PW met Turlington at a Manhattan restaurant to discuss her new book, Living Yoga.
PW: You've been practicing yoga for 15 years. Why did you wait until now to write the book?
CT: Right now there's obviously more interest than there has been in the past 15 years, and having gone back to school and studied it [Turlington has a degree in comparative religion], I gained a new perspective and gathered the sort of discipline that is required to write a book.
PW: Did you work with a researcher for the book?
CT: No, not really. The researcher that I gave credit to [in the book] works for my company, and she was great at helping me compile information. But I did everything. This will probably be the most popularly asked question on my book tour: "You wrote this yourself?" I didn't see a point in writing a book if I was going to have somebody else write it.
PW: What kind of publicity do you have planned?
CT: Most of the media is being handled in my camp because as a person who's in that arena, it's much easier for me to get on television and in magazines. It's not normal that you have an author who can have the kind of exposure that I can. I'm not letting Hyperion create the tour at all; it's very much coming from the relationships I already have with Yoga Journal, Shape magazine, Vogue.... It's going to be a very broad cross-section of readership.
PW: What readership is the book aimed at?
CT: I didn't create it for the beginner. It's for people who have been practicing yoga for many years but, because they didn't study it in college and they haven't done all the reading that I have, are missing a piece of it.
PW: How do you feel about your book being categorized as a "fitness" book?
CT: I don't think of it as a fitness book. I guess it's more in the self-help vein than anything else.
PW: Do you think the yoga trend will stick around for a while, or do you think it'll go the way of low-impact aerobics?
CT: It couldn't be more different than any other kind of physical practice that exists. From the beginning of yoga reaching the West, it's had many, many cycles of popularity. We're in a time when there's much more exposure. And as soon as celebrities start doing something, all of a sudden everybody wants to experience those things. But apart from the high-profile aspect of yoga today, that the medical profession is also integrating it into therapies justifies the importance of it. Also, anyone who does practice it on a regular basis doesn't usually then turn away from it and say, "Okay, I'm going back to step class now."
PW: How do you balance the commercial aspects of your career with the more ethereal aspects of yoga?
CT: It is tricky. A lot of people I know from the yoga community generally don't make very good businesspeople. For me, I've been able to take what I've done for a living for almost 20 years and finally use it toward promoting things I think are important and can help others. I'm using my reputation to share knowledge that I've gained through experience. It's my way of being able to have a career that means more to me than the career I had for a long time, and a way to apply the things I value and think are important and share them with others.