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Krystal Thompson of The Luscious Life helps people struggling with their relationship with their body and their relationship with food. Working as a Yoga Therapist over the past 9 years, she has been dedicated to educating, empowering and assisting individuals so that they can take an active role in their healing and wellness.
Lately her practice has been focused on Body Liberation and working with people to define what health, wellness and freedom in their body means for them. Her work is grounded in Narrative Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating, Anti-Diet, and Body Liberation. Her work is weight-inclusive, trauma-informed, compassion-centred, and community building.
Krystal also operates Osum Artist Management, which provides career development, marketing and administrative support for emerging and mid-career artists, especially QTBIPoC and northern Canadian artists, so that they can be liberated to put more life changing art out into the world.
Tell me about you! What’s your name? What pronouns do you use? Where do you live? What do you like to eat for breakfast?
Krystal Thompson. Pronouns: she/her. I am a queer, woman and settler of Macedonian and Irish descent. I lived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Treaty 8 Territory, for 15 years and I have worked all across Canada’s North. Right now, I am so grateful to make a home and living on Robertson-Huron Treaty territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabewaki. Chi Miigwetch to all the caretakers of this land in the past, present and future, both documented and undocumented.
My dream breakfast would be gf, egg free cinnamon buns (because I am allergic to eggs and gluten), tofu scramble with hot sauce, bacon, potatoes, fruit salad with raw ginger and the largest full fat latte! MMMMmmmm!
What is your business, and how does it make a difference in the world?
Both of my businesses are about healing and helping. As a Professional Yoga Therapist and Intuitive Eating Counsellor to be, I work to alleviate people’s suffering in their body and in relation to their body and food. Eating disorders and body shame are things I have struggled with and I want to help others to find a way through this pain to greater freedom. It also means I work as an activist to fight against all forms of oppression, since this is the source of body shame and other forms of violence against our bodies.
“Eating disorders and body shame are things I have struggled with and I want to help others to find a way through this pain to greater freedom. It also means I work as an activist to fight against all forms of oppression, since this is the source of body shame and other forms of violence against our bodies.”
With my artist management business, I see a way to support artists, especially marginalized artists, to take up more space and have their thoughts heard. The name Osum Artist Management, comes from the Macedonian word for eight, referring to the eight limbs of the octopus – a creature with the power to blend into the background and work behind the scenes. With osum a seek to use my business and marketing skills to help amplify the important voices in the arts.
Why is what you do important? How does it change the way people see or how they feel about their bodies?
We are all inherently worthy and from the minute we are born it feels like this world works to destroy this feeling within us. I believe that if more of us/all humans were free to live their truth and feel good about themselves that our world would be a safer, more just place. I want people to feel liberated to be their authentic self. With my yoga therapy practice, people report that they are in less physical pain, that their stress lowers and that they sleep better, but I think one of the most important benefits is that people are deepening their connection to their body’s intuition and wisdom.
What’s your most popular item/service, or the one you most enjoy doing/making?
Ever since I first practiced yoga nidra in 2009 I have been in love with the practice. It has helped my insomnia, it helped me get through working a 9-5 that I wasn’t in love with and it has helped me heal from car accidents. Yoga Nidra or “yogic sleep” is a form of deep relaxation that takes the mind into a state hovering between being awake and being asleep.I have created personalized yoga nidras for grief, fertility, ADHD, healing from surgery and bedtime yoga nidras for children amongst others. What I love about yoga nidra is how accessible the practice is. If you are able to listen to my voice you can practice it, which doesn’t make it accessible for everyone, but for most people it is accessible. Find out more about my personalized yoga nidras here: http://www.thelusciouslife.ca/yoganidra.
How does body positivity or fat positivity make your business different from others in your field? What has your experience been like?
As a yoga therapist, body positivity and fat positivity have made my classes and services more accessible to everyone. I have heard from participants that they feel more comfortable coming to my classes because I myself am fat and because they know that I will empower them to be able to participate fully, while also giving them the freedom to choose how to participate best for their bodies.
“We are all inherently worthy and from the minute we are born it feels like this world works to destroy this feeling within us. I believe that if more of us/all humans were free to live their truth and feel good about themselves that our world would be a safer, more just place.”
Can you share an instance where you made a real difference for a customer, or had some really great feedback from them about your body-positive work?
From one of the participants in my Luscious Life Program (http://www.thelusciouslife.ca/programs): “Krystal is an awesome human, yoga therapist, body positive ambassador and entrepreneur! I participated in the first Luscious Life Program, which was a wonderful experience of body love yoga and community. This allowed me to discover that practicing yoga at home can be just as fulfilling and even more relaxing than in another setting.
I had never spent time meditating as it seemed a bit scary but the meditations were some of my favourite parts of the program. Through the self-care cards, I took the time to create roadmaps through my own self-knowledge for how to care for myself in times in different situations and I now take time to do activities I enjoy, such as listening to audiobooks, going for walks, colouring and taking baths. I really enjoyed our group chats in the Facebook group and on Google Hangouts and so grateful Krystal took the time to set these up as they added a lot to the program. Learning about body love and body positivity was eye-opening.
When I look in the mirror, swarms of negative and positive thoughts still arise, but I now know which ones to believe. Thank you to Krystal and to the other participants for this life-long guidance.”
How did you discover body acceptance or body positivity personally? What kind of difference has it made for you?
The first person to introduce the concept to me was a friend Simone Goudreau. Together we went to Jess Baker’s Body Love Conference in 2014 and from there everything body positive exploded in my mind.
For me it has liberated me from feeling of doubt and shame and that then allowed me to go after my dreams. I don’t think I would have two successful businesses without body positivity and fat positivity. It also, and I think this might be the greatest benefit, helped to deepen my own social justice practice and opened my eyes further to the intersections of injustice.
What advice do you have for other people who are learning to love and accept their bodies?
Start with baby steps. And if you are starting from a place of body loathing, maybe start to work with the idea of body neutrality, rather than body love or body positivity, first.
“Listen to marginalized people and pay attention to the barriers they experience in being able to access your work and how your work impacts them.”
What advice do you have for other business owners who’d like to incorporate body acceptance into their work?
My advice would be to listen. Listen to marginalized people and pay attention to the barriers they experience in being able to access your work and how your work impacts them. Make your body acceptance work intersectional.
For example, Be Nourished has awesome trainings for bringing Body Trust work into your practice, but there is also Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy Workbook and the Centre of Excellence for Transgender Health’s Trans 101: Transgender People in Everyday Work and Life, which are also import teachings for body acceptance and liberation for all bodies.