May I Be Happy
A Memoir of Love, Yoga, and Changing My Mind
By Cyndi Lee
(Dutton Adult, Hardcover, 9780525953845, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 24, 2013
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In the candid, contemplative memoir May I Be Happy, revered yoga teacher Cyndi Lee gives readers an unforgettable gift: the ability to focus on our experiences as we have them, on the way to a lighter life.
For all her wisdom as a teacher, Cyndi Lee—founder of New York’s world renowned OM yoga Center—understood intuitively that she still had a lot to learn. In spite of her success in physically demanding professions—dancer, choreographer, and yoga teacher—Lee was caught in a lifelong cycle of repetitive self-judgment about her body. Instead of the radical contentment expected in international yoga teachers, she realized that hating her body was a form of suffering, which was infecting her closest relationships—including her relationship to herself.
Inspired by the honesty and vulnerability of her students, Lee embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led her outward—from the sacred sites of the parched Indian countryside to the center of the 2011 earthquake in Japan—and inward, to seek the counsel of wise women, friends and strangers both. Applying the ancient Buddhist practice of loving-kindness meditation to herself, Lee learned that compassion is the only antidote to hatred, thereby healing her heart and changing her mind.
With prose as agile as the yoga sequences she creates, May I Be Happy gives voice to Lee’s belief that every life arises, abides, and ultimately dissolves. By becoming her own best student, Lee internalizes the strength, stability, and clarity she imparts in her Buddhist-inspired yoga classes.
Cyndi Lee founded the internationally renowned OM yoga Center in New York City in 1998. She is the author of several books on yoga, including Yoga Body, Buddha Mind, and is a regular contributor to Yoga Journal. Lee and OM yoga have been featured on national television and in print. She lives in New York City.
“May I Be Happy is bold, revealing and thoughtful, exploring the complex relationship we have with our bodies, self esteem, and the journey to find self-acceptance, happiness and love--spirit, mind AND body. It is a deeply intimate memoir.” –Seane Corn, yoga teacher, co-founder Off the Mat, Into the World
“I am crazy about this book! Not only is it well written, humorous and engaging, it is thought provoking. Ms. Lee. reveals her humanness with such courage, one cannot but help but be drawn in and learn, not only about Ms. Lee, but also about ourselves.” --Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, yoga teacher and author of YogaBody: Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Asana
“Instantly relatable . . . Lee’s journey reels readers in. Yogis will devour the insightful dharma talks, but the book transcends its New Age genre.” –Publishers Weekly
“Lee beautifully describes the yin and yang of an all-encompassing yogic lifestyle. . . . [A] distinctively Zen autobiography.” – Kirkus Reviews
"Cyndi Lee’s new memoir is absolutely riveting. It is a real, and beautifully-written account of the authentic effects of contemplative practice on the vicissitudes of life with which we all struggle: relationships, career, and the meaning and purpose of this finite life. Lee’s profound self-inquiry will be of great benefit to all who read it." --Stephen Cope, Director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, and author of The Great Work of Your LIfe