"My yoga and meditation practices have become such an integral part of my writing life that I can't imagine what it would be like to sit down to write without knowing that, at some point in the day, I will be able to unroll my mat and quiet my mind. Quieting the mind is, for me, the biggest challenge. We live in an age of distraction, and the very instrument on which I write is also a portal into the outside world: The Internet is addictive and I have a hard time shutting it down. During the day I ping around—from my work to a quick e-mail check, back to my work, back online to look something up, something that could really wait until later—and before I know it, even if I've gotten work done, my mind feels like that old commercial about drugs. Do you remember the one? We see an egg. This is your mind. Then the egg is cracked against a hot griddle. This is your mind on drugs. My mind on the Internet needs soothing. It needs silence. It needs space, and when I unroll my mat, I am guaranteed that silence and space. Afterward, when I return to my desk, it is with that ironed, clean, smooth clarity, as if I'm starting my day all over again."
—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion (HarperCollins, 2010)