Poser

Poser

My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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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 put her back out while 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.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780374236441
0374236445
Characteristics: 332 p. :,ill.

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t
thelonious78
May 15, 2017

a little too snarky for my taste. not my experience of Seattle in the early '90's, so it was hard to relate. well written but it was hard to find likable attributes in the narrator's voice, so it was tough to finish. read as part of a requirement for a writing retreat -- half the people liked it, half the people hated it -- no middle ground, and where people chose to keep their copies of the other books read for the retreat, there was a pile of copies of this book left over at the end.

r
redbookhound
Feb 07, 2017

This is a book for all ages of women. One unexpected plot line is that Dederer brings a refreshing retelling of the development of feminism from early history to our current time. Her musings and questions are cogent and new which means Mothers and Daughters have a lot of share in these pages. How she weaves consciousness and self knowledge into quite a stunning memoir while exploring the world of Yoga is lovely. Motherhood, wife-hood, self discovery, working, Yoga practice, just being a woman in our western culture trying to cope, are explored with a frank and outstanding honesty in her pages. As Mary Karr exhorts the would be memorist in her book The Art of Memoir, honesty with both self and reader is the only correct path. Dederer is to be commended for sticking to her path with a righteous kindness and mental consciousness. Well done.

b
bsallen
Apr 15, 2016

I really enjoyed Poser. I was a divorced woman avoiding marriage in the 70's, a married mother in the 80's, and worked in public elementary schools in the 90's and I haphazardly practiced yoga through most of it. I could recognize and relate to the people and emotional states in the book. I picked the book up not expecting much and discovered a real gem. I would definitely recommend the book as a good, thoughtful read.

s
sofareader
Mar 10, 2014

great book, easy to read and to relate to

r
Rubicat
Feb 27, 2012

I loved this book - the tone was that of an adult who recognizes her faults and her talents. She is appropriately witty and is spot on with her descriptions of her neighbors and friends - since I live and work in the same neighborhood as the author, I was blown away by the accuracy of her depiction of our lives, our habits and most especially, those frantically hip/cool/overly protective mothers. I laughed out loud several times, and I learned a bit about yoga, too. This is quite a treat, but only if you are able to laugh at yourself and all your foibles.

z
zomazing
Jul 01, 2011

A witty and sarcastic, yet earnest, look at what it is like to be a woman who is trying to be 'good' amongst the realities of motherhood, family, and human foibles. The book is organized by yoga poses. You will learn about yoga, but more importantly I felt like I learned about the purpose of yoga. To be present in your own life, to win and fail.

n
nancygator
Jun 10, 2011

entertaining read, like how she started each chapter with reference to a yoga pose. she's a creative writer who was not afraid to share her insecurities and most private matters.

q
queensgirl1963
Feb 18, 2011

Really like this book as I could relate to it in so many ways. Yoga, motherhood, raising children, living near family were all familiar themes for me. Claire's voice is no-nonsense and honest - I also liked her up front attitude about her husband's depression. I would recommend it.

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