Leave a comment

As many of you know I practice yoga everyday.  What some of you may not know is that classic yoga is an 8-step process and that most American yoga studios teach just one of the 8 steps.  The place where I go to practice the 3rd step, asana (poses), also teaches the other 7 steps, so when you go to class with me, you get a full experience…lots of chanting and discussions of god consciousness.  So it is safe to say that these yoga zealots whom I practice with are deeply invested in their spiritual-selves.  No one comes to the studio unless they want to better themselves spiritually. 
So, over the weekend, I went to my normal practice in the city and while bent over in uttanasana, I noticed a cute, little, short girl whose hands were not placed properly.  When you do a complete forward bend, your fingers and your toes should go ten across on the floor, not the hands in front of the feet.  I offered my help, which she thanked me for and she then moved on.  Later, while doing a twisting triangle, I noticed again that she needed a little direction.  So about an hour later when the class was over, she thanked me for the guidance and introduced herself as Ashley Dupré.  I said to myself, “Oh my god, this 5 foot, 1 inch god-seeker was the $4000 ‘escort’ of Governor Elliot Spitzer.”  Before I could speak, she said “I’ve seen you here many times.  This is my favorite place and I’ve been coming here regularly since I’ve moved back into the city, and have been practicing yoga for about a year.  Yoga saved my life.”  I had seen her in class before, but never said anything to her.  We spoke for a few more minutes and I was curious to find out about how her “business” was going and was she benefiting from all of the exposure.  She told me that she hadn’t taken a nickel since the scandal broke and the reason was because every deal that had come in front of her involved further destroying her spirit.  It is almost impossible for a 23-year-old girl, like her, or anyone for that matter, to be able to resist the temptation of further exploiting yourself when they are throwing money in your face – like Penthouse and Hustler, who offered a video component as well for millions of dollars.  She said these things are not her.  They are her experiences, but not her.  I said that it is amazing to see that you’re in yoga and trying so hard to lift yourself up.  She wants to write a book, but the dilemma is that most publishers are too blind to see that people are more interested in her personal, honest evolution, rather than the exploitive tell-all.  She told me that she wants to tell her real story, a story that she feels could inspire a thirteen year old girl and make her proud of her own path. A story of personal transformation. 
This is what I promote within Global Grind – giving people, like Ashley, the vehicle to tell their story, their way.  I look forward to reading her blog, which will be posted tomorrow…where she can finally start to tell her story, on her terms.

-Russell Simmons

Also On Global Grind:

Leave a comment

comments – Add Yours

Sign up for our newsletter and never miss the hot stories