Friday Book Review: Stretch
Yesterday I woke up feeling strangely motivated. I decided that it would be a great morning to make my own granola and wake the house to the delicious smells wafting out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, I burnt the granola, and my daughter woke up with a stomach bug. I promptly dropped the motivation act and opted instead to curl up on the couch with my sick child and read from cover to cover the book that I'd given my husband for his birthday.
This book is quite funny, let me just start by saying that. Pollack tempers every profound thing he says with enough cynicism and bathroom humor to make it tolerable. He's sweetly earnest, but really doesn't want you to know that. Through this book he churns through every type of yoga imaginable. Ashtanga, kundalini, anusara, hatha, bikram - even jivamukti gets a hilarious mention. All he takes with his trademark simultaneously self-deprecating and superior attitude - along with a lot of weed. And the nice thing is that he's jewish, so this is not some macho man-take on yoga either. There's nary a mention of all the hot yoga butts he must have been enjoying along the way.
He starts close to home in the beginning, and then makes larger and larger circles, first around the country, finally culminating the fun yoga ride with a two-week retreat in Thailand. I can't imagine reading anyone else going through this incredible journey and not wanting to roll my eyes or toss the book in the trash. I mean yoga retreats signify to me the privilege of a select few. They must be rich, have a lot of time on their hands, and feel self-important enough to justify spending thousands of dollars on themselves doing something that most likely you can do at home. He admits all of this and more, does it anyway - and proceeds to spend half of the retreat in the hotel pool, gets the guru drunk, and manages to extract some really profound truths along the way. So enjoyable. I think that too many yoga folks take themselves too seriously to enjoy this book - but if you are not one of them, and can enjoy an interpretation of the sutras by a guy who can also devote several pages to farting in class, then you will love this book. I sure did.