In life we go through wonderful circumstances that leave us pleasant memories, and difficult moments that we often don’t know how to cope with.Various studies, in addition to the World Health Organization, recommend the practice of yoga and ensure that this is always a good time to practice it, even through digital platforms.
This was also confirmed by Althea Lawton Thompson, who enjoys sharing her knowledge with Costa Ricans.Althea, is an international retreat host, holistic healing and reiki guide, and certified yoga, meditation and exercise teacher.At The Costa Rica News, we continue to interview Tico and non-Tico people who leave contributions in one way or another in the Central American country.
Here is the interview our team conducted with her:
Have any life experiences led you to the practice of yoga, meditation, holistic medicine and Reiki?
I have experienced difficult losses and challenges that both yoga and meditation have helped me overcome. I have been married for 26 years and have raised two grown men with patience and love due to my mind-body practices.
Living the yoga lifestyle has helped me through the loss of my sister and the closure of my practice studio after her death. I live by the principles of yoga and meditation every day in all aspects of my life.
My sister was in the hospital in 2010 for chemotherapy for many months. She was my partner in our yoga studio, and when she got sick, I took care of her classes and her work. I kept our houses and our children, while my husband worked in another city. Many things were happening and I had a lot of stress, in that year, I went to a private retreat, and afterwards, everything was easier to manage.
In 2011, I led my first retreat because I needed it and I knew others needed it too. The retreat was near my home and studio in the mountains of Georgia in the United States.
I have now done 25 retreats in 8 different countries like Costa Rica, Bali, and South Africa; the focus of the retreats is relaxation, wellness, and fun… everything I needed when I started.
Why did you focus on these practices and not others?
When I was a little girl, my mom and dad were competitive athletes. They ate very healthy, they grew healing plants and herbs for us. My brother and I grew up in a house full of healthy foods and practices, as well as exercises; my brother and I were athletes during our school years. When I started my company in 1996, I included a variety of practices and exercises. Thanks to them, I was guided in connecting physically and spiritually, in leading a conscious life, in health, with yoga and meditation.
According to your point of view, what does yoga and meditation mean, as a practice and a way of life?
For me, I think that people think that yoga is just exercises and asanas on the mat, it is actually much more than asana practices and meditation is more than just 15 minutes in silence.
Yoga, along with meditation, represent the stillness of the mind and body, they are the union of our body, mind, and spirit with nature and God. Yoga is how we breathe, how we eat, how we sleep, and how we relate to our family, friends, and colleagues; yoga and meditation represent complete well-being.
It is wrong that I do not focus on other types of exercises. It is very important to me that my clients and students experience exercises in nature. For example, hiking in nature, climbing mountains, and swimming -especially in the sea-, because I believe that the sea is healing for our bodies.
In the 90s, there were no established academies like there are now, and meditation was not separate from yoga. Instead, people who wanted to learn yoga went to different places or countries to learn from a teacher for a period of time.
I studied with Molly Fox in New York in 1997, and later received my certification from an organization called AAAI in Virginia, USA. A few years later, I traveled to different countries to study with shamans and healers in various types of meditation.
What do you think of Costa Rica, its landscapes, its people, everything? Would you move to this country?
I have been organizing the retreats in Costa Rica since 2018 in Belin, Montezuma and in the Osa Peninsula, I usually lead 2 retreats each year except during the COVID year.
This is a very interesting question, because I have been considering moving to Costa Rica in the past. I love everything about Costa Rica the people, the landscapes, the food, and the fact that it is a very eco-friendly place. Many of my friends have moved to this country.
When I visited the Osa Peninsula near Corcovado Park for the first time, I felt like I was on the set of the Avatar movie. I stayed in a retreat center called Luna Lodge right next to the park, there were various types of wonderful birds everywhere and the scenery in the forest mountains was incredible.
Some place in Costa Rica that you have visited and that you will be delighted with, tell us about your experience?
For Althea, today nothing is impossible and even more so when it comes to giving love to our lives, to our bodies day by day, she said goodbye, for now, to the interview with a message: “Life has taught me that we need each other, that We must live our lives without limits and with much gratitude each day.