Do the Dawg

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons hopes sharing his passion for yoga will make the world a better place.
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Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons hopes sharing his passion for yoga will make the world a better place.

How did you get into yoga?

When Steve Ross was my teacher, he used to play hip-hop music, there were always a bunch of cute girls, and it was a great workout. But after my first class, I felt a bit of presence—and it was addictive. Then there was scripture—and the scripture reminded me what I was getting from the practice. It helped me to become happier and more peaceful.

Do you spend time reading the yogic scriptures?

I read the propaganda every day, just a little bit of it.

What prompted you to make a video series?

Fifteen million people practice yoga in America. More are discovering it, but there are no infomercials, no big investment, no creative efforts to promote it. All the contributions I've made in the world are good, but nothing would be nearly as great as if I could introduce more people to yoga. That would be my greatest contribution for sure.

So you want to change the world? What if the yogis were the only ones who voted?

People who are into scripture and chanting and meditation, and people who just do the asanas—if you got all those people together and told them to vote, this country would be dramatically different. We'd be less fearful and more loving.