Dave Driver, author of The Bottom Turtle: A Christian's Journey into Yoga, is a yoga teacher, public school teacher, and lifelong Christian living in Minneapolis. The Bottom Turtle is his first book and is a great resource for evangelicals wondering how yoga can fit with their faith.
Through the book, Dave describes the intellectual journey of an evangelical Christian encountering yoga, outlining his theological hesitancy, re-examining his theology, and ultimately coming to a Biblically-based understanding of how the practice of yoga can complement the Christian faith. Dave's writing is clear and compassionate, a testament to the deep thinking and soul-searching that produced this book.
Here, we chat a bit about the book and Dave's writing:
CPY: In The Bottom Turtle, you write that you’ve taught over seven hundred yoga classes—how long have you been teaching yoga?
DD: I earned my teaching license in June of 2012 and began teaching consistently shortly thereafter.
What are your classes like?
I teach and practice in a studio that maintains 7 pillars of philosophy: live to learn, be healthy, community support, be accessible, live green, reach out, and be peace. In addition, Modo carries forth the philosophy of teaching to an intention. My intentions draw from life experiences and circle back around truth. And since "all truth is God's truth" I get to tickle their hearts with some pretty sweet thoughts. About half of the classes I teach are accompanied by music. Class size varies from about 25 to about 45 students.
Why did you decide to write The Bottom Turtle?
During my TT in June 2012 the underlying message was that we were enough in ourselves to find all the answers. Then, as now, I patently disagree. There are aspects of our life for which we are responsible but to presume we can be our own savior or rescuer was beyond my belief. It was during these teachings that the idea landed on me.
Why call it The Bottom Turtle?
It is not a yoga posture as many people have guessed. Rather, It is a foundational life choice that promises to draw us each more deeply in love with those things that matter. Read Chapter 2 for more.
Did the process of writing the book change your faith and/or your yoga at all? If so, how?
The process of writing required me to more fully understand what I was writing about. I did not want to be untrue or inaccurate. And I was committed to being faithful to the gift I was given - the idea. So in the process I learned where my faith was small and my understanding of scripture unnecessarily narrow. I explored my own dogma and found I had put God in a box shaped like my understanding of Christianity when, of course, He cannot be contained.
Who do you hope reads your book?
A) Christians who practice yoga and have another Christian in their ear planting seeds of doubt.
B) Christians who plant those seeds of doubt.
C) People who are self-reflective and truly open to loving everyone more deeply. Not just the easy ones. Everyone.
I see you've titled your website "DaveDriverBooks"--books, plural. Are there other books in the pipeline? What will you work on next?
Yes, I plan to write more books.
One is a commentary on the school education system. I am an eighth grade teacher and have been for the last 13 years.
One is a daily thought guide, not really a daily devotion but a daily challenge to proper or positive thinking. And I have a couple of others on the way back burner that I plan to revive.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
No favorite. Like life, every moment is to be savored. I have learned to be content in all circumstances.
You can find out more about Dave, The Bottom Turtle, and Dave's upcoming books at www.DaveDriverBooks.com.