I am writing a new book, and a couple of days ago when I was out walking, I declared that I was going to end up talking to Oprah about the subject of the book! A girl’s got to have a dream, eh? I got the inspiration for the book last week, in a moment that could well come out of the pages of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert! I was on my way to bed, pondering the idea that writing needed to be a bigger part of my life, and my business, when this idea appeared in my brain with such force that I almost had to catch it before it disappeared. I wrote down as much as I could and then went to sleep, amazed that out of nowhere, a book had appeared, one which excited me very much! The next day I got my ideas clearer, and started work on a proposal. The book is currently called ‘Follow the Path; Personal Growth and wellbeing through Yoga and Walking‘ and so far, I have written just over 7000 words. The book is inspired by my own experience of recovery from grief through walking, and addiction through yoga, and the ways that both can affect how we experience ourselves, other people and the world around us.This is the introduction to ‘Follow the Path, Personal Growth and Wellbeing Through Yoga and Walking’. Below I share with you my introduction. I am looking for people who will be able to support my venture by supporting my campaign with preorder and/or help with promotion. If you like what you read below, and would like to support my efforts to get this book out to a wider audience, please complete this form to let me know how you can help Thank you, Esther
If, ten years ago, you had told me that I would be sitting down on the May Bank Holiday to begin writing a book about the wonders and power of yoga and long walks, and would be crediting them with my very survival into my 40’s, I would have thought you mad. I would have also probably been quite disappointed that I wasn’t going to be writing a book on my life as a rock star wife.
The “Me” that I was 10 years ago was a very different being to the “Me” that I am today. For one thing, I am sitting here, sober, writing this book today, on a bank holiday, rather than in the pub or nursing the effects of the weekend’s epic booze-athon! The glass at my side contains sage and lemon tea, and I have spent the day walking, writing and practising yoga.
This change is thanks, in no small part, to the role that walking and yoga have played in my life. In fact, I don’t think it is any exaggeration to say that between them, yoga and walking are the reason I am still alive with any semblance of good mental health.
You may be raising a sceptical eyebrow at this point, but I am certain that this is the case. They literally saved my life on separate occasions, and continue to do so to this day.
Yoga is, for all its popularity, much misunderstood, and greatly underestimated in the West. It is seen as an exercise class, meditation, or, as I was once memorably told, ‘not really doing very much’. The recent surge in ‘Mindfulness’ has led people to think that they can ‘do Yoga’, and they can ‘do mindfulness’, but they are two separate activities. This is a great shame, and it means that we in the west are missing out of some great treasures that could bring us, as individuals and as a society, great happiness, contentment and inner peace.
Yoga offers so much more than the exercise class at the local studio or sport centre. It is a roadmap to a whole, holistic, meaningful life. It can guide us to healthier relationships with ourself, the people around us, the society at large and, crucially, with the whole world around us. Yoga is not just about the body, although it recognises that it is important that we have a healthy body. Yoga’s true goal is liberation of the soul, to connect us to the Divine, to our True Self. Along the journey, yoga can bring us contentment, acceptance, peace of mind, positive outlook and much more.
Through the pages of this book I will be looking in depth at what treasures are available to us when we incorporate Yoga not just into our exercise routine but into what we think, what we say, how we behave, how we speak to ourselves and others, how we treat others and the world we live in.
Yoga is a truly holistic practice of mind, body and spirit, and regular practice and assimilation into daily life will lead to balance in these aspects of our being. It can lead to huge life changes, or simple ones, but one thing that is true, once you take yoga into your life, you will see change.
As an enthusiast of long mountain walks in the last decade, I would say that walking too, when practiced mindfully and with a sense of reverence for the world we are walking in, is also a holistic practice that can touch mind, body and spirit. Much research has been carried out into the mental and physical benefits of walking in nature, and it is known that regularly spending time in nature affects us on a spiritual level as well.
When walking in nature, taking deep breaths filled with the oxygen produced by the trees around you, gazing in awe and wonder at beautiful views, it is easy to feel connected to nature in ways that we tend to forget when we are in our concrete jungle. We might live differently in the world if we all spent more time breathing deeply surrounded by the lifeforms that are giving us the lifegiving air we need.
We are not separate from nature, we are part of it, and it is part of us. We have evolved from animals, and we are still animals, albeit civilised beasts. We depend on the natural world for our survival, but it seems that often we regard it as a set of resources for us to use, rather than something that we are part of and can impact for better or worse.
In the first couple of chapters of the book, I am going to look at how walking and Yoga both came into my life, and how they shaped not only my physical but also my mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as giving me a future and a purpose in life. The rest of the book will look at Yogic philosophy in depth, introducing you to the Yoga Sutras, the ideas underpinning Yoga, and looking at how we can adopt this beautiful philosophy into 21st century life.
It is hard to spend a lot of time walking in nature without developing a real concern for the natural world, and what we, as humans, are doing to it. In addition to looking at how we can grow as individuals, I will also look at the role we play in the health of the wider environment that we are all part of.
While this book will not be a diatribe on the impact of humanity on the natural world, we must take responsibility for the part we are playing in the degradation of the health of the planet. In these pages, I aim to show how adopting yogic philosophy to our relationship with nature will benefit us as well as the rest of life on earth.
As you read this book, try to reflect on how you can, and already are, incorporating the principles of Yoga into your life. Consider the likely impact of taking one or two steps down the Yoga path, what would it do to your physical health, your mental wellbeing, your home, family, relationships, sense of joy, positivity, sleep, energy levels, self esteem to name but a few. Yoga is a generous teacher, and rewards all efforts, so any attempt you make to incorporate even one thing into your life will bring rewards.
I have written this book with love and joy, in the hope that I can share the joy I have found in life through yoga and walking. Both give space and time for reflection and inspiration, and this book is a direct result of that reflection and inspiration, and it is my sincere hope that it leaves you feeling uplifted and inspired to go for a walk and Be More Yoga!
I am trying to build a ‘Book Promo Posse’ who will be able to help me promote the book, preorder copies from me and generally be my cheerleaders. You wonderful people will be the first to be able to see the full campaign, and access some early bird preorder bundle bargains! Please complete the form below if you would be willing to offer some support, and please share this post with your networks, the more people that this book will be able to reach, the more it can help, and I know that there are people out there who need this! If you would be able to support in some way, please give me oyour details in this form so that I can let you know when the early bird, supporter only bonuses are availableComplete the form here