This is where I've been
I haven’t been writing to you lately or crafting any new blog posts, and I really miss connecting with you in this way.
I wanted you to share with you why I’ve been MIA, as two big aspects of my life's work have been consuming me wholly.
The first is my new baby boy, Tayo Starr Tayo means joy, happiness, and a gift from God; Starr is his grandfather’s middle name and his great-great-grandfather’s first name. Tayo came to us on the morning of August 7, granting us a second opportunity to participate in the miracle of all miracles as this perfect little being slipped from my body into our arms. It really is mind-boggling, the process of conceiving, growing, and birthing a whole new human. Some of you already know of Tayo through my Prasada Jewelry site or Facebook. If you’d like a quick and intimate glimpse of our birthing experience, click here.
The other baby I’ve been birthing is a book! That’s right, I’ve written a whole book! (I have to keep reminding myself it’s true.) I’ve been working on this beast for more than TEN YEARS. Can you imagine? Over the last decade, I would work on it fervently for a couple of months, then set it down for a length of time as something else pulled my attention away.
When I became pregnant with Tayo, my husband, Shaun, lovingly said in so many words, “Babe, it’s time to shit or get off the pot.” He was right. We were stepping into the time when our lives would be busier than ever before, raising two young boys on top of running a jewelry business and a video production company, directing yoga and drumming workshops, working at Kripalu, teaching yoga... the list goes on! I needed to either complete this labor of love or admit that I never would.
The thought of letting the book go wasn’t an option. I had already poured so much of myself into it, and I genuinely care so deeply about sharing its content in this lifetime.
So I buckled down during my pregnancy and focused heavily on writing, rearranging, formatting, and tweaking. As my due date approached, I frantically shuffled chapters back and forth with my amazing editor, Tresca. We kept waiting to see which would come first -- the baby or the book. Thankfully, Tayo gave us 11 extra days to complete some key pieces of the project, so I had only tedious details to wrap up by the time he arrived. Those I finished while I nursed him or while he slept in one arm as I learned to type one-handed, which is exactly how I'm writing to you now!
I am beyond thrilled that this creation is moments (okay, days) away from being printed.
About the book
The book, entitled Pranayama: A Path to Healing and Freedom, is all about yogic breath work. Would you have thought 304 pages could be written on this topic? Truthfully, there could be volumes more. It is the aspect of yoga that has offered me the most powerful personal growth and the most transformational breakthroughs (you can read about one of them in the book's intro). I can honestly say that pranayama, particularly as I've studied it with Yoganand Michael Carroll, has completely changed me and my life. This book is based on his teachings, and includes his reflections.
Yoganand was the director of my yoga teacher training in 2003, and his wisdom captured me from the start. The core philosophy that we share in the book is that yoga is not about being good. It's about being real. It's a process of uncovering the layers of armor we've built around ourselves in order to reclaim the essence and energy of who we really are. The goal is to then live from this truth of who we are, without being controlled by fear, desire, anger, lust or insecurities. It is a path to living a life without regret.
Our philosophical discussion is rooted in ancient hatha yoga texts, which we've worked hard to adapt for contemporary practitioners. We ask what we can learn from the ancients in a way that inspires and enhances our yoga today. We then share step-by-step instructions for practicing classical pranayama techniques. I will let you know when the book is available to purchase on Amazon (or you might hear me scream "Woohooooo!" from wherever you are.) It will be before the holidays for sure.
Meanwhile, you can try the first technique we teach in the book, the Dirgha breath, by clicking here for my free download.
You can also read about Dirgha in my earlier blog posts: The Yoga Tool that will Change Your Life and How a Simple Breath Balances Your Body and Mind.
In coming months, I'll also be releasing a free download to practice the Ujjayi breath, the second breath we teach in the book.
In case you can't tell by now, I am over-the-top passionate about sharing these tools with as many people as possible, through whatever means I can.
Will you join me on the journey?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
With love and gratitude,
Sam and Channie Modica – Stephanie, you have grown up to be such a beautiful young lady and you have your hanmosde prince. We love you immensensely and are so happy for you and Cash. Cash, you take care of our little treasure, Stephanie.
Marianne Burton – Great pictures of the two of you. I liked the one were you are both liokong into the camera and smiling (the shoulder one), however they all are great. Can’t wait until the wedding and more pictures.
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