Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yoga Noobs; 27 Things to Know About Yoga Blog Tour + Book Giveaway!

Although yoga has been a part of my life for about 5-6 years now, I still feel like a yoga-noob all the time. I very much feel like my practice is growing and still so young and wide-eyed.

Which is why I was quite interested in the recent email I received from Victoria Klein regarding her book- "27 Things to Know About Yoga". Kinda like a primer for yoga, her book is a great starter giving the essentials without the fluff or hippie intimidation (yep, I think hippies can be intimidating... lol).

I was especially interested in her focus on environmental living. As a writer, photographer and eco-consultant she's interested in knitting, sewing, reading and of course, practicing yoga. I'm very pleased that she was willing to answer a few questions, not all of which are yoga-centric. 

Even better, Victoria sent me a reading copy of her book "27 Things to Know About Yoga", which I enjoyed. As I think this book would give a nice lift for those other yoga-noobs out there I'd really like to share the book-love... which means Book Giveaway!! After the fabulous interview, please read instructions on how to win a copy of "27 Things to Know About Yoga" by Victoria Klein!!
 Atreyu inspecting the book. No worries, it's safe from kitten mayhem :)

1. Writing a book about yoga is a pretty big deal. How did you and yoga "meet"? Was it love at first sight, or was there a progression with some bumps along the way?
I met yoga nearly 10 years ago & loved it after my first class. Since then, my practice has had some bumps, including finding the right teachers, relocating to new cities, and simply maintaining my commitment to practice regularly at home. No matter where my life has taken me, I always end up coming back to yoga. Yoga is what you make of it – it does not judge or grade you – it just is what it is. As humans, we assign meaning to things & yoga means the world to me.

  2. With the recent drama regarding Yoga's image in advertising what are your thoughts on the "business" and image of yoga? As a fashion model and photographer does this shift your perspective?
The whole “drama” was a long time coming. Yoga is at a very transformative point in its awareness in Western culture. Yoga is still very much a physical & spiritual practice, but it also has a business side to it. You can’t have an effective yoga studio if you don’t manage the business correctly; the same goes for brands that focus on selling to yoga practitioners.

As someone who is personally & professionally interested in visual arts, especially photography (both in front of & behind the camera), I think I do have a different perspective on yoga’s business and image. Should we use sex or sexy-ness to sell yoga or yoga products? No. Should we use sex to sell anything? No – but we do anyway, because it works. Advertising is another business altogether & I don’t claim to know it well.

I’m not against using sexy concepts to get folks interested in yoga. I personally believe that once folks actually try yoga, whether their reasons are sex-related or not, they will grow to love yoga for other reasons – the practice has an unwavering ability to constantly surprise people. In actuality, yoga has little to do with sex at all, and that needs to be reinforced in classes, but advertisers are advertisers & removing the “sex sells” mantra will be a long uphill battle.

3. Although 27 Things to Know About Yoga is obviously about yoga, you have many other passions in your life including a pretty intense focus on environmentally friendly living. How do you see Yoga meshing with eco-friendly living? 
Yoga meshes seamlessly with living a sustainable life. As I highlight in 27 Things to Know About Yoga, the spiritual side of yoga includes commandment-esque values like non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, and non-possessiveness. All of these values can be related to our treatment of ourselves, each other, animals, natural resources, and our overall environment.

I often use practicing yoga & food as an example. As you practice yoga, your diet naturally changes – you want to keep your body healthy and strong, so you start to gravitate towards fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed and packaged foods. The same can be said for practicing yoga & living sustainably.

There is both a wonderful organization & book (not related) on the subject. California-based Green Yoga Association helps yoga studios run their operations more sustainably, get their students interested in green living, and be an active part of their community. Canada’s Georg & Brenda Feuerstein wrote Green Yoga, a frank connection between environmental preservation and the ethical concepts of yoga.

4. I've read that you're married (and had an "eco-wedding blog" but I can't find it anymore... :(- I'm getting married in October and it would have been a fun read). Does your husband share your eco and yoga views? Do you practice together and if so, did you introduce him to yoga? If not, has it been difficult to mesh eco-living with someone of a different perspective?
Yes and no. He is an eco-yogi, but not nearly as committed as I am. I was the one who introduced him to yoga & we have taken a few classes together, but he doesn’t maintain a regular practice. Whenever he is sore from a workout or military event, the first thing I do is recommend a few yoga poses. Though he has only taken a few classes, he vividly remembers how great they made him feel, so he usually takes my advice. When it comes to living sustainably, we do see eye-to-eye on just about everything, though sometimes I do have to remind him of our environmental impacts. 

5. Why did you write the book, 27 Things to Know About Yoga? 
To dispel the ever-present myths about yoga. From coffee shops and airports to restaurants and local streets, I meet folks that think yoga is nothing but funny-looking poses for flexible people. It’s these myths that are keeping millions of people from experiencing the fantastic possibilities of a yoga practice. I wanted to write a book that could explain yoga to anyone.

