How to Write A Book in Nine Years

Yes, that title is definitely tongue in cheek but it's not an exaggeration. That's how long it took to write the Kundalini Yoga Book! As the years rolled on we discovered we were actually in very good company considering it took The Lord of the Rings 12 years to be written and Ezra Pound's Cantos 57 years. That last may be being a little too laid back with time. It may be true that it is all about the journey but it is nice to see your hard work come to fruition in your lifetime. Ezra Pound's master work was published post- humously.

Every creative work that matters is has to be conceived of as not only for for the present but for future generations as well.

Your own creative work may not take 57, 12, nine or even a fast five years (J.K. Rowling's first book). But as our art director says, No one has time to do things right but they always have time to do things over."

Authors have many strategies to further their project from inception to submission. In our case we simply made a list of chapters that we felt needed to be included in a definitive Kundalini Yoga book. Then we made a list of chapter headings and sets/techniques that we felt were key. Then there was nothing left to do but start typing. A non-fiction book is not as much fun to write as a novel. When describing exercises it's important to be as precise as possible. And you have to find a way to make the basics fun. And we came to realize that we couldn't make the assumption that people will get what you're trying to say. There has to be no ambiguity. Once we had the infrastructure in place we were able to get more creative and add more of our personal touch.

If you've ever written a book you know that no many how many times you reread it there are going to be typos. We meticulously read through what we thought was the finished product no less than five times and we were still finding typos and awkward constructions each time. Very important to share your work in progress with people you trust. We were so fortunate to have friends and family members who turned out to be amazingly talented proofreaders and who went above and beyond for us.

At a certain point we knew that we would know when it was complete ready and decided not to worry if it took two or more years or 10! We wrote and rewrote as we reaised the bar. We added chapters and then deleted chapters. We wrote too much and then pared it down until we streamlined it to 400 pages. We decided to make it two books but then we felt that the book should be as all inclusive as possible. We rewrote each other's chapters and read them to each other until we both agreed that they could not be perfected further. We started with one art director, went through two more, and came back to our original one.

What we did take out will serve as the genesis for a future Kundalini lifestyle book.

Every creative project inevitably takes on a life of its own. And it lets you know that it's not done until it lets you know it's done. In our case we started with the idea of wanting to update Ravi's old manuals. As we worked we began to realize that we had so much new material and so many additional insights. A grander vision began to unfold.

The point is not to just get something out there with your name on it. The point is to honor the subject manner create something that can live on as your legacy.

We wanted the book to be serious and sacred in the sharing of kriyas, techniques, and other content and to add extra sparkle we decided to put in our own stories about our path and process. From Ana growing up in Australia to living as a model in Paris. From Ravi's days as a blues guitarist in Chicago to his private talks with Yogi Bhajan about the true history of Kundalini Yoga.

Along the way we hired a well-known fitness photographer to take photos for the kriyas we planned to include. When we needed some additional photos we made the decision to tackle it ourselves. That's when we discovered that Ravi had a recessive photography gene and it was activating. He has an artist's eye and a poet's sensibility. We also discovered that Ana is truly the technique guru so from a few alignment tips here and there we decided to offer an alignment tip for every exercise in the book.

Our most important lesson/insight is that the Kundalini Yoga book is the book that had to be written. Whether it's written by us or someone else is not the Universe's primary concern. In order for us to be conduits for project we've come to realize that what's required is to really up our game. That means to do our practice commitedly and do our very best to be proof of concept as representatives for these amazing Teachings.