“There was this notion in my mind that somehow yoga was going to make me better. Better than I’d been, better than everyone else. More virtuous. I liked the idea of myself as a yoga person. (I could not bring myself to say yogi, or yogini.) Lithe, probably thin, with some kind of ineffable glow. And my back wouldn’t hurt.”
I finished this book a month ago. As a person who has had an on and off yoga practice over the years, I loved the bits on yoga, I find myself relating to most of the writer’s experiences and insights, it’s the most highlighted book I read this year, in fact.
I loved Claire Dederer’s idea of relating certain yoga poses to various points of her life, but the latter chapters I find were haphazard and quite confusing. I honestly didn’t care about most of the other topics, except when she was talking about yoga. I lost interest halfway into it but I forced myself to finish because every now and then I stumbled upon ‘gems’.
Claire wrote about having difficulties with chaturanga dandasana and the wheel, I struggled with the same and I am quite convinced my body is not meant to do these poses even if I try so hard. Chaturanga is an important transition pose as you move through the vinyasa flow, and I would always feel awkward not being able to stay in this pose with integrity, that is with the elbows bending at 45 degrees, my knees not resting on the floor, and the belly not dropping. When it is time to do inversions, I find the rest of the class opening up their chests with ease, meanwhile I lie in corpse pose unable to lift myself to do a wheel. It’s a bit comforting to know some people have certain asanas they cannot do well.
Reading this book served as a reminder of how I needed yoga in my life and I need to get back on the mat real soon.