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Yoga Bitch: One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,085 ratings  ·  331 reviews
What happens when a coffee-drinking, cigarette-smoking, steak-eating twenty-five-year-old atheist decides it is time to get in touch with her spiritual side? Not what you’d expect…

When Suzanne Morrison decides to travel to Bali for a two-month yoga retreat, she wants nothing more than to be transformed from a twenty-five-year-old with a crippling fear of death into her e...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Yoga Bitch by Suzanne MorrisonPoser by Claire DedererHoly Cow by Sarah MacdonaldYoga School Dropout by Lucy EdgeStretch by Neal Pollack
Best yoga memoirs
1st out of 20 books — 35 voters
The Power of Now by Eckhart TolleThe Four Agreements by Miguel RuizA New Earth by Eckhart TolleYou Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. HayEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Healing & Spirituality
140th out of 495 books — 501 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jenny Stanfield
I have 8 shelves set up on Goodreads and this book doesn't fit into any of them. It's sort of like Eat Pray Love but for 25 year olds, and I don't usually read stories like that - of women trying to find themselves. I'm too cynical (but cynicism is in the title), and I'm not a sappy Twilight reading sort of person.

But! Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It felt like I was reading about a real person (because I was) who weighed options logically, changed her mind based on reason, and di...more
The best yoga book ever. This is hilarious and, more than readable, well written, jauntily paced, fun! I respect and share Morrison's ambivalence toward yoga. Is it exercise, is it spirituality? (that's my own ambivalence speaking). Morrison starts out as the most unlikely yoga teacher trainee I could imagine: a smoker, meat and sweets lover, potty mouth (pun intended) and all around smart ass who had only been taking a regular yoga class for two months when she signed up for the training her te...more
I grew up in the same town as Suzanne Morrison; went to the same high school, and even the same church I think, so it was really interesting for me reading her memoir. I too am an actor and writer, and I've recently found my way back to a yoga practice, so I identified with many aspects of her journey.
Yoga Bitch read sort of like a self-help manual for me. Suzanne's journey, and the lessons she has learned acted kind of like signposts for me. "Watch out for this one, Catherine, this one could...more
Beth Jusino
Some yoga memoirs spend a lot of time trying to understand yoga. This is not one of those. Part "Poser" but mostly "Eat, Pray, Love," Yoga Bitch is really only nominally about yoga. It's much more about how a coddled 25 year-old on the verge of independence, having given up her family's Catholicism but desperately searching for some new structure and leader, seeks to find herself in the mystical rituals of yoga. About what happens when the people we idolize turn out to be human. About the old sa...more
Amanda (Amanda's Weekly Zen)
What is it about yoga memoirs as of late? They are all deeply moving while at the same time being incredibly funny. I love it! Suzanne Morrison is fantastically funny and there is so much of her experience with her yoga teacher training that I can relate to. Although I have to say that there were no "piss drinkers" in my class (at least not that I know of... hmmm there was that one person whom I thought always smelled a little of... no, no I am pretty sure there were no piss drinkers in my yoga...more
Suzanne Morrison is a serious student of yoga. Her pursuit of excellence and self-discipline is a serious pursuit. When she decides to follow her beloved mentors to Bali for an intense training program, she puts her whole heart into it. With rigorous practice she hopes to attain enlightenment, at least enough to make some important decisions about the direction of her life.

When she encounters the reality of her situation--cut off from family, friends, meat, sugar, caffeine and cigarettes, and st...more
i'm just gonna say straight up that i bet i would have liked this book more if i did (or knew anything about) yoga. if you are a yoga person, take this review with a grain of salt.

my main problem with this book has nothing to do with my knowledge of yoga though. my main problem is that i thought the book was structured in a really weird way that didn't really make any sense to me. i cracked the book open (i put it on hold at the library based on a review i read, so i hadn't seen it before i star...more
I was ready to dislike this book based on a preconceived idea I had about the author* but since it is the yoga memoir du jour, I decided to give it a shot, anyway. And I'm very happy I did! Unlike Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses, which wasn't really about yoga, or Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude, which focused almost entirely on yoga humor, Yoga Bitch successfully combines both memoir about yoga and humor, with an equal emphasis on both spiritual exploration through yoga an...more
Catherine Shattuck
I will say it: I loved Eat, Pray, Love -- but a lot of people rolled their eyes at that book. If you did, then *this* is the book for you.

It's such an easy comparison to make that it makes me feel cheap and unoriginal, but it's also a nice quick sort of shorthand if you've read E/P/L.

At the beginning, I found it witty, wanting to be funny, mildly amusing and mildly interesting. Spiritual journeys and memoirs have never really been my thing, so I wasn't that intrigued. Still, I kept reading (mos...more
Eat, Pray, Love annoyed the hell out of me, despite the fact that it had some very profound messages. I just couldn't stomach the author: her lack of self awareness re: her privilege and her selfishness.

