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Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

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Wendy in Port Townsend, December 25, 2011 (view all comments by Wendy in Port Townsend)
I enjoyed this book by Claire Dederer about learning from different yoga teachers while raising a family while recovering from her parents' separation when she was a child. I also appreciated that most of it takes place in and around Seattle, since I'm reading a lot of books set in the Pacific Northwest these days. The book is cleverly structured, with each chapter named after a yoga asana, and each chapter explores her development in yoga, the complexities of her home life, and her memories growing up, especially as all of those relate to the asana. It's a very honest book, and often very funny, as she captures the absurdity of the intense young mothers in North Seattle.
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elliotfamily, September 30, 2011 (view all comments by elliotfamily)
Poser: My life in 23 Yoga Poses is a great book; insightful, funny and oh hell, I've been there too feeling. So much that I wish it had been written 12 years ago when my girl was born, so that I would have had a clue. Highly recommended, yogi or not, I loved it!
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LDP, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by LDP)
I am not a yoga-phile, but despite the title of Poser, that doesn't change how enjoyable, poignant and funny it is! Claire Dederer's memoir captures the zeitgeist of what it's like to be a new mom of a certain age in Seattle. But even that doesn't convey the essence of this book, which is a wonderfully written and self-effacing story of one woman's struggle to make peace with ALL the parts of her life. Truly an enjoyable read!
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JanetE, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by JanetE)
A great read. Funny, smart and compelling account of finding your feet metaphorically and quite literally. Dederer leads us through her negotiations with her body, her husband, her children and her extended family with wit and a clear head, even when describing her sometimes muddled condition. Far more inspiring than any diet and lifestyle guru's how-to, this story of diligent, patient pursuit made me want to move. Dederer is frank about herself and her adventures making a good life for herself and her family out of the building blocks she only comes to fully understand through the prism of yoga. There may have been a bit more yoga fun facts than I sometimes needed, but this is a quibble--her voice is sure and the story well-paced and engaging.
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jnms1, June 28, 2011 (view all comments by jnms1)
I actually had tears in my eyes at the end of this book/not because it was sad but because it was so poignant. Dederer relates the challenge of yoga poses to the challenges she is experiencing in her life as a new mother and sometimes frustrated wife in a "keep up with the Joneses" new mother Seattle environment. As a beginner Yogi myself, I realized how much my Yoga practice actually does reflect what is occurring in my life on any given day. I thorougly enjoyed her writing style and found this book quite entertaining.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374236441
Subtitle:
My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses
Author:
Dederer, Claire
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Yoga
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Hatha yoga
Subject:
Motherhood
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20101221
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Featured Titles
Religion » Eastern Religions » Yoga

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses Used Hardcover
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Product details 352 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374236441 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Poser is an intelligent and funny memoir-slash-exploration-of-yoga. It sounds lighthearted, and it can be, but Dederer illuminates hard questions with honesty and grace, and transformed the way I look at my on-again, off-again yoga practice. Poser is inspiring in the best possible way.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'I have never been good at sports; I always feel like a spectator even in the middle of the game,' writes freelance writer Dederer about her initial reluctance to attend a yoga class. But despite her misgivings and her 'defiance of my longtime policy of never entering a structure adorned with Tibetan prayer flags,' Dederer makes it through that first class to develop a strong commitment to yoga in addition to — and sometimes despite — raising two children, coping with a husband struggling with depression, finding time to write, along with a demanding extended family and a move from her native Seattle to Colorado. With lighthearted humor and a touch of irony, Dederer introduces her readers to the culture of motherhood in north Seattle during the late 1990s, a place populated by clog-wearing attachment-parenting women whom Dederer simultaneously disdained and embraced. Each chapter is titled after a different yoga pose as Dederer recounts the challenging births of her children and reflects upon her own emotionally difficult childhood and adolescence during the 1970s. Dederer's memoir, like a challenging yoga class, flows smoothly and shows by example that a full life is one that is constantly in motion. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "Dederer contributes nuggets of yoga trivia paired with a droll, self-effacing delivery that's both down-to-earth and pleasingly introspective. Delicious fun with a friendly nudge for readers on the fence about yoga."
"Review" by , "Dederer's humor is tangy and precision-aimed; her targets are the sine qua non of memoirs: mothers and marriage. A book reviewer and social critic...Dederer writes superbly and offers sharp insights into family dynamics as well as hatha yoga's impact on American life."
"Review" by , "Poser is a powerful, honest, ruefully funny memoir about one woman's open-hearted reckoning with her demons."
"Review" by , "It's got the gravitational pull of a good novel and an unusually genuine voice that envelops the reader swiftly.... Dederer sparkles when introspection is ruthless — the result reads true and funny."
"Review" by , "From the bendier-than-thou instructors to the more-locavore-than-thou preschool parents, Dederer captures everyone in her world with humanity and gentle wit. So many readers will relate to her story"
"Synopsis" by , After throwing her back out, Dederer was told to try yoga. Over the next decade, she would become fast friends with some poses and develop long-standing feuds with others. At the same time, she found herself confronting the forces that shaped her generation.
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