Namaste, Bitch

I read Suzanne Morrison’s entertaining enlightenment escapade last summer. It was an odd choice of a “beach book”, and certainly caused a few eyebrows to furrow. I am a former yoga teacher, and after living as part of that lifestyle for so long, I needed an outsiders view.

Yogis take themselves way too seriously most of the time. It’s all about the breath and finding inner peace. I was a very angry yogi, which is probably why I have not progressed as many others have. I’m guessing all my chakras are not only blocked, but padlocked. The point of view in Yoga Bitch is very closely related to my own. I’m a cynical, sarcastic coffee addict who has been adrift trying to find an anchor in a sea of rage. 

I found yoga as a 17 year old. It was purely out of rebellion. Long before there were fancy yoga studios and celebrity instructors, there were sweaty, smelly junior high gyms and community school classes. I signed up for yoga because it was reinforcement I was different from everyone else. Look at me, I’m drinking wheatgrass juice and standing on my head. I’m hip and you’re not. 

While I’ve never had the luxury of spending two months in Bali on retreat, I have dealt with the disillusionment she experienced. I also have dealt with unresolved spiritual issues that seem to bubble up at the most inopportune times. Over the course of the last few years, the curtain has been pulled back on my belief system and I confronted the wizard. When there is someone you look to as a guru, you tend to idealize them. After all, if they’re on a pedestal, it’s more fun to knock them down and watch them fall. Suzanne Morrison was able to experience this when she realized the humanity-with all its magnificent flaws-of her yoga instructors. 

I don’t know how I would react to the time in Bali she was afforded. It was a very different perspective from Eat Pray Love, and I was grateful for that. After investing in an experience of a lifetime, I probably would have been more in tune with the whole kumbaya, namaste go wellness mindset. Her description of her fellow retreatist drinking her own pee is priceless. There are all kinds of freaks and weirdos yoga attracts, like me.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if it was not exactly what I had anticipated it to be. I liked Morrison’s cynicism which is in direct opposition to the earnestness of her fellow yogis. It might not be the best beach book selection, but it might be a highly entertaining one. 


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