Josh Sitron. Sing at the mic, or just hang back and join in with the crowd. All songs attempted! Lyrics projected on the wall!
What: Singer Tom Knight in concert with Irish fiddler Dan Foster
Where: 13 Queen
(above Jake’s Restaurant), Northampton, MA 01060
When: Saturday January 18th, concert from 8-9 (with live piano karaoke to follow from 9 on)
Entree: $5-10 (sliding Scale)