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Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses ~Claire Dederer

I first heard about this book at one of my book groups.  Jane came in the door waving a copy of the book and said, “I want to share with you this book my sister in Seattle just gave to me.  It is all about growing up in Seattle and about a young woman discovering her authentic self through yoga; it is quite funny.”

I turned on my Kindle and we went to the site and I reported that the book was $26.00 in hardcopy and $12 in Kindle, and while the group debated about the book being too expensive and no used copies yet, I downloaded it to my reader.  (The book has dropped in price now and is available in paperback)

I just knew this book was going to be “my cuppa tea” kind of read even though there were a lot of references to the Seattle Coffee reputation being built and contributed to by the author.  This is a record of a person’s life and how she made changes and came to terms with being whom – who she authentically was – is.  The author is another Change Artist in Action.   She tells her story through the framework of 23 yoga poses, which she explains well and then lets them breathe into how they defined the times of her life.

There is definitely something about letting gravity work in a yoga pose that calms the mind and allows ideas and thoughts to bubble up into consciousness and identifies what they need to work on, what to turn into play – inquiry and investigation.

Dederer is a journalist and works as a freelance writer and her skill is delightfully punctuated with sly sarcasm based/ tongue in cheek sense of humor.  Her views of the “perfect” mother syndrome of her friends starting families, breast feeding and stroller distancing problems (got to wear that baby around your neck to truly bond) just made me feel so much happier with the “post hippie” parenting mode I experienced and carried my own children through.  I just had to laugh right out loud at times in the story.

The author did a great deal of questioning about her own parents and even though she was questioning in relationship to her own needs, wants, and confusions her writing and storytelling was very respectful of their journey. This book is kinda, sort of about divorce.  I do not think the author felt unloved, rather I think she felt “over” loved sometimes, if that is possible.

Her descriptions of various yoga styles, studios, and practices were wonder  full.   The drawings that started each chapter were delight full.   Her words about getting into poses, holding, breathing, and recovery  made me feel, “been there and done that”; I was so happy that she was reminding us to breathe along the way.

The book group went ahead and chose the historic novel Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, which is a huge tome of greatest, detailed storytelling about the slave trade I would ever want to encounter.  It won the Booker Prize for its brilliant writing and its historic relevance.  I read the book and will discuss it this week at group, but I will not do a book review on site, because I do not write about books I do not care for; I did not care for READING this paperback book – of 630 pages on tissue paper with extremely small print, which made my eyes hurt and act as though I had an astigmatism.  The details of how a slave ship was built, detailed, and modified overwhelmed me and since other good friends adore these types of detail, who am I to give this book a rating?

I gave Poser 5 Ladybugs
5 Ladybugs
Elizabeth Gilbert the author of Eat, Love, Pray – loved this book

I purchased these books, no agency or individual paid me to review this book or not to review the Hunger book, but if you purchase this book off this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

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A reminder:  there are two book” give aways” happening on Patricia’s Wisdom right now:

April 22, 2011 will be the drawing for a copy of the book THE LONG GOODBYE – all you need to do is be from the USA or Canada and leave a comment.

April 28, 2011 The author of the book THE PROCRASTINATION EQUATION is giving away a copy to the best procrastination story or anti-procrastination technique from the comments section.

Can you recommend a book to me that you discovered and enjoyed?  Have you made any delightful discoveries as of late? Did you just decide to read something on a whim or suggestion that turned out well?  Let’s share

Related Reading:
How Yoga Works, a novel
Naked In Eden
Olive Kitteridge
Change Artist In Action

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14 Responses to “Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses ~Claire Dederer”

  1. Jim Carter @ Yoga Travel Says:

    hey great post thanks for sharing these 23 yoga poses might help for the beginners as well as for the experienced peoples, with this we can easily start yoga exercises and keep ourself fit.
    Jim Carter @ Yoga Travel recently posted..A Natural Awakening – Laughing WaterMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    Welcome and thank you for making a comment. The illustrations in this book are mostly stick figures, that show how the pose moves. The Author states early on that she tried to use books and videos but truly needed to take a class to get the best benefit out of yoga – the poses provided an opportunity for her to think about different parts of her life.

