I know I’ve written a lot about yoga lately, and I promise, I’ll get on to other topics. However, I ran across a wonderful book that I couldn’t put down, so may I share just one more?
In Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, author Claire Dederer explores her life with yoga as the backdrop. While the book at times gets heavy on yoga explanations and history, it’s more about the yoga of life. Dederer grew up in an unusual family situation, and her yoga practice helps her come to terms with how her unique upbringing affected her marriage and how she raises her children. As she examines and unwinds the knots of her earlier life, she begins to let go of her need to “grow,” to “improve,” to “get better.”
When reading Poser, there were times when I felt annoyed with Dederer for a variety of reasons. She could be, at times, pedantic, self-absorbed, spoiled. Though only a little more than a decade separates our ages, I felt the wide gulf of our different generations separating us from each other.
As a writer, though, I admire her for telling her story so honestly that I would feel these emotions and judgments. There is an element of fearless authenticity to her work that grabbed my attention. I kept finding time in my day to pick up the book and read yet another chapter. In the end, I applauded her journey. She has written about ordinary life — marriage, children, and work struggles — but in a way that never gets boring.
Whether or not you’re into yoga, if you have ever found yourself trying to be the perfect wife or mom, or perfect woman of any kind, Poser will remind you that self-acceptance, not self-improvement, brings greater peace and joy to life.