Monday, July 17, 2006

A Journey Through Yoga

Some months ago I got a phone call out of the blue from an American guy called David Byck who said he needed some editorial help with a book.

Now I'm not the world's most enthusiastic editor (I hasten to add before you all start sending manuscripts my way!) and when I heard that the book was about yoga, a subject I know next to nothing about (apart from some embarassing attempts in classes where everyone else seems to be made of India rubber and me of precast concrete), I wasn't at all sure I was the person for the job.

I tried to pass him on to Starlight, who is both editor and advanced yoga practitioner (and by some strange synchronicity they bumped into each other a few days later and she also ended up helping with the book!) but in the end I agreed to at least read the manuscript and scribble down some notes.

I'm glad I did because I found It's a Long Way to the Floor a very enjoyable and engaging read, which feels like a conversation with a friend. (I had very few changes to suggest.)

Yes, it's about yoga and I don't do yoga ... for much the same reasons David rejected yoga in the beginning. I feel stupid and inadequate trying to bend myself into the easiest positions. David struggled with every pose too. He was in his forties, couldn't even touch his toes when he began and suffering from stress related illness which played havoc with his metabolism. And he was initially sceptical about what yoga could do for him. There were points of identification for sure!

Yet, week by week as he struggled with the classes, he found that not only was his body becoming increasingly flexible, and his health improving, but yoga was changing his whole outlook on life, teaching him patience and humility and increasing his spiritual awareness (to his great surprise since this wasn't a benefit that he had looked for in the first place!).

Anyway, today there was a package waiting for me, and inside a copy of the book, which looks beautiful. There's David's smiling face on the cover (which Starlight had a hand in) and both of us are acknowledged inside, which is great! It isn't a how-to book, so there aren't photos of yoga poses, but I love the creative use of watermarks showing the various positions, behind the text.

The book has an American publisher and was printed in India, and it's available at Amazon.

Much more about it on David's website, and read what Starlight said about the book when she first read it back in March.

I may ... you know I may just ....

... because David has demolished every excuse I'd put in place for not persevering with yoga!

13 comments:

Kari said...

Sounds like a good read. I know nothing about yoga but have always wondered what the fascination with it was...

sympozium said...

On an off-tangent topic: anyone can recommend good book shops (new and used) worth visiting in Penang?
Thanks!

Lydia Teh said...

Sharon, I thought David was still shopping around for a publisher in April/May? It's only July and the book is already in the market? That's incredibly fast! I'm always amazed at how fast other writers get their books published whereas I go the way of the tortoise.

sympozium said...

NEWS: Sharon has Problems Accessing Her Blog Site This Morning
______________________________
Some of us where wondering why there's no blog entry from Sharon this morning. She has asked me to inform visitors to her blogsite that she is experiencing problems accessing this blog page as well as google. So, if you're like me who HAS to start the day reading her entries, be patient, she'll be back online soon!

Ted Mahsun said...

Sympozium: Chowrasta (2nd floor IIRC) for second hand books, and uh, MPH Gurney Plaza for new? Penangites should know better than me. I only go there twice a year.

Ted Mahsun said...

Ooh! So that's why no post. THanks for the headsup!

sympozium said...

Thanks Ted. I'm a Penang-kia but haven't been there for a long while. Glad to hear Chowrasta (is that from a Chinese rastafarian called Mr. Chow? :-)) ) is still going strong. I'll try the backpacker areas of Penang Road as well. There may still be used bookshops there.

Don't really like MPH as a chain though...

Hopefully Sharon will be back online soon. Nothing to read on the net!

sympozium said...

As an American would say, Sharon: Yoga-ta have faith! :-)

starlight said...

David's book is meant for everyone who says, "Yoga? Aiyoh cannot lah, I'm not flexible enough." It's funny, honest and very encouraging. I loved it coz it reminded me how and why yoga became the love of my life!

bibliobibuli said...

i'm back!!!! couldn't summon up this site or any google site at all this morning and have no idea why not when no-one else was having a problem!

thanks for telling everyone, sympozium. btw has anyone ever told you your puns are AWFUL!!!!!!!??? i refuse to laugh ...

ted - thanks for filling in about the bookshops, and sympozium - let us know how you get on in your bookhunt up there ... i miss penang!

kari, starlight - yes, this book is definitely for those who know nothing about yoga ... and also i guess great for those whove already made it their life ...

sympozium said...

Once a pun a time... :-)))

sympozium said...

And George Michael once sang: "Cos yoga-ta have fai-fai-fai-fai-faith!"

And he knows all about getting into difficult positions haha!

bibliobibuli said...

*howls with dismay*