Joan Bodislovsky makes yoga accessible through her writing and teaching. She explains something about the importance of it during this interview.
Why do people need to do yoga in the world today?
To bring us back to our centre.
Where do you start, depending upon your health and age?
Any time. I start every day new. Whatever my health or age.
How has yoga benefited you in your life?
It increases my awareness daily and inspires me to be better in every aspect of life.
Not in a judgemental way, in a way that uncovers the radiance that lies within.... and it is there within each of us.
How do you get a person to take up yoga?
You don't. You simply demonstrate through your own life. Each person has their own path and dharma.
How did you come to write the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yoga?
I did not pursue writing this book. The editors for the book found me and called me on the phone. I had self-published numerous small yoga books and audio tapes (CD's were not invented yet) and were selling them on the internet.
My intentions with these books and tapes were purely to simplify yoga philosophy and to create an understanding for students that was easy and accessible.
I was following my dharma.
When Simon & Schuster contacted me, I was as shocked as anyone.
I was also shocked by the title and told them they would have to change it because yoga is about non-violence and "Idiot" would not be a right word to use with "Yoga".
They told me they could not change it and that I was not the only possible author they were interviewing.
I told them that if they wanted to work with me, the title would have to be changed. When first speaking with them, I had no prior knowledge of the series and its popularity.
When I told a friend about the call, she immediately took me to the bookstore and showed me how popular the "Complete Idiot's Guide" series was.
I then changed my tune.
I then wanted to do the book, knowing it could have an impact on so many people.
Why did you work with another author?
They put me with another writer because my writing experience for such a large book was limited. I was hired as the expert author and she was hired as a writer.
It was a complete joy working with Eve Adamson.
The editors wanted me to write the book in the first person, using the word "I" and I insisted that it be written as "We", even though Eve had limited experience with yoga at the time.
I felt yoga was about inclusion not exclusion, and Eve was definitely an equal partner in the writing of the book.
Is it a mixture of experience and written 'history'?
Yes, certainly a mixture. Numerous sources all in bibliography at the back of the book. And, extensive experience.
I was the model for all the poses in the book too. Unfortunately, the latest 4th edition was changed to all drawings to bring cost expenses down.
I was 40 at the time of the first edition pics 12 years ago. The latest edition came out when I was 50 and pregnant, so perhaps a pregnant lady doing some of the difficult poses might not be teaching the right approach to the study and especially to the discussion of Brahmacharya
However, another view would be - that is exactly what the approach should be. I will not be 50 and pregnant again
Do you think that yoga practice, is growing in the West?
Yes, though I sometimes wonder how it could grow any more. It has boomed since 1998, in fact, when our book came out we were on the tidle wave of the boom. I can pinpoint the time yoga took off in popularity in the states.... 1998!
What keeps you doing it?
Watching my two year old do triangle pose...often at unexpected times - especially when he reminds me when I am feeling out of sorts.
He simply goes into a yoga pose and reminds me of my roots. His purity is breathtaking.
Do you practice every day?
Joan Bodislovsky grew up and now lives in Chicago, USA.
Amazon: Complete Idiots Guide to Yoga