The Model Yogini

Beliefnet catches up with Christy Turlington.

BY: Interview by Anne Simpkinson


Continued from page 2

Growing up Catholic Discovering Yoga Selling Ayurveda Battling Cigarette Addiction
Returning to religious roots

Selling Ayurveda

One of your business endeavors involves a natural cosmetic line based on Ayurvedic principles. Do you think that people understand enough about Ayurveda to be attracted to the products?

No, it's a process. Ayurveda, a sister philosophy to Yoga, is getting a lot more attention in that alternative medicine is so much more widely accepted now than it ever was. We are doing a lot of educating with this line.

Ayurveda is about nature; it's about seeing that we are connected to nature and that we have natural elements in ourselves. The less chemicals, preservatives, and artificial additives that you put on and inside your body, the healthier you're going to be and the less risk you have for getting sick. So Ayurveda, in its essence, is about living purely and healthily and trying to achieve balance.

Battling Cigarette Addiction

Talking about being natural, I understand that you were once addicted to cigarettes. Did Yoga helped you overcome that?

Definitely. I started smoking at 13, and smoked on and off for a little over ten years. When I first started doing Yoga, I quit smoking for two years.

But at 19, I realized I was addicted and began a very long process of quitting. It took me seven years. I tried many different cessation methods but ultimately quit cold turkey and re-commited myself to my Yoga practice and to changing my lifestyle. It helped me then to be able to take that strength and that feeling of empowerment and share my story with other people, hopefully helping people struggling with the same thing.

Why did you quit cold turkey?

It was a general frustration from quitting and starting, quitting and starting. Everyone who smokes thinks that they'll just be able to decide it's not what they want to do any more. It's only when you stop that you see how difficult it actually is. Then when you go back, you feel so badly about yourself because you are hurting yourself by smoking.

So stopping and starting and telling people I started again--I just got fed up. I couldn't stick by what I said or what I promised to myself. I wanted to take better care of my body.

Then [once I quit] I felt that every day my lungs had more capacity. I felt good about having done something for myself, and I felt that I could be a strong example for other people who were trying to stop, to let them know it is possible.

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