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!