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{September 27, 2010}   Book Review: Stretch

Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude
by Neal Pollack

With the novel’s back cover touting the book “mercilessly lampoons the bizarre, omnipresent culture of yoga…” I steeled myself; ready for the onslaught of cyncism, snark and skepticism about my precious yoga, which I love, but the book’s back cover goes on to say that it’s “also a story of a profound personal transformation” and watching this transformation is what I really enjoyed about the book. Stretch is well researched, providing a wealth of information on the current yoga culture, various yoga styles and teachers, both the veritable and also the should-not-under-any-circumstance-be-able-to-teach-yoga-kind , and the mythology and history of yoga, which sounds boring and didactic, but I found it informative and useful. Pollack, questing for his “better self,” takes you on a funny journey deeper and deeper into the yoga world, shows you that, yes, it is bizarre and omnipresent, but he, as I did,  falls immediately in love with yoga at it’s best: when it’s pure and simple, and so the criticism he gives is with insight and passion and ultimately Stretch made me want to immediately get on my yoga mat.

You can read the first chapter here

Watch Neal’s yoga videos:

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