    It is a great book and recommendation for Yoga – for many reasons.

  2. Talon Says:

    I like that correlation of the yoga poses to life lessons. I’ll definitely be checking this one out, Patricia.

    Hard to believe, but as I’m typing this we’re getting more snow showers. I hope the skies are blue and the breezes are warm your way!
    Talon recently posted..Oh So Wise WandaMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I am so sorry about the snow your way – I do remember snow on April Easters in Ohio and New Jersey….We are on our 3 days of sunshine mixed up with rain showers….I keep running outside to warm up during the sun breaks. I have to say having such a gray wet 2010 – present has played a bit of havoc on my joy bones this time around.

    I did so enjoy reading the Poser book – a very fun writer and a good study into a life without having to travel too far or wide and lots of discovery. Made me wish I was still taking yoga, but so much “stuff” bubbles up during the posing. Yes, I think you would enjoy this read

  3. Arts Web Show Says:

    That’s a lot of poses. lol
    I bet they are all hard work fun great for flexibility

    Patricia Reply:

    The memoir part of the story is fascinating the poses are just the skeleton of the story.
    The author’s brother was a guitarist and singer – song writer for the Presidents of the United States band and now works in computers and other interesting endeavors – I discovered he is quite famous when I wikipedia searched the author( I can not get my spell check to work on this computer?)

    Reminds me of my fantastically creative and talented artist friend in UK!

    Thank you for coming by

  4. J.D. Meier Says:

    > She tells her story through the framework of 23 yoga poses, which she explains well and then lets them breathe into how they defined the times of her life
    I very much like the frame and I’m fascinated by the approach. I think yoga is truly an effective way for living life better, and it grows with you.
    J.D. Meier recently posted..Checking Your Personal PerformanceMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I think this is an amazing book and so fun – I liked the framing of it and her impressive introspection and changes she made – but it was also so wonderful because it was about Seattle and the Islands – and I knew those places and weird bookstores. People can bloom where they are planted!

  5. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia – Hoping to sneak a few books in this summer that are not related to my studies and this sounds delightful with the yoga poses – it may serve to get me more into yoga as well. Always such a treat to hear about the books you recommend! My list is growing!

    patricia Reply:

    This is a good one to add to you list…I could hardly put it down and that it was fun and not so intense – a good book

  6. Sara Says:


    You made this book sound very interesting. After your last post about Yoga poses, I even more interested in this book.

    You do a really good book review — very thorough, glimpses of who the writer is and usually with your endorsement, we know it’s a good book.

    I must admit that I’m very glad you didn’t do the review of Sacred Hunger. I’m not sure I’m up a book with 630 tissue thin pages. Like you, my eyes get tired easily:~)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge of this book~
    Sara recently posted..Story Photo- Five SensesMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I have to admit I was first drawn to this book because of Seattle, Yoga and FUN in the same description.

    It is truly a great book and I am using the little pictures to work on yoga at home as I am unable to attend class.

    When holding a post ideas do come up in the mind, so yoga not only helped the author to stretch and feel good, but it was a natural for assisting her in finding her way.

    I think you would love this book and now used copies are showing up and even Kindle price is less – much more affordable and FUN

  7. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. it does sound an interesting way to find out a little more about yoga – I certainly will remember this for the future .. as I know very little about yoga .. but must get my exercise regime going …

    Cheers and a very Happy Easter … Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Q is for Quern-Stone – that is what Q is for My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I think besides great stretching and keeping joints and muscles moving properly inside and out – yoga teaches one more about themselves – it is excellent exercise.

    Happy Easter to you too…

    I am working on the theme of stretching and springing open the mind to new possibilities and opportunities…My piece today is about being in the tomb myself and modelling realization…

    Do not know if folks are understanding – or just working on being helpful? They are all apart of the story
    Patricia recently posted..Food and Money InsightsMy Profile