Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: Yoga Bitch by Suzanna Morrison

I picked up Yoga Bitch in an airport on my way to Europe a couple summers ago. Between the title and the cover, how could I resist?

OK, so I have had this on and off again relationship with Yoga for a few years now. Recently I've gone back to 'on again' and hopefully this time for good. So in the spirit of getting and staying excited about yoga, I thought I'd read one of my favourite Yoga books.

Yoga Bitch chronicles Suzanne Morrison's months spent in Bali studying Yoga at the feet of her personal guru Indra, before moving cross the country to New York to move in with her boyfriend and start life in the big city. The trip to Bali was intended to help her overcome a crippling fear of death while becoming the 'higher bird' and attaining enlightenment. Upon arriving in Bali however, she is confronted by a group of literal 'piss-drinkers' in the form of her fellow Yogis who partake in urine therapy each morning. More important, however, is during all those hours of meditation and breathing deeply she is also confronted with herself.

Suzanne has a pretty funny book trailer on YouTube in which she tries to answer some common questions about yoga, in her own personal way.

What makes this book so important for any young aspiring yogi to read, however, is the realness of her journey. Suzanne bares it all on her path to yogic enlightenment, and approaches yoga with a healthy dose of both skepticism and respect. She balances her earnestness for her practice with designer handbag coveting and chocolate coconut milkshake devouring. Reading this book, I can very easily envision myself in Suzanne's shoes, and both times I've read it, I've been inspired to one day make my own similar yoga retreat.

In fact, lately I've been inspired enough to do some more in depth yoga reading. I picked up a copy of The Textbook of Yoga by Yogeswar. (grabbed it second hand from Fair's Fair) The book details the practice and purpose of 36 Asanas  (positions), 4 Mudras (gestures, usually with the hands), 3 Bandhas (or energy locks, like mulabandha), 3 Kriyas (maybe has to do with breathing, clearly I need to read this book) and Pranayama (definitely has to do with breathing).

The aim of reading through this text, as I continue to practice Ashtanga is to develop a real deep appreciation and understanding for each movement and pose of my practice. Hopefully I'll be sharing some of this with the readers of my blog as I move along.

Do you practice Yoga? Have you read any good books about yoga lately?

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