Guest post: "What Kind of Yoga Teacher Writes about Murder?" by Tracy Weber, Author of 'Karma's a Killer'
I’ve made my living teaching yoga and running my Seattle yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga, for almost fifteen years, and I’ve certified well over 200 yoga teachers through my teacher training program. But anyone who knows me can attest that I am not a typical yoga teacher.
I came to yoga with significant back injuries, and I can’t do any of the cool poses pictured on the cover of Yoga Journal. I cringe every time I hear something woo-woo. But I love yoga. It has transformed my life, and sharing it with others brings me great joy.
Still, I’m not a typical yoga teacher.
Most of my students weren’t surprised to learn that I spend my spare time plotting murder. It makes sense if you know my warped sense of humor. After all, I’ve been known to hide books on poisons all over the kitchen where my husband can “accidentally” find them.
Yoga practitioners who don’t know me are sometimes taken aback—even a little affronted—however. How can a yoga teacher combine yoga—a practice designed to promote inner peace—with murder?
My top four reasons are outlined below.
My light-hearted mysteries allow me to share my love of yoga with people I may never meet.
Most of my readers don’t practice yoga, which isn’t surprising. Reading immerses us in worlds we might otherwise never experience. I write murder mysteries, but I don’t expect my readers to be killers, either. ;-)
Kate Davidson, my novel’s protagonist, is a yoga teacher and the owner of a Seattle yoga studio, Serenity Yoga. Like most of us, Kate won’t be in the running for Buddha’s successor. She has a fiery temper and often lashes out impulsively, only to regret it later. Yet she has a great heart and, like me, she believes in yoga and has dedicated her life to sharing it with others. If Kate loves yoga, anyone can love yoga—even mystery fans who have never considered trying it.
People are murdered in my work, but death isn’t the only theme.
Solving crime definitely takes center stage in my books, but The Downward Dog Mysteries are ultimately about transformation. The yoga teachings don’t promise that we won’t suffer traumas. Practicing yoga doesn’t protect us from the real world, which sometimes is violent.
Yoga does, however, give us a path to acceptance—to finding peace in the midst of chaos. It helps us to learn how to live our values. Like most of us, my protagonist struggles with inner demons, and she doesn’t always react to life’s stressors the way she wishes she had. But yoga gives her a roadmap, and she tries to follow it, in spite of some notable traffic jams. Along the way, she learns, she grows, and she tries to do better in the future.
If my books were movies, they’d be rated PG.
The Downward Dog Mysteries are cozy mysteries. Cozies are typically light-hearted, often funny (I think mine are!) and written to appeal to the faint-hearted. Gore is minimized; killing takes place off screen; sex happens behind closed doors. My mother has read all three books in my series, with only minimal blushing.
Last but not least, I love it!
But if I’m honest, the real reason I write yoga mysteries is simple. I’m a huge mystery fan, my life-work is yoga, and I’m absolutely, embarrassingly, head-over-heels in love with my German shepherd, Tasha. I write about a yoga teacher who solves murders with a wacky German shepherd sidekick. Writing about yoga, dogs, and murder. What could be more fun?
Title: KARMA’S A KILLER
Author: Tracy Weber
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book:
A fun, fresh, feisty new mystery featuring Seattle yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her trusty canine companion Bella,Karma’s a Killer is a taut tale with more twists and turns than a vinyasa yoga class. In this charming, clever and utterly captivating cozy mystery, Kate Davidson discovers that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like om.
When she agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, Kate believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems… The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them. And if solving a murder weren’t complicated enough, Kate will also have to decide whether or not to reconcile with the estranged mother who abandoned her over thirty years ago. Not to mention having to contend with an almost-bankrupt animal rescue, a cantankerous crow, an unwanted pigeon houseguest, and a rabbit in a doga class. What could possibly go wrong?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy Weber is the owner of the award-winning yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program which, to date, has certified over 250 yoga teachers. She and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha.
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