Our Review of A Way From Darkness
We at Finding Isvara had the pleasure of reviewing Taylor Hunt’s first book, A Way From Darkness. Rather than doing several individual posts, we thought it would be fun to each write a paragraph of our thoughts and combine them into one. Though we all thoroughly enjoyed Taylor’s story, we each took something a little different away from reading it. We hope you enjoy our review and find inspiration from Taylor’s story just as we did.
Anyone interested in understanding the transformative power of yoga needs to read A Way From Darkness by Taylor Hunt, a shockingly brave account of how Taylor overcame drug addiction with the help of yoga. Taylor tells his story of addiction in such vivid detail that I felt like I was right there battling it with him, and I was overjoyed when he finally triumphed. Then, when he found yoga, I related to his feelings of vulnerability and resistance, because yoga has a way of exposing the deep-seated fears and weaknesses that we try so hard to bury. Taylor surrendered to his path and the results were incredible; this filled me with a huge sense of gratitude for the power of yoga. Taylor’s willingness to share his story, which will undoubtedly encourage so many, gives me the strength to share my own stories through our Finding Isvara blog. A Way From Darkness’s overall message is definitely one of empowerment: no matter where you start from or how far gone you think you are, it is never too late to turn things around and step back into the light. That, and life is too short and too precious to waste another moment doing something you’re not passionate about! Thank you Taylor for sharing your inspiring story. -Courtney Wolfgang
I had a powerful and immediate connection to Taylor Hunt’s book A Way From Darkness… Like Taylor, my parents divorced when I was a teenager, after my father met another woman and had an affair. The pain from such an event is extraordinary and can cause significant fallout. For Taylor, this fallout was a headfirst dive into the deep end of drug and alcohol addiction. He doesn’t hold back, describing in detail the stark realities of a heroin addict and the desperate measures he took to get a fix. His writing captures the severity of addiction with such clarity, I sometimes needed to put the book down and catch my breath. His honesty is courageous. His introspection into darkness left me with immense gratitude for those in my life that have traveled a similar path. The cycle of addiction is vicious; many never break it. Luckily, Taylor was able to find his way. His strength and conviction to heal his body and mind becomes palpable, as he begins to navigate his path from pain toward self betterment. Finding yoga strengthens his sobriety and slowly enables him to further rebuild his life, though not without a healthy dose of skepticism at first. This easily could have been an airy fairy tale of a man being saved by yoga, but it’s not… Not even close. This book is real. This book is raw. Taylor uses the word “fuck” more than a few times. Beautiful, scary, and amazingly inspiring. I believe A Way From Darkness should be mandatory reading for anyone looking to heal their heart and follow the light. -Nikki VanVoorhis
I cannot remember the last time I cuddled up with a book on the couch and was so drawn in by a story that I did not want to put the book down. That’s the way I felt when I read A Way from Darkness by Taylor Hunt, a world-known Ashtanga practitioner and teacher. It is a memoir of Taylor’s struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, and how yoga saved him. This book sheds light on the power of addiction and how it can tear someone’s life apart. While I have never been a victim of substance abuse, I identified with Taylor’s struggle nonetheless. I once suffered through clinical depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder after a series of negative relationships shattered my self-worth. Like Taylor, I discovered yoga and forged a path forward based on positivity and overcoming my feelings of self-doubt. Though our specific struggles may be unique, we all face the temptation of numbing pain in self-destructive ways rather than confronting our demons. But by bravely venturing into the unknown with perseverance and dedication, we can map out a journey towards tranquility and self-actualization. Taylor recovered through strengthening his body, mind, and soul, becoming stronger than he ever had been. His story resonated with me and I am so thankful to him for sharing such an empowering and inspirational experience. -Kris Shelala
While so many stories of addiction end tragically, Taylor’s is one of hope, vulnerability, and faith…but his book puts you through the ringer before we get to all that lovey dove stuff! He pulls no punches as he details the depth of the darkness he endured. Your heart will break for him as he describes the fear and isolation he experienced after the dissolution of his family. You’ll cry (I did!) as he recounts his feelings of shame and loathing about his perceived flaws and failures. You’ll feel frustrated and angry as he falls deeper into darkness with every turn of the page. In fact, the story became so intense at times that it triggered my propensity toward co-dependency. I wanted to reach through the book and slap sense into him. My sister, mother, and many childhood friends suffer from addiction. I played the role of the co-dependent, hopelessly trying to rescue those around me, always to my own detriment. I eventually sought the help of a therapist who specializes in families struggling with addiction to help with my codependency, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made! She taught me skills to navigate life with addicts that changed everything for me. I consider myself a recovering co-dependent! In the end, of course, Taylor finally takes real steps toward sobriety - 12 of them - and we get to read about the amazing power of ashtanga yoga to create real change in the lives of dedicated practitioners. What I love about Taylor’s evolution in the practice is that it feels so…human. Often when we read the stories of authorized or certified teachers, it appears that they were bestowed by the heavens with the strength and discipline it takes to devote yourself to the practice of ashtanga yoga. But Taylor's story illustrates how those qualities are honed through the practice itself, not the other way around. Taylor seems relatable and accessible, like he's living here on earth with the rest of us who struggle. Taylor proves to us that the practice works if you just do it. -Lisa Pierce
Thank you Taylor for writing this courageous book, we hope it inspires others on their journey as much as it inspired us. Be sure to pick up your copy of A Way From Darkness!