Last night, the Independent Book Publisher Association handed out their annual awards at a ceremony in New York city. Named in honor of America’s most cherished publisher/printer, the Benjamin Franklin Awardsâ„¢ recognizes excellence in independent publishing. Publications, grouped by genre are judged on editorial and design merit by top practitioners in each field.

The trophies are awarded to the best books in several categories and are presented to the publishers during a gala awards ceremony on the last evening of the Publishing University (just before the opening of Book Expo America).

The award for best book in Health and Fitness is my own Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies! I am thrilled! It took me years to get from a simple idea of Big Yoga–which came to me during a meditation in the Lotus (Light of Truth Universal Shrine) Temple in Yogaville, Virginia.

Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple

I loved the idea because of the double entendre–big as in expansive, but also big in terms of the body. At the time, nobody was teaching Yoga to fat people, that I knew of. Even when I put out my first DVD, I got push-back from distributors because of the name. It was assumed that nobdy wanted to know they were “big”.

I didn’t believe it for a minute. And time has proven me right–now plus-size Yoga classes are popping up all over, and there are more and more resources for those of us who don’t fit the media profile of a Yoga practioner.

I am indebted to Rudy Shur at Square One Publishers for his vision for Big Yoga. He was the first person who “got it”! He was tireless in helping me shape the manuscript, and his editor, Anna Comstock, made it flow beautifully. Jeannie Tudor put all the pictures and graphics together to make the book easy-to-follow visually. Thank you also to publicist Anthony Pomes who made sure the book got reviewed by the big guns!

None of this would have been possible without the immortal teachings of Yoga, as taught to me by my Guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda and his devoted sangha. Thank you Prem Anjali, Ganesh McIsaac, and all the many Integral Yoga teachers who continue to inspire me with their discipline and devotion.

You don’t have to be thin to enjoy the benefits of Yoga!


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