This book is definitely one that some need to experience. It is harsh, sometimes with raw, graphic imagery and brutally honest. She is clearly an incredible woman who has been through a great deal of hardship in her life, and her story alone kept me reading through some of the more ‘eccentric'(to put it mildly) parts.
She tells stories of her childhood, her time on indian reservations, her experiences with abuse, chemical dependency, disordered eating, and the like. She also provides many “Yoga Rxs.” There are sequences and meditations for dealing with fear, change, and almost all major themes of the book. My favorite parts were her meditations. She describes the “Death Meditation” that she uses in her teacher trainings and also her “Recapitulation Meditation” for making healthy new space in your life. She describes a different type of pranayama method for breathing into each chakra, which I found interesting.
I love that her story demonstrates the true power of transformation that yoga has. It may not be convenient to some that a prevalent leader in the yoga world has gone through what she has and had the audacity to share it on such a large scale. You may struggle through the parts where she talks to deer or magically sews up the ozone layer. Whether you agree or not, she is an honest and unmerciful force of nature that doesn’t care either way. For this reason, all I can leave you with is an overview of some of my favorite quotes from the book and a request to keep your mind open and honor her story.
“I was doing what the Native Americans called seeing in beauty. Beauty is fires and floods and scorching sun and the patterns on a rattlesnakes skin. To feel real beauty on this earth, the struggles as well as the lovely surfaces and depths, is the most amazing thing.”(on stalking your fears)
“When you know what you’re here for, you’re not going to waste your life on petty things.”(on finding your spirit)
“Dragging yourself through death will leave you cleansed from the parasitic and dulling behaviors and energies that keep you from living your brilliant, authentic self.” (on her Death Meditation)
“Meditation is sitting on a bench watching cars go by. If a red car does by, you don’t have to jump up and chase it. Thoughts will come up but you don’t have to chase them. Don’t go to war with your brain’s honorable attempt to do it’s job.”