Friday, 14 March 2014


As you know, I'm not traditionally a re-reader. There are so many wonderful new books out there that I haven't yet read, I usually feel that to re-read an old one is superfluous to requirements. However, every now and again one calls to me. At first, it's just a whisper, a hint, a tiny thought fluttering around at the back of my mind. If I ignore it, it gets louder and more persistent, eventually shouting to me from its home on the bookshelf or even from its box high up in the girls' cupboard. And so it was with Claire Dederer's Poser.

This book has been yelling at me since last summer! Rude! Six whole months I ignored it til I finally cracked and started in again on Chapter 1. As always, the Universe was way ahead of me. At the end of last summer, I was knackered — the school holidays are long — but I was ready for yoga. I craved yoga. My body was tired, untoned and crying out for some disciplined attention. I tried, but it was too soon. Now, in March, I am finally ready. I've been doing 15 minutes in my living room every day for a month now and Poser was too loud to ignore. This is a funny and, at times, bittersweet tale of one woman's discovery of yoga and how she used it to ease her transition into motherhood, calm her fears, soothe her past and heal her body. I love her voice and her story.

I recognize much of my own experience of discovering yoga here as well as much of my shock at what was expected of moms at a time when babies had just become the must-have accessory among the celebrity pack (around the millennium). We were bombarded with messages of what we should do and just exactly how we should do it and, like me, Claire fell into the trap of believing it all. And so it was with more than a tinge of recognition that I enjoyed following her progression from anxious new mom, hung up on her own weird experience of childhood and her birth family (her parents were hippies with an unconventional marital arrangement that continues to this day!) to someone who has had enough experience of life to finally let it go.

She learned that in order to be truly happy we have to let go of the need for perfection and the approval of others as well as the idea of what we think our lives should look like. Only when we drop the need for control do we find any freedom in being ourselves. It's a truly wonderful point to reach and one that is more liberating that almost anything else I can think of…. and yoga is as good a way to get there as any. If you are pondering how to make a leap of faith of any kind in your life, pick up a copy of Poser. Claire Dederer makes for an inspiring companion.

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