Anne Clendening thought she’d grow up to be a rock star’s wife, living in the Hollywood Hills and partying every night with The Stones. Drinking at 13, then bartending in Hollywood nightclubs, designing her own clothing line, producing fashion shows, working on music videos and photo shoots with Black Sabbath and other bands, she seemed well on her way…until she was arrested for drunk driving at age 21. Bent: How Yoga Saved My Ass is Clendening’s contemplation of the events that shaped her life and the unforeseen shift in her perception that occurred when she found yoga and Eastern philosophy.
With edgy humor and disarming candor, Clendening charts her journey through alcoholism, heartbreak, mysterious health problems, and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease on her way to the devoted yoga practice that helped her understand herself differently and ultimately transform her life. She writes, “Life can be confusing, beautiful, disappointing, undeniably amazing, and invariably marked with difficulty. Sometimes there’s a happy ending, and other times, there just ain’t.” In Bent she grapples with universal themes of death, happiness, pain, illness, and freedom with wonderful wit and insight. This is a book about discovering who you really are, and letting go of who you’re not. It’s about free spiritedness—pure, unrestrained freedom from the bondage of self-centered fear and less-than-splendid circumstances and embracing the principles of oneness and loving-kindness (even if you have no idea what that means).
Anne Clendening is a yoga teacher, creative nonfiction writer, and columnist for Elephant Journal. She was born in Santa Monica, California and studied English Literature at the University of Southern California. After more than two decades working in the fashion business designing, styling music videos, producing fashion shows, and bartending in Hollywood nightclubs, Anne turned her attention back to writing. She currently lives in L.A. with her Australian husband and their boxer dog Sabina.
Buddhist teachings and meditation offer a roadmap to help college students and others in early adulthood incorporate mindfulness into their lives as a means of facing the myriad struggles unique to this stage of life.