Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Namaste the Hard Way: a book review

Namaste the Hard Way: A Daughter's Journey to Find Her Mother on the Yoga Mat

by Sasha Brown-Worsham

Published: September 4, 2018

Published by Health Communications, Inc.

I like yoga and I am trying to learn more about it. I also like memoirs. So when I saw Namaste the Hard Way on NetGalley, I jumped on the opportunity to request it.

Sasha Brown-Worsham has organized her books as a series of essays that build an overarching exploration of her path with yoga. As a child, she found her mother’s yoga practice (at a time when it wasn’t as popular as it is today) to be weird and embarrassing. Aside from that, all her healthy mind/body choices and vegetarian lifestyle didn’t excuse her from dying of cancer somewhat quickly. Sasha reflects on particular points throughout her childhood and teen years and how they affected her, as well as affected her relationship with her mother.

As an adult Sasha came to yoga in her own way. Although she practices in a slightly different way from her mother, yoga has become a core part of Sasha’s life despite her initial disdain.

The essays are organized into sections that follow the order of a practice: centering, breathing, connecting, saluting, flowing, balancing, strengthening, surrendering, integrating, and rebirthing. This structure made a lot of sense for moving through Sasha’s stories. It also taught me that these were all actual parts of a yoga practice. My first yoga practice after finishing this book felt so much deeper because I had a better understanding.

I plan to read this book a second time. Knowing how it helped me with my own understanding of yoga, I want to revisit it from the beginning to see what else I might recognize that I didn’t on first passing. I may even buy myself the paperback version even though I have an advanced read ebook copy.

I recommend this book for readers who like memoir (whether or not you like yoga), as well as for those who maybe aren’t used to memoir but do love yoga.

Disclaimer: I received an advance-read copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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