Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses Reviews

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

National Bestseller

Ten years ago, Claire Dederer put her back out while breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class. She fell madly in love.

Over the next decade, she would tackle triangle, wheel, and the dreaded crow, becoming fast friends with some poses and developing long-standing feuds with others. At the same time, she found herself confronti

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  1. anonymous says:
    41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Seldom has so little been written about so well, March 3, 2011

    This book hooked me quickly, only to disappoint me more and more as it plodded forward. Dederer is an extremely skilled writer, but needs to find something more interesting and consequential to write about than her own obsessive need to keep up with the Joneses. Jeez, the trivial stuff she chooses to make important in her life makes it no mystery why she spends so much of her time unhappy.

    The yoga framework works in the early chapters, but is stretched far too thin in later chapters, and becomes an obvious structural gimmick. And while I was waiting for The Big Point to reveal itself, the book ended. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t a memoir contain a lesson? If it was in there, I missed it, somewhere between her fretting over whether the way she’s raising her kids meets with her friends’ approval, and her not actually seeming to enjoy the very children on whom she claims to be focused.

    Although her talent is obvious, it’s badly misspent on self-absorbed minutiae.

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  2. L. Knights "jinx_tv" says:
    77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Not so much about yoga, December 16, 2010
    L. Knights “jinx_tv” (Silicon Valley) –

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    The back cover says “Poser is unlike any other book about yoga you will read — because it is actually a book about life.” I should have read that innocuous sounding line and taken it a bit more seriously, because although the title contains “yoga” and each chapter is named after a yoga pose and some chapters talk a fair amount about yoga, the book is more about the life of a woman who becomes a mother and spends a LOT of time (at least in the beginning) obsessing about being a mother and talking about her baby. Snore. Meanwhile, some of the chapters in the middle of the book seem to be really reaching to try and relate to yoga in some way.

    The other reason this book interested me (besides the yoga) was the part that promised it was about the women of my generation who’s mothers ran away to find themselves. As my mother did. However, the author’s mother never actually WENT anywhere, the only one who ever seemed to really do any running away was the author herself.

    The writing is good and the author is engaging in those moments when I can relate to her, but she fails to be universally engaging. Don’t read this book if you aren’t a mother – and preferably not just a mother but the sort of mother who thinks about things like co-sleeping and peer-attachment and getting your child into genius-kindergarten.

    I kind of get how she was trying to relate her yoga practice to her life but…eh, just not that interesting.

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  3. Sirena says:
    23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Poser, as in pretending to be something you’re not, April 13, 2011

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    When I heard that someone had written an autobiographical book about life through a yogic lens, I was curious to say the least. I immediately ordered the book and was excited to thumb through it. Being a yoga teacher and someone who’s life has been changed and shaped by my practice I hoped to sympathize with the author. But I could not. I felt as if the “yoga” in the book was thrown in merely as a way to attract readers to buy this self-indulgent bore of a read. This book is truly not about the effects of yoga on the body and spirit, its life changing (or enhancing) properties, or any other revelatory aspect of the practice. Sure, there were some mildly funny observations about yoga culture, but that’s where her contribution ends. I found the author critical (not constructively), boring, and self-centered. The unsatisfying ending, in no way, made up for the days of my life wasted on this woman’s “journey.” If you want a glimpse into a spoiled, middle class woman’s daily life and neurosis this book is for you. If you want to understand how a life can be affected by a yoga practice (especially in a humorous, engaging way) it is not.

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