A talking tigress. A wandering yogi. A young woman's journey through an ancient land where chaos threatens gods and mortals alike.
A tigress speaks to the outcaste girl Mala, and as she flees in terror she encounters an old yogi. She offers him hospitality, and the stories he tells awaken her hunger for forbidden spiritual knowledge.
Thus begins her quest for freedom, on which she meets gods and goddesses, outlaws and kings, and the young prince prophesied to become the Buddha. When she loses everything she loves, she must choose between bloody vengeance or transcendence through the power of yoga.
This book transports the reader to a vivid mythical world filled with characters who are archetypal and real. It examines the longing for spiritual transformation and inner peace, and the ways in which the search for wisdom and compassion can go terribly wrong.
About the Author
Shelley Schanfield's fascination with Buddhism and yoga arose fifteen years ago, when she and her son were pursuing black belts in Tae Kwon Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tae Kwon Do, like all the Eastern martial arts, includes techniques developed by Buddhist monks to calm and focus the mind. These techniques proved invaluable when devastating illnesses struck Shelley’s family. She set out to learn as much as she could about the Buddha’s methods and how he developed them. Being by profession a librarian, Shelley immersed herself in research on the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. While studying yoga’s history, Shelley was inspired to begin her own practice.
Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. Unsatisfied with what she found, she decided to write her own. Her research had sparked her curiosity about Yasodhara, the woman who became Siddhartha’s wife. On the night their first child was born, he left her and his newborn son to seek enlightenment. How did she feel about this? Thus began the Sadhana trilogy, three novels about the personal and spiritual struggles of women who knew Siddhartha. The first book, The Tigress and the Yogi, will be released in January 2016.
Shelley hung up her black belt to practice Iyengar yoga. Both disciplines have enriched her life and the fictional world of her books.