6. If you only had one "Thing" you could tell someone about Yoga, what would it be?
You can do yoga – yes, you, behind that computer, smart phone or iPad. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Wow! Thank you very much Victoria for answering so thoughtfully.

Now for the extra fun bit- Win the book!

How: In the comment section tell me how you are a "yoga-noob". I'll need some way to identify you, so a name at least would be ideal. :) You have until this Sunday, September 12th to enter. I'll put all the names in a hat and announce the winner!

Good luck!


  1. 14+ years of yoga under my belt, but I still feel liqke a 'yoga noob' when a pose I don't like comes up - I lay on the mat and stare forlornly at the ceiling, study my fingernails, do anything to put it off.

  2. Lisa, thank you so much for being a part of my Blog Book Tour, especially since you are in the midst of wedding planning!

  3. With friends and family into yoga since the 1970's, I really have no excuse not to do yoga - but in managing 2 organic companies, 1 husband, 2 kids, and various animal friends around, my time is splintered like firewood.

    That said, it is yoga that keeps me sane among the chaos. My yoga-noob-ness is that I really only do basics - starting my day with 10-15 sun salutations and ending my day with meditation and some balance poses. Not only does this little bit keep me in excellent shape, but I have also had some incredible spiritual experiences like no other. And really, anyone can find 20 minutes for these - for a lifetime of difference.

    Victoria, always love your work - can't wait to get my hands on this book!

    All Best,
    Nico Morrison

  4. I started practicing yoga in high school and have around 10 years of experience BUT when it comes to accepting my limits, I'm a total "yoga noob." Example: I'm a runner and wear high heels almost every day, so I have hamstrings of steel. Rather than accept that and move on, I beat myself up almost everyday about how I can't do a forward fold without bending my knees.

  5. Are we not all new to yoga in some way? Is that not the point? Each time I practice, I try to find the newness in the pose. I have been most inspired by this quote this week: "Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are." -- Jason Crandell. Curiosity is the essence of beginning and newness. Thus, after years of doing yoga, becoming a teacher, and looking inside in various ways, I wake up each day with the possibility that everything will start anew. Thanks for this lovely post!

  6. I'm a yoga noob because every day I learn something new. EVERY day.

    Great interview!

  7. Funny - I've been doing yoga for 10 years, but just this morning I was thinking how I love when I find something totally new to try.

    I just keep finding new poses lately that I've never tried and when I try them I sometimes have to add them to my 5 year plan. That makes me feel like a yoga noob all over again.

  8. I'm a yoga noob because there are SO many styles out there I have yet to try! I've been in my moksha bubble for a while and finally starting to get out there and try new classes- often resulting in my looking at the instructor with my jaw dropped in awe.

  9. I started doing yoga this year. First it was once a month, and then two months ago I found a studio that I really like. On September 1st, I bought a monthly pass! I've been reading yoga magazine for years...been meditating for 15 years but never seemed to make it to a physical, I'm excited to be finally starting one. :)

  10. I'm a yoga noob because I don't think I'll ever learn all the Sanskrit names...

  11. I've been practicing yoga for about six months now, and I feel most like a noob during the meditation part of class. I always either find my mind wandering all over the place.

    dianalynnsmiles *at* gmail *dot* com

  12. Nico - thank you so much! I can easily say the exact same thing about your work :)

    It is so great to see lots of yoga noobs around here :D

  13. I enjoy reading your blog! I have recently started a yoga blog as well, check it out!

  14. I'm learning every day, different aspects of yoga, from teaching adults to kiddos, from when I was pregnant and taking classes myself too! This sounds like a nuts and bolts type of to win it!


    yogawithgaileee at gmail dottith com

  15. oh lol, yoga-noob! Too funny! It is me that you are talking about! The only time I need to itch or blink or adjust my clothes is during corpse pose. I'm stuck in cross legged pose more often than not, and my downward dog is well...completely abysmal! I'm about 8 months in...I tell you, I freakin love yoga. Totally life transforming! I'm thinkin of the teacher training...there are some very good "schools" out here in BC...we shall the meantime, I am trying to reap the benefits of such a wondrous activity!

    ps...i ADORE your blog!

    ~dawn xo

  16. Yoga for me is full of small revelations. Everytime something "clicks", I feel like a yoga noob for not having got it before!

  17. Hello! I just found your blog from a link on another blog. I think I'm pretty much a complete noob! A couple of months ago I did a 6 week beginners course on yoga for depression and anxiety and have been doing it at home since. A few days ago I decided that I wanted to get more out of yoga, and am looking for a regular class to attend so I can learn more about the poses and the philosophy behind yoga.

  18. Despite trying several types of yoga with varying levels of commitment over the years I've never been able to follow a consistent practice for long. So I feel like each time I go I'm only beginning to delve into the benefits and pleasures of yoga. Not being able to stay in downward dog for longer than 20 seconds also helps confirm that I'm a total noob! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful book!

  19. I love the word noob!
    I've practiced yoga since I was a teen but with big lapses between yoga spurts. Each time I start up again I feel like a "noob"
    Noobie doobie do.


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