Why I Do Yoga: Scott Schwartz
Schwartz, who represents some of Hollywood's top writers and producers, sees himself as a warrior whose mission is to protect and take care of his artists. As a board member of a publicly traded Internet company and president of his own agency, Vision Arts Management, he makes and receives at least 125 phone calls a day and is in constant negotiations. "Yoga allows me to focus. If you are spiritually cleansed and physically rejuvenated, you are a much more powerful force. What I do as an agent takes perseverance. It means never giving up and deflecting the negative. Because of yoga and that ability to get down deep into my soul, I have the strength to endure and succeed." Schwartz begins his yoga practice at 5:40 a.m. every morning, when he goes out to his garden. Here he is surrounded by fruit trees and flowers. "Concentrating on nature puts me in touch with the sweetness of life." He starts with pPranayama (breathwork) which "invigorates every blood cell and tissue with the spirit of infinite generations. We're only here for a cosmic blink. By taking in that deep breath and holding it for that millisecond, your soul experiences divine harmony." Then he meditates into his poses: Sun Salutations, forward bends, backbends, Bridge, and Plow. During the day, in between phone calls and meetings, he'll pick up a book on Zen and read a few passages. "It helps me modify my physical and mental state." His evening practice consists mostly of pranayama. "My days are spent charging ahead. It's electrifying. But at the end of the day, I want to silence all those voices and turn down the volume of desire."
Scott Schwartz's Practice.
Twice a day at home and classes on the weekend.
How he got started.
He had been doing martial arts since he was 14. In 1978 a teacher suggested he study yoga to improve his flexibility. He found yoga improved his martial arts practice and as an added benefit helped his surfing, giving him the flexibility and focus to be able to handle the waves. On his desk in his office you'll find Zen in the Martial Arts (Bantam, 1982), Zen Mind, Beginners Mind (Walker/Weatherhill, 1970), and Surfer magazine.
Schwartz's main teacher today is Jackie Freedman, who teaches hatha yoga. Before that yoga teacher Stuart Richlin came to Schwartz's house. He credits Yogi Ramesh, with whom he studied during the '80s, for teaching him pranayama, and Linda Garbett, with whom he studied for 10 years, for teaching him meditation.