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Shannon Rose has commented on (3) products.

Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life by Brad Willis
Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life

Shannon Rose, July 16, 2013

I read quite a lot of memoirs, but despite my broad exposure to them, Ram’s (aka Brad Willis) stands out as particularly remarkable. Plus, if you’re in need of a healthy dose of inspiration, this should do it.

The story goes something like this. Willis leaves small town America to rise up through the ranks and become a successful, hard working war correspondent, traversing the globe to cover stories of international importance. Already, you’ve got an interesting story, right? Willis, however, suffers an injury (a broken back), which he tries to hide and live with. As to be expected, the injury worsens over time and, through desperate attempts to cope, Willis finds himself addicted to alcohol, pain medication, and unable to maintain his career. Then, comes the cancer diagnosis.

The story that takes over from there tells of Willis’ discovery of yoga, re-discovery of his sense of self, and a transformational journey to his own health and wellness: body, mind, and spirit.

I will confess that when I started this book, I was most interested in the parts about his days as a war correspondent. My mind was piqued by stories of war, travel, and the human condition. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the rest of the book. I tend to be somewhat wary of stories that speak of such dramatic transformation through spiritual means of any sort, so my guard was a bit up. Surprisingly to me, as Willis’ story of his career shifted into the discovery of himself as Bhava Ram, I found myself remaining just as engaged and just as intrigued as I was at the start.

Yoga may or not be your thing, but I see in this book a narrative of embracing humility, exploring possibilities, and developing wisdom that just about anyone can relate to. Yoga is the conduit through which Ram found these things for himself, but surely there is any number of methods that could be used for similar journeys. And, if yoga is your thing, Ram’s story will uphold the belief of the restorative powers of a dedicated and consistent yoga practice.

Read this book for some international adventure, sure, but also read this book for a bit of inspiration and, just maybe, a dash of motivation to try some new approaches in your own life.
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The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance by Ed Ayres
The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance

Shannon Rose, February 24, 2013

**Parts of this review were taken from a longer personal review posted on my own blog.

I have read many running-related books, but this is by far one of my favorites. The story he tells is of his experience at the 2001 JFK 50-mile ultra-marathon, and this story alone makes for a wonderful read. As a runner myself (though not an ultra-runner by a long shot), I was drawn in by the tale of endurance. I certainly learned a bit about running from Ayers and will be applying my new education to my own training. But, to say that this is a book that is solely about running would be to ignore many of the larger themes in the book. Ayers writes with a profound respect for the sport of running, humankind, animalkind, and the planet as a whole and it is a beautiful thing to read.

The Longest Race offers us a glimpse into Ayers’ mind and it is a brilliant place to explore. His grasp of history, science, and the human condition is evident as he reflects on the past, as it is so boldly laid out before him on the JFK course, as well as on the future, as he considers deeply the connections between people, animals, the environment, and the sustainability of all three. Ayers also touches here and there on topics such as patience, anxiety, nutrition, and relationships both within the running community and outside of it.

I highly recommend this one for runners, of course, but also think that it would appeal to just about anyone interested in an insightful memoir and reflections on the sustainability of our world.
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A Single Man. Christopher Isherwood by Christopher Isherwood
A Single Man. Christopher Isherwood

Shannon Rose, January 4, 2012

I realize this book isn't new - by any means. But, after watching the film adaptation I was sure I had to read the book. And, with that one book came such an appreciation for Christopher Isherwood. The book is beautifully written with a style that made me feel so present with the characters and the scenery. I really loved the journey that I took with the main character and felt like as the story progressed, he opened up more and more - or I just learned to understand him better - who knows? Fantastic read and the start of many more adventures with Isherwood!
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