The studio was decorated in the style of "Don't Be Afraid, We're Not a Cult." All was white and blond and clean, as though the room had been designed for surgery, or Swedish people. The only spot of color came from the Tibetan prayer flags strung over the doorway into the studio. In flagrant defiance of my longtime policy of never entering a structure adorned with Tibetan prayer flags, I removed my shoes, paid my ten bucks, and walked in . . .
Ten years ago, Claire Dederer threw her back out breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class. She fell madly in love.
Over the next decade, she would tackle triangle, wheel, and the dreaded crow, becoming fast friends with some poses and developing long-standing feuds with others. At the same time, she found herself confronting the forces that shaped her generation. Daughters of women who ran away to find themselves and made a few messes along the way, Dederer and her peers grew up determined to be good, good, good—even if this meant feeling hemmed in by the smugness of their organic-buying, attachment-parenting, anxiously conscientious little world. Yoga seemed to fit right into this virtuous program, but to her surprise, Dederer found that the deeper she went into the poses, the more they tested her most basic ideas of what makes a good mother, daughter, friend, wife—and the more they made her want something a little less tidy, a little more improvisational. Less goodness, more joy.
Poser is unlike any other book about yoga you will read—because it is actually a book about life. Witty and heartfelt, sharp and irreverent, Poser is for anyone who has ever tried to stand on their head while keeping both feet on the ground.
"I have never been good at sports; I always feel like a spectator even in the middle of the game," writes freelance writer Dederer about her initial reluctance to attend a yoga class. But despite her misgivings and her "defiance of my longtime policy of never entering a structure adorned with Tibetan prayer flags," Dederer makes it through that first class to develop a strong commitment to yoga in addition to and sometimes despite raising two children, coping with a husband struggling with depression, finding time to write, along with a demanding extended family and a move from her native Seattle to Colorado. With lighthearted humor and a touch of irony, Dederer introduces her readers to the culture of motherhood in north Seattle during the late 1990s, a place populated by clog-wearing attachment-parenting women whom Dederer simultaneously disdained and embraced. Each chapter is titled after a different yoga pose as Dederer recounts the challenging births of her children and reflects upon her own emotionally difficult childhood and adolescence during the 1970s. Dederer's memoir, like a challenging yoga class, flows smoothly and shows by example that a full life is one that is constantly in motion.
This book made me laugh!
I loved this book and highly recommend it. As the prior reviewer said most any mom, but especially newer moms, will relate to it, or anyone who loves yoga. Dederer's writing is quite readable. She is hip and cool, but also very human and funny. I really enjoyed reading about her struggles as a daughter, a wife and a mom and also I found myself laughing out loud, at times. By the end of "Poser," I definitely wanted to be friends with Dederer, or at least neighbors!
Wow! I really loved this book. As a child of the 70's and all of the parental madness that went along with it, this book touched me and brought me back, kicking & screaming as it was! As a middle-aged mom struggling to find balance in a messed up world with yoga as a primary tool, "Poser" again spoke eloquently and like an old friend. And a great ending! Brava!
Although I affectionately refer to it as a 'mommy memoir' this book really goes so much further than that. It spoke to me not only as a mother, a do-gooder, and yogini, but as an adult child who survived divorce and got me thinking more about how this crazy and huge event still shows up in my life even after years of growth, resolution and forgiveness have already taken place. I thank Claire for sharing this very poignant and honest story. You got me thinking, laughing, crying....