Scottsdale’s Samantha Lang combines her passions in a unique book
Scottsdale’s Samantha Lang combines her passions in a unique book designed to soothe the soul.
By Jennifer Wolff
As residents of the North Valley, most of us are busy people. Between working hard, taking care of families, countless social activities, dining out, events, outdoor adventures, and nightlife, we are an intensely vigorous group. Ask anyone these days how they are doing and the typical answer seems to be, “I’m sooo crazy busy!” It appears to be an epidemic.
To help balance our action-packed lives, many residents have discovered yoga to temporarily disconnect from the outside world and connect to an inner place of calm and grounding. If you already know this ancient practice and its benefits, you are not alone, as the yoga mat has become the culturally accepted place to unplug, breathe, sigh, and release the stresses of daily life. In the North Valley alone, the number of yoga studios and students continues to increase, due to this need to spend quality time with our inner self, our spirit.
In America, the number of people doing yoga has increased by nearly 30 percent since 2008. According to a 2012 Yoga in America study, produced by Yoga Journal, 20.4 million Americans are now practicing—about 8.7 percent of U.S. adults—compared to the 15.8 million yoga practitioners they counted four years earlier. America is relatively new to the practice of yoga compared to others around the globe, as millions of people worldwide have relied on yoga for thousands of years to counterbalance the necessities and demands of life.
Similarly, poetry has seen a quiet resurgence. In a 2012 report, poetryfoundation.org had 7.6 million visitors and their mobile apps were downloaded more than a quarter million times. A current YouTube channel for spoken word poetry, Poetry Button, has nearly 430,000 subscribers and the Academy of American Poets reaches more than 350,000 readers with its digital Poem a Day series.
Like yoga, there’s a natural attraction to poetry to help calm and focus the mind. In a study, “Poetry in America” by The Poetry Foundation, more than 70 percent of all readers polled (not just poetry readers) agree, “Poetry helps you appreciate the world around you.” Yet, unlike more difficult meditation practices, a poem can be consumed in mere minutes. It’s like an espresso shot of art to energize the spirit.
Surprisingly, among the piles of books about yoga and the centuries of poetry collections on bookstore shelves, not one has notably combined the ancient practice of yoga with the ancient practice of writing. Until now.
Yoga Poetry: Pose Poems to Enhance Your Practice is a book written by busy Scottsdale resident, yogi, poet, and professional writer, Samantha Lang, in the hopes of benefiting the millions of yoga lovers seeking deeper insight and meaning to their practice, and also for people who appreciate the elegance of poetic language. Yoga Poetry came into existence to bring pleasure and spiritual nourishment to many types of readers: yogis and not-yet yogis, poetry lovers and those who may learn to be, those who adore the natural beauty of bodies, and those who marvel at the powerful energy of words.
Each page of the book offers an original poem and corresponding photo. Readers can experience the visual elegance of the pose with a poem that examines its symbolism and lessons. The poems are personal, anecdotal experiences of what the ancient poses can convey to a modern practitioner.
“It was a natural blending for me,” says Lang. “The beauty of yoga and the beauty of words come together perfectly to describe the yoga poses and the myriad feelings that come when practicing. I am thrilled to have my work published and to be able to share it with our overworked, stressed-out culture. My hope is that people with different interests can gain a sense of calm, serenity, and a deeper understanding of their inner self when they pick up Yoga Poetry.”
You’re Invited! Join the excitement at a Cocktail Reception & Book Launch Party on Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. at Ciao Grazie Wine Bar in DC Ranch. Be inspired by a brief yoga performance while Samantha reads from Yoga Poetry. She will also sign books for sale at the event. Be one of the first to get a copy.
Light appetizers will be served, along with a cash bar for cocktails and beverages.
Yoga Poetry: Pose Poems to Enhance Your Practice can also be purchased online at amazon.com.
Samantha will also read and have books available on the forthcoming Hear Yoga Tour––a 2016 Arizona studio roadshow featuring two other local yogi-authors, Steve Price and Deborah Garland. For details on the tour, please visit yogaandpoetry.com.
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