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Yoga Memoirs

This year has seen the release of several memoirs based around yoga.  This ancient Indian practice has definitely made it to the mainstream. The books come from a variety of voices from around the country.

If you are interested in yoga, check out:

Poser: My Life in 23 Poses by Claire Dederer

We first meet Claire, a new mom and writer struggling with her life in the late 90s Seattle. Perfection haunts her every step and she turns to yoga hoping it will make her a better person. We journey with Claire for the next 10 years of her life and yoga practice. Through money issues, the birth of children, broken friendships, cross country moves, Claire learns more about embracing what she has instead of looking for what she doesn’t.

NPR interview with the author

Devotion by Dani Shapiro

In her mid-forties and settled into the responsibilities and routines of adulthood, Dani Shapiro found herself with more questions than answers. Was this all life was-a hodgepodge of errands, dinner dates, e-mails, meetings, to-do lists? What did it all mean? Having grown up in a deeply religious and traditional family, Shapiro had no personal sense of faith, despite repeated attempts to create a connection to something greater. Spurred on by the big questions her young son began to raise, Shapiro embarked upon a surprisingly joyful quest to find meaning in a constantly changing world.

Huffington Post review

Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morrison

Yoga Bitch chronicles Suzanne’s hilarious adventures and misadventures as an aspiring yogi who might be just a bit too skeptical to drink the Kool-Aid. But along the way she discovers that no spiritual effort is wasted; even if her yoga retreat doesn’t turn her into the gorgeously calm, wise believer she hopes it will, it does plant seeds that continue to blossom in surprising ways over the next decade of her life.

Book trailer

Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude by Neal Pollack

The hilarious true account of an overweight, balding, skeptical guy’s unexpected transformation into a healthy, blissful yoga fiend. Neal Pollack was out of shape. The hair on his head was thinning and the hair on his face was pretentious. While struggling to master difficult poses without kicking other yogis in the face, Pollack actually, remarkably, began to feel better, both in body and mind. Soon he found himself immersed in the “weird and circuslike” world of yoga. Stretch mercilessly lampoons the bizarre, omnipresent culture of yoga, but it’s also a story of profound personal transformation. Pollack started off mocking yoga. Now he’s become one of its most enthusiastic proponents.

WSJ Speakeasy interview

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