Reviewed by Ranga Iyer
Roxanne Louise Swan’s memoir 50 Years a Yogi has the essentials one needs to learn about life and living. Throughout the book, Swan takes her readers on a journey of how she paved a path towards her enlightenment by using Yoga. And Yoga, Swan says, saved her life, overt and otherwise.
The book opens with Swan driving to St Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, for a Yoga Teachers Training Retreat. Readers start getting a peek into her life, and how and why she sought enlightenment. She wants her readers to know there is more to life than the highs and lows, and other forms of excitement including relationships, experimenting with drugs, etc. There is a higher meaning waiting to be unravelled.
The concept of ‘the abused will grow up to abuse’, ‘hurt people hurt people’ and many such thoughts haunted Swan from a very young age.
Visiting therapists, psychiatrists, taking antidepressants did not help much in seeking liberation from the inner demons. Though liberated externally and living the life her heart desired, Swan still felt caged in until the time Swan met Dr Usharabudh Arya. This turning point led to discovering spirituality and thereafter riding the rough roads leading towards enlightenment.
Journaling life is difficult, Swan has not only managed to do this, but has articulated her experiences while trying to reach her goal with complete honesty.
Swan succeeds in convincing her readers that by altering our thinking, we can achieve our goals and change our course of life.
The core message of Roxanne Louise Swan’s 50 Years a Yogi is just this. Becoming self-reliant is the hardest part. Not just financially, but leading a life where you take complete responsibility for all your actions and face the consequences.
50 Years a Yogi is published by Fortis Publishing.