The Model Yogini

Beliefnet catches up with Christy Turlington.

Continued from page 4

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.

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

Did you use any particular tricks or supports like certain vitamins or supplements?



I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee. I knew that the times when I had been more likely to smoke was when I had a glass of wine or if I was socializing when drinking coffee. The things you would do in conjunction with smoking are the things that you should try to avoid when you quit.

Then there was Yoga and exercise. I always exercised--even as a smoker--but you find when you exercise after quitting smoking that you can really tell you're cleaning out your lungs. It makes you really excited to exercise because with each hour, each mile that you run, you are adding years to your life.

You've done a bit of volunteer work on antismoking campaigns, particularly where young folks are involved.

About four years ago, I lost my father to lung cancer. I had already quit, but my father's death inspired me to go out and tell my story--not just my own struggles with addiction and the process of quitting, but what I learned about lung cancer and smoking-related diseases during my father's illness. I thought, maybe there was a way to use my personality as a model to make a difference. So I called the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and offered my services.

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Interview by Anne Simpkinson
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