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On the Path of Yoga An Interview with Maggie Norton Abstract: In an interview, Ms. Norton describes the evolution of her practice of yoga as a spiritual as well as a physical discipline. She describes the practice of awareness of the breath, as taught in yoga traditions, as an awareness of “the river of life, in which we are all held or carried within the same stream of aliveness, of consciousness.” This interview appeared in Religion East & West, Issue 7, October 2007. Religion East & West: Did you go to church when you were a child? Maggie Norton: I did. I was raised in Scotland by parents who were quite strongly Christian. We went to the Episcopalian Church, which in Scotland was the closest to the Church of England. I was baptized, christened in the church, went to Sunday school and church classes, and continued in that tradition into my teens. REW: Did you have a strong belief, or were you just going along with what other people were doing? MN: I’ve always had a strong sense of spirit, a sense of there being a connection between us all, a connection that is something other than what I can see. I think that I’m still influenced by my Christian upbringing, although my upbringing doesn’t necessarily fit with how I experience the world now. I don’t really believe that there is a supreme being. The notion of God no longer fits for me, although it was certainly very strong when I was a child. REW: What led you to abandon that notion? MN: Perhaps the strongest influence was the Presbyterian school I went to until I was fourteen. There was no local Church of England school, so my parents sent me to the Presbyterian school. They didn’t see that as a problem as long as the school had a Christian core. The Scottish Presby

Issue 10, October 2010


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