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!