"Guiding my friends through the poses with Indra's voice in my ear, I remembered something about yoga that was easy to forget in the world of celebriyogis and sacred schwag. At its best, it nourishes something real in me. Something vulnerable and authentic, where I am most myself. "(p. 298)
Title: Yoga Bitch: One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morrison
352 pages. Three Rivers Press, August 16, 2011
Genre: memoir. Rating: 5/5
In a nutshell: Undecided about her future, the author tries to find spirituality and a role model at a yoga camp in Bali, Indonesia. Though she becomes disillusioned with the camp toward the end of the two-month period, the training experience has a solid influence on her life years later.
Comments: Written with a lot of humor, and down to earth in her approach to yoga, the author details her yoga retreat, the yogis, her yogamates, the food and environment, and of course, the exercises and practices taught by her Seattle yoga masters, Lou and Indra.
One of the humorous events that Suzanne writes about is her experience with Bali Belly, a stomach ailment akin to Montezuma's revenge or diarrhea and severe cramps. Lou and Indra's yoga practice advocated drinking her own urine, which is supposed to have a strong anti-toxin effect, instead of taking antibiotics. Suzanne is reluctant to drink her own waste but gives in when she has no other alternative. Happily, she is cured by this urine therapy, but never takes this cleansing drink again, unlike her roommate Jessica, who sips from her coffee cup every morning, eyes closed, the sun on her face.
Suzanne gets discouraged when her role model Indra starts to focus on money, but in spite of this, the camp experience and her own "enlightenment" continues to affect her years after, especially in making important decisions about her love life. More self aware and in tune with herself, Suzanne finds her own path to real happiness. Some years later, the author visits Lou and Indra back home in their Seattle yoga studio, a subtle acknowledgement that she did learn something valuable from them.
I gave this 5 stars for turning me on to yoga even more than I was before, and for keeping me entertained and informed through the entire book!
About the author: A writer and solo performer currently living in Seattle, SUZANNE MORRISON has a one-woman show, Yoga Bitch, which has played to sold-out houses in New York City, Maui, Seattle, Memphis, London, and Oxford. You can find Suzanne at Huffington Post and at http://www.suzanne-morrison.com/, where she writes about absolutely everything she's reading, writing, and rehearsing.
Disclosure: This book is a library loan.