Today I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for The Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The author has agreed to write a guest post.
But first, here's some information about the author Tracy Weber.
Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. The second book in her series, A Killer Retreat, is available January 8, 2015, by Midnight Ink.
Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
Visit her at TracyWeberAuthor.com
Yoga, Viniyoga, and Murder!
I can’t imagine anyone in the United States who hasn’t heard of the word “yoga.” When people think of yoga, they imagine supermodel-thin women contorting their bodies into pretzel-like positions. An image that would make Kate Davidson, the yoga teacher/sleuth in my series, shake her head in frustration.
At five-foot-three-inches tall and 130 pounds, Kate has an “average” body, meaning she can’t do many of the yoga poses seen on the cover of Yoga Journal. Like many women, she has body image issues, meaning that when she looks in the mirror, she sees the “before” image in a Jenny Craig commercial. As for her radiant glow of inner peace? Let’s just say that she often acts more like a champion fighting rooster than the Dalai Lama.
Still, Kate loves yoga. She knows it can help even deeply flawed yogis like her. Kate teaches the same lineage that I do: Viniyoga. Viniyoga is one of the many “Hatha Yoga” styles, but it has four key attributes that make it unique.
Four Key Differentiators of Viniyoga:
§ Linkage of Breath and Movement: Viniyoga links movement with the breath, which makes each movement more powerful, mindful, and structurally integrated than non-breath-centered movement.
§ Use of Movement and Stay: Viniyoga students move in and out of poses before staying in them. Movement systematically prepares the body to hold a pose by warming the muscle groups that will be taxed in that pose. Movement also helps reprogram habitual movement patterns, so students move more functionally, even in non-yoga activities.
§ Adaptation: Viniyoga adapts poses to the practitioner, rather than assuming there is one “right” way to do a pose. The goal is to achieve the function of a pose, instead of its form.
§ Sequencing: Viniyoga teachers carefully design classes so that each pose prepares for or erases strain from the poses before and after it.
What does this mean to mystery fans who’ve never considered trying yoga?
To me, the beauty of Viniyoga is its acceptance. Viniyoga teachers don’t assume that a practitioner has the “perfect” body (whatever that means). They don’t think yogis need to sit in Lotus Pose or master Head Stand to benefit from yoga. Viniyoga is about meeting the student where they are—body, breath, and mind—and taking them to a place of greater balance and health. And who doesn’t want more of that?
Even if you never try a single Down Dog, I hope you’ll give my series a test drive. The Downward Dog Mysteries are all about love, growth, family, and transcending imperfection. And of course there’s a strong dose of murder and mayhem to keep it all interesting.
Yoga, dogs, and murder. What could be more fun?