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From Music Publicist to Yoga Teacher
You Never Know How Yoga Is Going to Change Your Life

"Teaching Yoga has been one of the best decisions I ever made," says Susan Arick, "even though I can't say I made a conscious decision to do it." Susan is still a little fuzzy on how she made the change from working in the high-powered world of music publicity to being a Yoga instructor and college student. The facts - the steps along the way - are all there, but it certainly wasn't something she mapped out ahead of time.

(Article continued below.)

Susan chose a career in publicity early in life, and she worked for an art gallery and for visual artists before moving to Los Angeles. Since she didn't feel absolutely bound to public relations, however, she decided to work as a temp for a while - and ended up in the publicity department of Columbia Records. "It was like I couldn't get away from it!" she recalls with a laugh. When she moved over to RCA her career really started to take off. "I really enjoyed the music business for quite a while," she notes.

The music industry offers a lot of glamour - the celebrities glitter and the expense accounts flow. It is also all-consuming and tends to swallow people up. In spite of its seductiveness, Susan couldn't help but be disturbed by its rampant materialism. "I never lied to myself," she insists. "I worked for major labels and I knew it was about money, but I had been working in an area - music journalism - that had been sort of exempt from that. Music journalism wasn't so much the puppet of the business that I think it is now. To see all of that get co-opted... I didn't want to deal with it anymore."

Not surprisingly Susan's back started acting up. She had a mild case of scoliosis but it had never bothered her much until one day while she was at work. "By the time I got home," she recalls, "I could barely make it up the stairs. I still have no idea, really, what it was." She couldn't move for a week and was prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxants. "It was horrible," she says. The back incident hastened her return to Yoga - she had taken classes before, but never very seriously. The practice certainly did wonders for her back, but it did more than that - it helped her to leave the business that she no longer loved. "I knew deep down inside I needed to do it," she says, "but a lot of my identity was wrapped up in [the music business]. Yoga really helped me, spiritually or psychologically, to bridge that gap."

Susan was being held back, in part, because she didn't know what to do or where to go. "I didn't know how to do anything else and I was really kind of scared about it." As someone from the Baby Boomer generation, that wasn't a comfortable place to be. Meanwhile she was involved in a trade-out program at the Yoga studio she attended - they offered a free class to anyone who would work the front desk for an hour. "I did that for a while," she remembers, "and then I started doing - guess what? Publicity for them!"

Next page >> Susan Makes the Leap >> Page 1, 2

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