The first time I heard about Instagram was when my teenage daughter, Rachel, and her friend were taking “selfies” two years ago. I didn’t get it. I had just started to get the hang of Facebook, and wasn’t so sure I liked it: what hurtful things could be said in the midst of so much anonymity? But the more time I spent with Facebook, the more I saw its benefits: I reconnected with friends that I’d lost touch with; I became inspired by poems and teachings friends had posted; I liked hearing what people were thinking about; I liked “liking” people, and being “liked.”
Social media is something like yoga. Yoga has given me a larger family, my yoga community, a congregation of people willing to work to find the connectivity that’s sometimes hidden. Yoga brings to the surface what we need to feel and know. The late B.K.S. Iyengar, perhaps the most influential yoga teacher of our age, said that you can only be as intimate with others as you are with yourself. Alone and in community we use yoga to get to our essence. Yoga peels away layer after layer to uncover what has been there all along. It’s like the Bob Dylan lyric: “How long, babe, will you search for what’s not there?”
I’ve just written a book, Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom, which will be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster on June 2. I wrote it because I felt that I had something to say that would help people: I found yoga halfway through my life, and it’s become a tool that has helped me with nearly every challenge I encounter. It’s helped me see where I made mistakes in my life, and why. My friends and students have always been interested in my life stories—growing up in the Midwest, becoming a heroin user, a fashion model, a mother, and then a yogi. It’s the story of my life, in all its glory and occasional shame, both on and off the mat. Each chapter’s theme (Addiction, Trauma, Forgiveness, Confidence, Fear, and Love, among others) is accompanied by a related yoga sequence I’ve created related to the theme. My book will show you how yoga’s benefits extend from health and fitness, to better relationships, self-acceptance, the ability to speak the truth, and ultimately, inner peace.
So now what? Now it’s time to get the word out about the book. How do we reach one another in this world today? In addition to Facebook, I’ve become an enthusiastic convert to Instagram and Twitter. I would be honored if you would connect with me on any or all of these platforms and help spread news about the book (you’ll be hearing more about it, and my story in the weeks to come). And here’s the fun part: If you sign on to follow me, you’ll be entered in our fantabulous contest to win a personally signed (to you) copy of Yoga for Life, and/or a top-of-the-line yoga mat from one of my great partners in yoga, Gaiam.
In advance, I want to thank you for joining me on this journey. Let’s keep connecting, through yoga—and beyond the mat!
Namaste and love,