Poser: My Life in Twenty Three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer is a memoir, but with the twist of also being about yoga, which the author practices as a means of stress relief.
I enjoyed this book a lot, even though my experiences with yoga are limited to a video I have done at home in my living room. My children and my mother have all taken yoga and enjoyed it, and I think I would enjoy it, if only we lived in a location where a class was available without having to drive 30 minutes each way for a class each week. Instead of relieving stress, I feel like an additional stop each week would only add more to my already over-scheduled life.
While I did enjoy this book a lot, I also could tell that I would have understood it more if only I had a little more background about yoga myself. Yet, it was so easy to identify with Dederer:
"I judged Lisa and any other mother who came within my range. The next door neighbor put their kids to bed too early; the people down the street put their kids to bed too late. The friend who lived near Green Lake was overly fussy about organic baby food; the friend who lived on Queen Anne Hill was not fussy enough. Friend A dressed her baby in designer clothes, which was ridiculous. Friend B let her kids go around looking like slobs. I felt there must be a happy medium to parenting, and I felt that I was the very barometer of that happy medium. Anything that someone else did that I did not do was, to me, excessive and probably crazy. My strongly held opinions about parenting were like an elaborate carapace for my insecurities (99)."
What mother doesn't understand Dederer's feelings about parenting? So, despite the fact that this memoir is written around the central theme of yoga, I was able to appreciate far more the focus on parenting, on Dederer's struggles in her marriage, on coming to terms with her parents split in her childhood, and other issues facing women today.
Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses is another solid addition to the memoir genre I seem happily stuck in this March.