In Yoga for Freedom, John Vourlis relates the experiences of twenty volunteers who travel to Nepal with an organization called the Imagine Foundation to raise awareness of child slavery and human trafficking in the area. Early on, Vourlis provides background information on the issue, noting that widespread poverty in Nepal “leaves children vulnerable to a form of indentured servitude known as the Kamlari system.” As the narrative progresses, Vourlis and his fellow travelers go from appreciating their mission in the abstract to fully embracing the work they’re doing. In addition to offering his own thoughts on this journey, Vourlis also brings in the voices of the other volunteers who took part. Indeed, what’s particularly interesting about the book is that it does offer multiple perspectives on the experience, thus underscoring one of the underlying themes of the book — that while everyone comes at life from a different angle, we’re all in it together and need to work with each other to make the best of it. Given the title, it’s not surprising that an interest in yoga unites all of the volunteers, but Yoga for Freedom is by no means an attempt to proselytize. Rather, it’s a heartfelt and realistic depiction of one group’s efforts to bring hope to a poverty-stricken corner of the world.
Well, you'll want to read John Vourlis' new book, "Yoga for Freedom...,"The book is narrated by Vourlis..., but also includes the voices of many of his traveling companions. Participants were required to keep journals during the voyage, and excerpts from their pages provide fascinating insight into the dynamics of group travel and the challenges of touring a third-world country.The varied perspectives on some of the conflicts...provide for, at times, a tension-filled, page-turning read.Ultimately, though, this is a story meant to inspire, and inspire it does. It may (or may not) make you want to travel to Nepal yourself. It will certainly make you admire those who did.
Cleveland, OH, September 25, 2014—What happens when you take a group of yoga students and teachers from Cleveland, Ohio half-way around the world to Nepal to explore that country’s natural wonders and witness firsthand the effects of child slavery in that part of the world?
John P. Vourlis, a filmmaker, professor and author unravels this and many other questions in Yoga For Freedom (468 pages, $22.95), a unique travel book about how 20 American yogis returned home forever changed after a two-week trip to Nepal. They visited some of the oldest spiritual sites in the Land of the Buddha, trekked amidst the spectacular wonders of Nepal's natural landscape, and spent time at a private and a government-run orphanage in Kathmandu, as well as an orphanage in Western Nepal that was tackling the problems of child slavery.
Mr. Vourlis takes the reader on a magical journey in Yoga For Freedom, an amazing story that combines social reportage from a faraway land steeped in the mystique of the Himalayas, with the fascinating, poignant, and funny self-reflections of this group of diverse travelers.“When you change your focus from limitations to boundless possibilities, from doubt and fear to love and confidence, you open your world in entirely new ways,” says Baron Baptiste, international best-selling author of Journey into Power and My Daddy Is A Pretzel and founder of Baptiste Yoga, states about Yoga For Freedom.
The book is animated by the remarkable in-the-moment colorful photographs captured by several of the professional photographers in the group, and is fueled by the emotional intimacy of the journals recorded by each traveler. The serendipity of the excerpts from these journals at first catches you unaware, but then as you move along in the journey with the author he makes you feel, in a special sort of way, as if you are a member of this diverse group.
Yoga For Freedom is “a very personal account of a journey of self-discovery, refracted through the roller coaster ride of interpersonal exchange among a disparate group of travelers in the ancient land of Buddha,” says Anup Kumar, Associate Professor of Communication, Cleveland State University, and author of The Making of a Small State.
Author John P. Vourlis, a native of Cleveland, Ohio has been practicing yoga since 2000. He also has over 20 years experience working in Hollywood in the entertainment industry in various capacities. Currently, he is an Adjunct Instructor in Film and Digital Media at Cleveland State University. He has written for children’s educational videos, online video games, and feature films, and is a published author of short stories. This is his first non-fiction book.
Yoga For Freedom is available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Baker and Taylor, Ingram and directly from the publisher. To place direct orders for the book, contact: Hometown Media Productions.
Title: Yoga For Freedom
Author: John P. Vourlis
Page count: 468
Publication date: mid November 2014
Intended Audience: travel book readers; non-fiction book readers; those interested in Nepal, Buddhism, yoga, and the issues of orphans and child slavery in developing nations; ages 13&up.
Includes: many color photographs, footnotes and appendices.
The majority of the profits from this book will be donated to the Nepal Orphans Home in Kathmandu, Nepal.
To arrange a book signing or interview, contact John Vourlis via email at email@example.com.
Cleveland Plain Dealer Travel Editor Susan Glaser recommends Yoga For Freedom in today's edition of Cleveland.com!