War correspondent and ultra-yogi aren’t exactly two identities naturally linked in my mind. At least they weren’t until I read Bhava Ram’s Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life. And, now, just like that, they are.
I read quite a lot of memoirs, but despite my broad exposure to them, Ram’s (aka Brad Willis) stands out as particularly remarkable. Plus, if you’re in need of a healthy dose of inspiration, this should do it.
The story goes something like this. Willis leaves small town America to rise up through the ranks and become a successful, hard working war correspondent, traversing the globe to cover stories of international importance. Already, you’ve got an interesting story, right? Willis, however, suffers an injury (a broken back), which he tries to hide and live with. As to be expected, the injury worsens over time and, through desperate attempts to cope, Willis finds himself addicted to alcohol, pain medication, and unable to maintain his career.
Then, he gets cancer.
Yep. That’s right. Cancer.
Things were not looking so great for our friend, Willis.
The story that takes over from there tells of Willis’ discovery of yoga, re-discovery of his sense of self, and a transformational journey to his own health and wellness: body, mind, and spirit.
I will confess that when I started this book, I was most interested in the parts about his days as a war correspondent. My mind was piqued by stories of war, travel, and the human condition. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the rest of the book. I tend to be somewhat wary of stories that speak of such dramatic transformation through spiritual means of any sort, so my guard was a bit up. Surprisingly to me, as Willis’ story of his career shifted into the discovery of himself as Bhava Ram, I found myself remaining just as engaged and just as intrigued as I was at the start.
Yoga may or not be your thing, but I see in this book a narrative of embracing humility, exploring possibilities, and developing wisdom that just about anyone can relate to. Yoga is the conduit through which Ram found these things for himself, but surely there is any number of methods that could be used for similar journeys. And, if yoga is your thing, Ram’s story will uphold the belief of the restorative powers of a dedicated and consistent yoga practice.
Read this book for some international adventure, sure, but also read this book for a bit of inspiration and, just maybe, a dash of motivation to try some new approaches in your own life.
And, now, for the giveaway.
Ram and his publisher have agreed to offer a copy of Warrior Pose to one lucky reader of Move Eat Create. If you would like to get your hands on your very own copy, please leave a comment below. Each reader may enter once. Comments will be counted and ordered, a winner will be selected with a random number generator, and said winner will be contacted via email, as well as listed here on this blog post. The giveaway opens now and will run through Wednesday, 7/17/13 at midnight (PST). My apologies to non-US living friends, but the giveaway is only open to those who can take shipping within the U.S. Be sure to include your email with your post so that I can contact you if you win.
This giveaway has closed. Congratulations to zebveg who won a copy of Warrior Pose! Thank you to all who entered.
Disclaimer: Though I was provided a copy of this book free of charge and invited to attend a workshop with Ram, all opinions about the book are completely my own.
Good luck and happy reading!
Damn! This dude is focused! I too had cancer and yoga changed my life as well! Even if I don’t win the book, I would encourage anyone who has had a serious illness (or not) to go to one beginner yoga class and see what it’s about. Many have a preconceived notion that it’s some form of religion or cult thing, but it’s just GREAT food for the body, mind and spirit!
I would love the book but will buy it if I don’t win!
Good luck! I’m so glad that you found yoga as a way to help you heal and recover from your own illness.
I’ll look out for this in my local bookstore or library, since I’m in Canada and cannot win a copy. 😦
Oh no. I’m sorry your out of the area for the giveaway! But, yes, I hope you can find a copy to read (I’m a big fan of my own local library, too!).
What an original story. I’m intrigued! Thanks for making this offer available.
You’re welcome. Good luck!
What an interesting story. I’m intrigued! Thanks for making this offer available.
I’m not eligible for the draw, but if you attend the workshop, I hope you’ll post about it!
I have read two books about “troubled youth” whose lives were changed by Buddhism: Dharma Punx by Noah Levine, and Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner.
I will check those out. I always love your book recommendations!
His story sounds very interesting and inspirational. I also enjoy reading memoirs and this one sounds like a must read regardless if I win the giveaway or not. Great review!
It was definitely a good read. Thanks!
Sounds like a great read! Yoga is such an inspirational way of life and I am so glad I started my own home practice. I still struggle with my feelings toward yoga but each time I get on the mat my love for it grows.
I certainly understand that relationship with yoga, I think. I like that there is such a wide variety of levels of involvement with it – and they are all perfectly ok! 🙂
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As one who likes yoga, but hasn’t made it a daily practice this book intrigues me. I do see the benefits of yoga and this book sounds like a most groovy way to explore what it can add to one’s life! Would really like to read this one!
Good luck to you!
I’m a newcomer to the world of yoga, an avid reader, and someone who has a close familiarity with addiction to alcohol (my grandfather is 8 years sober). The synopsis of this book tugs on my heart strings, and I would love a chance to win it!
It sounds like a perfect read for you! Good luck!
Sounds like an amazingly inspirational book I would love to read.
It totally was inspirational. Good luck!
Thanks! If I do not win it, I will pick a copy of it up!
Couldn’t remember if I ever got back to you, I absolutely loved this book. Shared it with my family doc who loved it so much she shared it with her dad. Thanks for the recommendation!
Oh, thanks for coming back and letting me know! I’m so glad that you loved it – and your doc did, too!
Although I don’t practice much anymore, yoga is what started me on the path towards better health. Definitely great for calming anxiety and clearing out the cobwebs that life seems to clutter our mind with sometimes. Sounds like a great read!
I’ve been recommitting myself to my yoga practice lately and would love to win this book! It sounds like underwent some amazing transformations!
Congratulations on your re-commitment and good luck!
Couldn’t remember if I ever checked back to thank you for this book recommendation. As someone who has been using yoga to improve my health I could relate. An amazing and inspirational story. Loved it so much I shared it with my family doc who shared it with her dad.