Yoga Bitch: One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morrison
I was most certainly drawn to this book due to the title. I may come across as a fitness lovin yogi but I certainly wasn't always this way. As one of my girlfriends shared this past weekend, I was the biggest party girl she knew in college, I was always down for fun. I will be honest, when I walked to the gym in college sometimes I would have a cigarette. I know right! And a lot of times I just worked out so I could eat one of the "low fat calzones" sold at the Rec Center. But oh well I was at the gym. So my journey to enlightenment (yeah right, not even close) didn't happen overnight. But happy to say I have much healthier habits now. I still love a good party but not as frequently and I mostly enjoy parties on my couch with wine. As I learned this weekend, I am too old for these shenanigans.
Okay enough rambling about my college indiscretions, back to the book. I started writing a description of the book but it's been awhile since I read it so I pulled the description from Amazon, see below.
What happens when a coffee-drinking, cigarette-smoking, steak-eating twenty-five-year-old atheist decides it is time to get in touch with her spiritual side? Not what you’d expect…
When Suzanne Morrison decides to travel to Bali for a two-month yoga retreat, she wants nothing more than to be transformed from a twenty-five-year-old with a crippling fear of death into her enchanting yoga teacher, Indra—a woman who seems to have found it all: love, self, and God.
But things don’t go quite as expected. Once in Bali, she finds that her beloved yoga teacher and all of her yogamates wake up every morning to drink a large, steaming mug…of their own urine. Sugar is a mortal sin. Spirits inhabit kitchen appliances. And the more she tries to find her higher self, the more she faces her cynical, egomaniacal, cigarette-, wine-, and chocolate-craving lower self.
Yoga Bitch chronicles Suzanne’s hilarious adventures and misadventures as an aspiring yogi who might be just a bit too skeptical to drink the Kool-Aid. But along the way she discovers that no spiritual effort is wasted; even if her yoga retreat doesn’t turn her into the gorgeously calm, wise believer she hopes it will, it does plant seeds that continue to blossom in surprising ways over the next decade of her life.
The book was basically Suzanne's journal. Sometimes I did wonder how the heck did this girl get to make a book out of her journal? If her journal could be a book, mine definitely could be a book! But in the end I am glad that I read this especially since I would like to do a teacher training and gave me some additional insight on what it would be like.
As you read from the description above, Suzanne's trip didn't transform her completely as she hoped. I realized that this wasn't going to happen about halfway through the book as Suzanne escaped the retreat to drink wine and milkshakes and I started to get a little bit mad about it. I am reading this to hear how this yoga training has changed her life! To understand how it could change mine!
Then I started to get nervous about my grief journey, what if it doesn't change my life? I certainly have moments of "enlightenment", when others are complaining about the tiny troubles and tribulations of life, I quietly remind myself that these things don't mater. Or when a women complains about her husband or kids (and yep people do this ALL the time), I think, you don't know how lucky you are. But then.... I am walking around the loop wanting to push someone out of my way because they are walking too slow. Slow people are my pet peeve but where am I going in such a hurry? Or something really small irritates me and sometimes I then get mad at myself for being irritated about something so minimal. As you can see, I am no where near total enlightenment.
What will I do, if I don't reach total enlightenment at the end of this grief journey? I am not quite sure if I will ever be an enlightened guru and I am positive this grief journey will never end. This grief will become a part of me and will be with me forever. The moral I took from this book, sometimes it's not about the end result, it's about getting there. Which I think we can all agree is always true. I mentioned in another blog post that it was my goal to get into a handstand this year, what if I don't? Well, I guess I have enjoyed trying and practicing and it has made me stronger even if I don't get it by the end of the year.
Recommendation: This book is widow approved!