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An Interview with Melanie C. Klein

1. You've collaborated on the new book, Yoga and Body Image. How did you two meet? What inspired the book?

We met online over three years ago because we were both writing about yoga and body image. At the time, almost no one else was discussing the topic, so we set up a phone call and immediately connected. We knew we needed to work together on a project to broaden the conversation, and the seeds of Yoga and Body Image were planted on that very first call!

2. The book includes twenty-five essays on how yoga has influenced a positive body image from several high-profile yogis, including Alanis Morissette, Seane Corn, Bryan Kest, Rolf Gates, and many others. How did you connect with these individuals? What was it like working with them?

Anna Guest-JelleyWe were very fortunate because so many people support and are excited about this project. We knew many of our contributors directly, but for those we didn't, we knew people who introduced us. We couldn't be more grateful for everyone who shared an essay and helped us along the way to get this message out!

3. Why is the message about yoga's positive benefits on our own self-image so important?

In a world where it's easy to find something to make you feel bad about your body everywhere you turn, we think the practice of yoga can offer an alternative. It's not always taught that way, but we believe deeply in yoga's transformative power, as do our contributors. We're excited to contribute to the conversation about how yoga can be a tool for body acceptance through how it connects you with body and breath.

4. Yoga and Body Image includes essays that touch on many different aspects of life, from making choices to parenting to deciphering the messages we receive from the media. Why do you think yoga's benefits are so far-reaching?

Yoga is so interesting because it's all about connection with one's own mind, body, and spirit. So while yoga practitioners do share some common experiences, how that shows up is truly as unique as the person practicing. With the increased mindfulness that yoga fosters, people can take that into all arenas of their life.

5. What do you want your readers to take away from Yoga and Body Image?

Regardless if a reader has ever practiced yoga or not, we hope they will come away feeling inspired to practice in a way that truly works for them. We also hope readers who feel called to action will engage in the good work that is being done in many ways to make the yoga practice more accessible for all.

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About Melanie C. Klein

Melanie Klein, MA, is a writer, speaker, and professor of Sociology and Women's Studies. She is a contributing author in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice and is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis. ...

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