Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Poser: my life in twenty-three poses (2011) Claire Dederer

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses So this is the book I mentioned earlier- one of my reasons for starting this Blog.  It was a great read and I feel like one of those life changing reads in fact.  This is nonfiction and reads somewhat like a memoir.  Claire (author and main character in book) is struggling to find who she is during her early family years and her struggle rang true with some of the challenges I too deal with. She was also reliving her childhood in this book (which hers and mine were quite different, so didn't ring true with me there, but I enjoyed her flashbacks as I do with any book that flashes back). The book made me want to reconnect with yoga which I first started doing in 2004 and continued during my pregnancy with Mason in 2005.  I have done it off an on over the years, but the way she talked about some of her favorite yoga instructors made me remember my favorite- Karen.  Karen was your typical yoga instructor- thin, long blond hair always in loose pony tail and was big on form and technique and not so much how many calories or how quickly you could do a flow series.  She had 50 year old women and myself prego doing poses no one would think possible.  I appreciated her attention to detail and do miss her classes.  Two weeks after finishing this book I attended my first yoga class in probably a year.  The instructor was again typical yoga- two fun pig tails on either side of her head, lean, happy/smiley demeanor.  She focused some on technique and form, but her flow series were really challenging and yet I felt accomplished not struggling in the class.  The next day reality set in- I was sore in places I hadn't been in years.  It was that good sore though.  I finish this blog post with some of my favorite parts/quotes from the book.  Don't worry I'm not giving anything away.  I hate when people ruin books/movies like that for me. After each quote I'll explain my "why" for liking them.

Many years later, I would read a book about yoga that said this: Shaking is a sign that you have awoken the prana body.  Meaning you've unleashed energy that was previously dormant.  Shaking is a sign of life.  Shaking is a sign of humanity...Shaking is a sign that you are not quite perfect-and therefore you are not dead yet.
Anyone who has done any strenuous exercise such as lifting weights, yoga, pilates or even the good old "how many crunches can I do before I pass out" understands the idea of Shaking; it is a feeling I have experienced when doing yoga and it does make me feel like I'm weak because I'm shaking - I'm not strong enough.  However, I'll forever think different of it now because of the above lines of text- it means I'm alive!

A little background: Claire is interviewing a feminist.  She wanted to read me a quote from Susan B. Anthony.  Here is what she read: "We shall someday be heeded, and ... everybody will think it was always so, just exactly as many young people think that all privileges, all the freedom, all the enjoyments which woman now possesses always were hers... They have no idea of how every single inch of ground that she stands upon today has been gained by the hard work of some little handful of women of the past". 
I love this part due to the reminder that people before us in history have done a lot to get all of us the freedom/rights we enjoy and sometimes fail to appreciate. It also reminds me that few can accomplish quite a bit for "all".  We have the right to not only be moms, but corporate leaders, pastors, athletes.  A good reminder to all of us to do our due diligence in continuing the fight for equality for all, as those before us did. 

A counterweight... You just created optimal situations for being different, and then you were different.  You didn't have to worry about changing everything about yourself, or fixing the fear, or being someone new.  you just acted like the person you wanted to be, when and if you could. 
Wish it were that easy, but I do think with age we do learn that our differences not only make us unique, but enable us to be truly honest/genuine people.  As one of my "hood friends" said it best- "when I turned 30 I gained the right to choose my own friends".  I'm still growing up and finding who I am, but I like this idea of counterweight  and being different and that being o.k.

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