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Here Comes the Son

He's the child of two famous musicians—Carly Simon and James Taylor—and he's quickly becoming famous himself with the debut of his CD, Famous Among the Barns, and an expected follow-up called Another Run Around the Sun. But what few people know about Ben Taylor is that he has a strong yoga practice and a fierce commitment to social activism.

By Mary Bolster

How long have you been practicing yoga?  Yoga is a big idea for me and means lots of other things like tai chi and qi gong, which I've been doing since I was 10. My asana practice is only about seven years old.

What are some of the things you've learned from yoga?  That I try too hard. I had an instructor who told me to shift my focus to the back of my head like a dog does: Poke my ears back and get attentive and sensitive. If you listen like a dog you have more sensitivity.

What style of yoga do you practice?  I've done a bit of Mysore and I practice vinyasa. I like to practice something different every day, so I do some Gyrotonics and kung fu, too. I practice with Matthew Cohen at Sacred Movement in Venice, California.

How did you get involved with Youth AIDS [a global charity dedicated to preventing the spread of AIDS among children]?  I used to take Seane Corn's class in Los Angeles. Through her I've had the good fortune to become involved. In September I'm going to be singing a whole bunch of songs (at a benefit concert at the Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park, Colorado) for more than an hour. It's just me, but if the crowd wants me to, I'll play all night.

Do you support other causes?  I've been involved with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and a little bit with my old man with the Natural Resources Defense Council. I've also worked with the Tranquility Project that my sister's involved with. It helps rehabilitate animals that have stepped on land mines. Animal rights and natural resources are where it's at for me.

What do you hope to achieve with your music?  I want to succeed and I want to learn if I don't succeed. That's the consolation of failure. It's harder to learn when you succeed.

Read more outtakes from this article in our Online Extra section.

Mary Bolster is the Executive Editor of Yoga Journal.

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