A Magical Moment

A magical moment when YOGA: Fascia, Anatomy & Movement arrived, bound and completed.

My very proud parents arriving shortly after the first copy of the book!

My very proud parents arriving shortly after the first copy of the book!

I will never forget the day in January 2015, when the first copy of my book “YOGA: Fascia, Anatomy and Movement” arrived at my house, from Handspring Publishing Ltd. It was so moving to see the real live bound version of literally years of work, come together as one book.

I burst into tears, it was hard to breathe – there were so many millions of minutes of fear, doubt, frustration, promise, anger, excitement, inspiration, blankness and every other emotion you can think of, all concentrated into that moment of undoing the box and touching the shiny new cover for the first time. Oh my goodness. Wow!

I did not go through (or achieve) it alone either. The acknowledgements in the book were originally cut and then added to, so even they don't tell the story of each person involved in the "partnership" it represented. That is not just the team of publishers, editors, designers and agents and so on. It is the sheer volume of love, assistance and encouragement I received from so many; my family, friends, loved ones and colleagues. THANK YOU.

The honour of the work, was the contribution from each one of the people that helped me, guided me and spent patient hours with me talking through ideas and then listening to version after version as I carved out each chapter. It was said that every chapter was written at least three times - and I suspect that is true. I will pay due homage to everyone that worked alongside me - not least my wonderful family (I nearly drove them all mad) and friends (who ended up bringing food parcels towards the final deadline) and my precious dog. Sasha (the resident Irish Red Setter) would stand by my chair and shove her nose under my elbow, deliberately jogging me, until I had to get up from my computer and pay attention to her. That meant moving, or walking, or getting her some food and myself a glass of water or a cup of tea...stopping to take stock after writing for hours on end.

Sasha is no longer with me, yet her abiding contribution to this piece of work, lives in every page for me. The only time in our 14.5 years together, that she actually fell out with me, was when I went on retreat for several weeks in 2013, to finish it. I came home and she ran straight past me at the station, on my return, pretending she didn’t know me. It took hours of patience to restore her devotion, she quite literally ignored me, turning her head away, until I held her for over an hour. Her head was turned away from me, her body was stiff and unyielding, and eventually, to my utter amazement, she let a single tear run out of her eye and down her snout and she began to tremble and slowly relax. I held her so tight and just said sorry. Her body gradually softened and instead of sitting upright in her favourite armchair, she eventually softened into my arms as I begged to be forgiven and realised that sadness is not exclusive to humans being. She was practically human in her expressions and I gave her far more credit for discernment in her unconditional loving from that day forth. I still cannot sit at my favourite table, writing anything, without missing her little interruptions, to get me moving, to break the spell I go under when I am concentrating – to remind me to breathe deeper and pause.

It is ironic that a book celebrating movement and how the body architecture needs to express itself biomotionally, was necessarily undergoing a process that nearly calcified me, in a sitting position. Neck ache, back ache and exhaustion (liberally interspersed with shoulder ache, wrist ache and any-other-ache you can think of) were relieved with yoga at times; but the truth is, the mat was a luxury once the publishing deadline was too close to allow even a full night's sleep; let alone an hour of gentle practice. Oh my goodness, that irony is almost unbearable.

When all is said and done; it was a labour of love and the sheer joy I have had working with people who want to learn more and have the text and principles animated, has been a delight. The reviews have been so thoughtful and generous, it makes such a difference to feel it wasn’t written into a vacuum. It was worth all the hard work and all the people that assisted me. I thank everyone one of you (you know who you are) and over the coming months I will pay tribute to each of you. Five years on, I have reason to be even more grateful for your contributions. I have met so many wonderful yoga teachers, students, body work professionals, professors, politicians, doctors, nurses, scientists, researchers, ministers, people who are just fascinated and others from different fields who have helped me present the work it invites. New friends and colleagues and new collaborations have been beyond anything I could have imagined in 2014, when I handed in the manuscript. That was a magical moment, when it was completed… and without question, the beginning of many more. Thank you!!!