by Nancy Alder
Every time a new yoga book comes out that involves travel to a foreign land, it is hard not to say “been there done that” and instantly jump back to the pages of Eat, Pray, Love. A first glance at the new yoga memoir, Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment , by Suzanne Morrison might lead the reader down this very path, but they would be wise to take a few Ujjayi breaths before doing so. Morrison offers a fresh and new voice in the yoga memoirs genre that is one part deeply exploratory and another giggle-inducing.
Suzanne Morrison began sharing her tale of traveling to Bali to follow her überyogi teachers Indra and Lou during her critically praised one woman show. She gracefully translates what was a dynamic theater experience into a cannot-put-down read. Her words are raw and honest while at the same time interspersed with hilarious anecdotes. Morrison describes the challenges of practicing around awe-inspiring teachers while offering the key that opens to door to showing they are also human.
Her book gracefully straddles the challenges of talking about yoga with both depth and levity so that any reader can find their place on her mat. Morrison is open about her flaws and also celebrates her successes. There are tales that are hard to read and ones that are so funny the reader may find themselves laughing out loud with her.
Her catchy title is a bit deceptive to anyone hoping to find a book that is strictly anti-yogic or entirely comedic. Morrison deftly describes her journey and her struggles with very funny language for sure. However, the real Hridaya or heart of her story comes in the exploration of her relationship with her teachers. Yoga students and teachers alike will drink in the many issues Morrison tenderly addresses about the role of the guru/teacher. The complexity of her relationship with Indra and Lou is the true journey of the book and offers Morrison more challenges than any dose of Bali Belly could.
Yoga Bitch is an engaging read about teachers and yoga, travel and connections, humor and depth. Morrison offers the readers a chance to immerse themselves in a yogic exploration that feels like it is right at home rather than half way across the world. An enjoyable and thought-provoking look at a yoga student and her teachers, a community of yogis and the many ups and down of a witty woman combine to make a rousing great read. Grab your Jade Mat, a bottle of your favorite beverage and your best yoga buddy to laugh, share and discuss Yoga Bitch. You will feel as though you went on an adventure yourself and came home with a nice dose of giggles and some thoughts to chew on as souvenirs.
Nancy Alder is an esteemed writer, yogini, yoga teacher, and caring mom. Her contributing work can be found on YD and other sites such as elephant journal. Nancy is also fearless leader of the 365Yoga journey. Find more of her writing at flyingyogini.org and on twitter @yoga_mydrishti.