With scraps of paper scattered around her, Karen Callan sat on the floor of her home’s yoga studio and organized the chapters of her first book.
She spent more than a decade scribbling stories of inspiration and heartache on yellow legal pads, preferring handwriting to typing. She likes the flow of it.
The stories begin with Callan’s relationship with her grandmother, Rosa Moore, a woman who taught her that “I love you” existed even when the phrase was mostly absent from Callan’s childhood home.
Callan credits her grandmother’s joyful vigor to yoga, a practice the older woman discovered in her 40s at the suggestion of a doctor.
She remembers her grandmother sitting in chairs with legs crossed in full Lotus pose and blazing confidently down the sidewalk, even in old age. Callan turned to yoga in her 30s as a treatment for her own health issues.
“Just in Time: How to Find Joy and Synchronicity in Every Moment” weaves family relationships and what she calls “divine” moments of serendipity.
Callan, 50, has planned on writing a book since high school. When she started jotting down moments with her grandparents and coincidences sprinkled throughout her own life, the book blossomed.
“I used to joke that you could write this down, but no one would believe you,” Callan said. “(Synchronicity) happens every day in my life.”
Callan describes her life now as joyful and easy, but it has not always been that way. As a teenager, she was a “hard worker and A-student” but found her life serious and without happiness. She contemplated suicide.
“I went into this deep meditation right before I was going to take my life, and I saw the light, so to speak,” Callan said. “I just knew that there was a peace that was greater than what we have ever experienced and a love that was so deep and unexplainable, and that is literally what I stuck to, month by month, breath by breath.”
Shortly after that realization, a friend introduced Callan to writing. Now, in both her writing and through her studio RosaYoga, she hopes to share her love of life with others.
“I could do yoga on the kitchen floor. I could go outside. I do it everywhere,” she said.
Her home studio, converted from a living room in 2003, looks out to the Catalina Mountains. She teaches a Vinyasa Flow class several times a week. Throughout the years, her husband and four children have flitted in and out of classes.
“Yoga is not just physical,” Callan said. “It is a way of life, and that is more of what my book is about ... The practice of what we do in a regular class brings us to noticing every moment, staying in tune and following your breath.”
A table tucked in a corner of the studio holds photos, one of her grandmother and another of a 5-year-old Callan standing beside her siblings on one leg, the sole of her foot pressed to her knee. It is how she stands naturally — tree pose.
“It’s full circle, and now I’m the grandma,” Callan said. “My book came out the day after my 50th birthday. It’s the beginning of my next chapter. Isn’t that something? I love it. Every little turn is just amazing.”