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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
This winning memoir first took shape as a one-woman show that Morrison still performs in her native Seattle, and it translates nicely to written form: the author's voice is thoughtful, honest, and hilarious. Morrison looks back on her younger self with a mix of empathy and exasperation, touching off her story with the intense fear of death that overtook her when she turned 25, just a month after September 11. Her new yoga teacher, the serene Indra, offers her an opportunity to improve her yoga and connect with her spirituality via a two-month retreat in Bali. There, Morrison embraces her yoga practice, improving poses but remaining skeptical of poseurs. Journal entries from that time alternately pulsate with enthusiasm for yoga, Morrison's yoga-mates, and the Earth—and ooze irritation at coffee cravings, self-righteousness, and others' insistence on drinking their own urine. Morrison finds some of what she sought, including the courage to end her sputtering romantic relationship. (Aug.)
Disregard the in-your-face title—Yoga Bitch is actually a hilarious, thoughtful and only occasionally profane account of one young woman facing mortality and bad habits head on.
Suzanne Morrison was 24 years old when the Twin Towers fell. Shortly thereafter, feeling stressed and spiritually disoriented, she found herself wandering into a yoga studio on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Yoga was, to say the least, not really her thing up until that point: “My idea of exercise was walking up the hill to buy smokes,” Morrison writes. “Rearranging my bookshelves. Having sex. Maybe an especially vigorous acting exercise. Most of the time I lived above the neck.”
But Morrison finds herself drawn to her yoga practice in a way she can’t quite explain. She puts her plans to move to New York City on hold so she can head to Bali for a two-month yoga retreat. Yoga Bitch is something of a travel journal, in which she records her thoughts from the moment her plane leaves Seattle to her arrival in a steamy Balinese village. “Wellness is very big among my yogamates,” she muses on Day 3. “If Wellness were a person, it would be Michael Jackson circa 1984, and my yogamates would be screaming, crying fans, jumping up and down just to be so near to it. Kind of the way I would act around a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes right about now.”
Anyone who has read her eponymous blog or seen her one-woman show knows Morrison is whip-smart and irreverent. In her first book, she proves that she’s also wise and has a singular way with words. Whether you relate to Morrison more in her cigarette-smoking, stressed-out urbanite phase or in full-on Yoga Bitch mode, this book will inspire you to walk your own path to enlightenment—or at least make you laugh a lot.