We had the good fortune of connecting with Elisha Thompson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elisha, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I was younger, taking risks was not something that I did very often. I lacked faith in myself and did not believe I was capable of taking a risk and succeeding. It was a scary proposition for me. Now, I see risk as a chance to grow and learn more about myself. The only thing constant in life is change. So, for me, risk is about making a change that could result in a positive experience. Writing Yoga for Kink was a huge risk for me. It meant becoming even more open about my involvement in the BDSM lifestyle and risking being rejected by many. It is a risk that I’m very happy I took as it has resulted in many positive experiences.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Yoga for Kink is an instructional yoga book. It teaches one how to use yoga to help prepare the body for bondage. There are no other books on the market like Yoga for Kink. I first got the idea when I went to a BDSM conference and saw people stretching and doing yoga like poses before getting tied up. In that moment, it occurred to me that a book that focused on using yoga to help safely prepare the body for bondage could be incredibly useful for many people. The book is broken into three sections: upper body bondage, lower body bondage, and full body bondage. Within each section there are photos of different bondage positions. Following that, are a list of yoga poses with instructions on how to get into the pose. There are also photos of the pose as well as any modifications of that pose. It took a little over three years for Yoga for Kink to go from an idea to a completed book. I’m excited to see it all come together. The first set of photos we did were not print quality. The backdrop ended up looking wrinkled in the photos and it wasn’t something that could be fixed. It took some time for us to find a new place to do all of the photos. In fact, I was ready to give up at one point because I didn’t think we would find a place. Then, out of the blue, the owner of Yoga Nirvana Studio in Tempe offered to allow me to use his space. We finished re-taking all of the photos just as the pandemic hit.
One thing that has remained really important to me with Yoga for Kink is that I want to relay the message that yoga is for every body. Meaning, no matter how short, tall, flexible, inflexible, thin, or thick you are, you can do yoga. Likewise, bondage is for every body. Modifications may have to be made to make a particular pose accessible to a particular body, but that doesn’t make it any less of a pose.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite places to eat in Tempe is House of Tricks. It is unique in both the type of foods they serve but also in ambiance. It is an old house that was turned into a restaurant. The outdoor space is beautifully landscaped. There are even resident cats that will hang out next to you while you dine. I would also make sure that we ate at Rula Bula. It is located on Mill Ave in Tempe and has a wonderful patio! The food is good and unique and the ambiance is fantastic. Another Tempe favorite is Nektar which is a cold-pressed juice bar. They have a variety of juices that I enjoy. My favorite is the Turmeric Sunrise. Tempe also has quite a few great places to get outdoors. I love walking around the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens. Papago Park is also located in Tempe where there are a number of great hiking spots. Lastly, after all that hiking, I would take us to Yoga Nirvana Studio in Tempe for an amazing yoga class. The owner, Jim Keegan, is a fantastic teacher and the studio has a wonderful homey vibe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My partner in life Chris definitely deserves a shoutout. He has always believed in me when I had no faith in myself. I love him beyond measure. I thank him for never allowing me to give up on myself. Because of him, this book actually became a real thing. I also would like to give a shoutout to my husband John, He has always been there for me, even when I didn’t deserve it. His love and faith in me has allowed me to become the person I wanted and needed to be. I thank for always being by my side. I’ll love him forever.
Randal T Cox