Next month, Ixia Press is releasing my new book, 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat: A Year in Hot Yoga.
Here is an interview I did on their website to talk about my yoga journey, the publishing process and of course, sweat angel competitions.
DP: I see a commonality in your TEDx talk and your book: you provide an insight or meditation and then ask the audience a related question. Reminds me of a teacher. Do you see yourself as an educator?
SG: I have never seen myself as a teacher or educator, although my work often teaches and educates people. Mentor for sure. But not teacher. Mentors model, mirror and motion. That’s my jam. My purpose is to be an example. It’s much more organic and less labor intensive than world domination. Plus I have terrible handwriting, so teaching is definitely out.
DP: How long have you been practicing yoga? Why/how did you start?
SG: For about 10 years now. Started as part of a comprehensive stress management program after suffering multiple anxiety related illnesses when I was 25–27, including a collapsed lung.
DP: Why hot yoga?
SG: I sweat more than any person alive, and finally, I now have a place where I don’t have to be ashamed of it. Actually quite proud. My friends and I have “sweat angel” competitions at the end of class to see whose puddle is bigger. The heat also is highly healing and humbling.
DP: Why yoga? Why not spinning or running?
SG: Spinning is awesome. Running is great too, but I hurt my knees over the years and can’t handle the impact anymore. Yoga, for me, is more communal, more spiritual, and requires me to do less laundry.
DP: What advice would you give people who think they are too fat/old/whatever to start a yoga practice?
SG: I am no longer in the advice business. If people don’t want to do yoga, then they shouldn’t do yoga. Period. There is nothing I can do to change their minds. Go find something you love and enjoy it. The other thing is, welcome to “The Club of Too.” Ten years ago, I was too anxious, too stubborn, to busy, too fidgety, too stressed, too whatever to do yoga. And yet, I found my way into this practice that transformed my life in about 16 different ways.
DP: Your book is very generous and caring. What do you hope that readers will discover about themselves? Others? The world in general?
SG: That we are not alone, that we are all struggling, that life is exhausting and confusing, and it feels really good to sweat out all bullshit that’s coursing through our veins on a regular basis. Maybe it’s through yoga, maybe something else, but it’s all about practice.
DP: It looks like you’ve been publishing your own books. What’s it like to work with a publisher for this project?
SG: Dover/Ixia has been amazing. They have supported and preserved my voice, which is deeply important to me. They will help elevate this book to reach millions of people around the world, and for that I am profoundly grateful. They also took my picture off the cover, which is a relief. If you saw my face, would you want to do yoga?
Read the original article here.
Buy the book here!
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