Author Kurt Koontz freely admits that he is not wholly guided by his spirit when he first begins to dabble in yoga. An outdoor adventurer, he enjoys the challenging physicality of the exercise, which leads him to try several different types of yoga, seeking both fitness and female company. However, when a friend from afar encourages Kurt to seek new adventures in Rishikesh, India, the self-professed “Yoga Capital of the World,” Kurt feels called to the city and its yoga studios. In Practice, his newest memoir, Kurt guides readers through his three journeys to India in vivid, poignant detail. With unfailing honesty and humor, Kurt treats his readers to the visual and cultural richness of Rishikesh. Aware of his great fortune in visiting such a beautiful city, Kurt shares his unbound admiration for his new surroundings, and not only for the lush foothills of the Himalayas and the sacred River Ganges, but also for the many families who welcome him. Soon, that welcome extends into the yoga world, where Kurt finds a studio and teacher who will entirely transform his conception of yoga. Practice is a spiritual exploration grounded in the modern world that speaks not just to yogis and travelers, but to all adventurers, to all who strive to expand their own wisdom and compassion through soul-deep introspection.
A Million Steps
Kurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his external or internal adventure. A Million Steps climbs over the high meadows of the Pyrenees, quests through the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances in the rains of Galicia. While following the yellow arrows that mark the route, Koontz also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world. Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond.