I count myself lucky to have randomly stumbled upon Suzanne Morrison’s book trailer for Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment. I connected with her. I, too, am a yoga freak, writer, and past lover of cigarettes. Therefore, I just had to read her book … and I was not disappointed.
Yoga Bitch follows twenty-five-year-old Suzanne as she first discovers yoga, becomes obsessed with yoga, and ends up joining her Seattle-based yoga instructors on a teachers’ intensive program in Bali, Indonesia. When we first meet young Suzanne, she is preparing to move to New York with her boyfriend, which will happen upon her immediate return from Bali. Or will it?
Yoga Bitch is tailored toward the yoga practitioner, but it’s funny for everyone. There is an entire segment about farting in yoga class that I read to my husband, because he’s always worried someone will fart in yoga class and he won’t be able to keep a straight face. There’s another scene where Suzanne swears she has joined a cult, because all the other yoga students in Bali drink their own pee every morning. It’s good for you or something. Right. Ick. Ick. It’s a very dramatic issue as the reader must wait and wonder if Suzanne will become an odious piss-drinker, as well, someday. You’ll have to read it to find out.
Although Yoga Bitch is hilarious, it is not the comedy that makes this book great. It’s the honesty. At the age of twenty-five, Suzanne is lost. She thinks she knows what she wants, but she’s not quite sure. She doesn’t quite believe in God, but she wants to. She’s not certain of her relationship and moving to New York, but she feels like it’s what she’s “supposed” to do. I also love the fallen idols of Suzanne’s picture-perfect yoga instructors, Indra and Lou. Nobody is perfect, despite appearances, and Yoga Bitch proves it.
This book is a voyage. Not only do we get a beautifully depicted look at the earthly heaven that is Bali, but we get to see one lost twenty-something get closer to finding her way. I’m not saying everything is peachy by the end, but everything is perhaps closer to peachy. But such is life. It’s like in City Slickers when Jack Palance says, “You city folk! You spend 50 weeks a year getting knots in your rope. Then you think two weeks up here will straighten it out.” It’s not that easy, even during a yoga intensive in Bali, as Suzanne realizes. She changes a lot over the course of her trip, but it isn’t in the way she thought she would.
Its self-deprecating realness is what makes Yoga Bitch such an outstanding read. Everything isn’t tied up in a pretty red bow at the end, but as the reader, we’re left hoping that someday everything will be.
Check out Suzanne’s website at http://suzanne-morrison.com/.