This book is Eat, Pray, Love, but good, with a hysterically funny author. I felt like we were meant to be best friends. The part about the possessed blender was probably my favorite, although the urine therapy is a close second.

I would have given this book the full five stars had the author not d...more
Jennifer D. Munro
I loved this book, even though I wasn’t terribly interested in reading about yoga or Bali. But the author made this an irresistible, compelling, FUNNY, page-turning read about love, relationships, friendships (god, to have a roommate like hers!), the power we give to mentors and those we admire, the letdown of mentors and those we admire when we learn they are real and fallible people, how we view other cultures through our first-world lens, letting go, and the healing nature of a damn good milk...more
Funny, interesting, and very genuine.

What I liked best is that there's no grand transformation in the author -- just a very real experience, told in a very real voice. Which makes Yoga Bitch as approachable as it is entertaining. I seriously laughed out loud in several places and had to put the book down until I could catch my breath. But underneath it all is Morrison's fearless storytelling about a time of confusion, growth, and slow steps to a very real sort of transformation.
This is a memoir of a woman who looks back on her days at a yoga retreat in Bali..does it remind of another book? Perhaps Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love"? Well, this is about as similar as the two books are. Suzanne Morrison writes in a very real, funny style that had me laughing out loud more than once while reading it. Morrison chronicles how she was in the process of moving across the country with her long-time boyfriend and right before the big move she departs to Indonesia to follow her yoga in...more
The Joy of Booking
Yoga Bitch reads like a coming-of-age story as Suzanne learns to to come to terms with herself and those around her at a yoga teacher training retreat in Bali. Her writing, a combination of a diary kept during the retreat itself and chapter openers that look back at the past through eyes cleared with experience, is funny, irreverent, and sincerely honest.

Thinking back to my own mid-twenties and remembering the search for both myself and something spiritual, I was happy to travel with Suzanne as...more
Jaclyn Day
When it comes to the book genre of yoga-centric spiritual awakenings, I am wary of what I like to call the “Eat, Pray, Love Effect.” Basically, after Eat, Pray, Love went on to make a self-absorbed, ridiculous woman a very rich, self-absorbed woman, other writers began realizing they could also make a fortune off self-aware, quip-filled travelogues and publishers were all too eager to comply. Voila—we have shelves and shelves at local bookstores full of Eat, Pray, Love wannabes hoping that their...more
I LOVED this book. I couldn't stop laughing, it was hilarious! I found myself easily relating to both the protagonist as well as the situations in the book. The author put a great spin on many subjects that could have been really heavy, and not only made you laugh, but also made you think. I started reading it to my partner (he isn't at all into yoga) and he laughed and thought it was great. We're about half-way through it so far. His comment: "You know, you wouldn't have to be into that stuff (...more
slightly interesting for a while as she takes off on a yoga pilgrimage to Bali during a time of personal upheaval (notably, pending move from Seattle to NYC with boyfriend about whom she is somewhat unsure).

I hung in there a long time, strung along by the occasional interesting observation about group dynamics including struggle for the guru teacher's attention and approval, thoughts about "how would I explain [some unusual belief or practice] to friends or family back home" and the like, but ul...more
I was looking for a book that would make me laugh so when my yoga daughter (she's the real deal; owns a Bikram studio where one practices in the heat) offered it up I grabbed it. Clever title; clever format - part narrative, part journal - although I really doubt she wrote such copious journal entries while in a two month intensive training class. And it made me laugh....until it didn't. Because as should be expected the journey to yoga instructor and following a path of clean living isn't easy....more
Y is for Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison. The book says she’s a cynical smoker who goes on a 2 month yoga retreat to get in touch with her spiritual side. The problem I have with books who advertise ‘I’m cynical and have problems’ and then resolve all the problems by the end of the book already had one foot in the door.

One memoir I read about a woman who decided to change her life with magazines complained about her terrible relationships but she was already in therapy and had a quality boyfrien...more
Yoga Bitch - a Memoir

It's one of the best yoga memoirs I've read, and certainly the most entertaining. Unlike some books that show only the positives of yoga and praise it nonstop, it shows the dark side of yoga, but it does so in a way that reflects the author's insight into herself and the world.

The author's voice is funny, honest and reflective. When I bought the book, I didn't realize it was a memoir - I thought it was a novel. For me, knowing that it was a memoir made it more appealing.

This book is not going to change your life, but throughout the narrative of the author's own experience it offers the reader a wealth of questions to ponder, and that in itself can be a very personally enriching exercise. That being said, I laughed throughout- frequently but not always with self-recognition.

Yoga Bitch is a largely fun, quick read that falls somewhere between "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Poser" in the curiously expanding genre of the yoga-memoir. I appreciated the author's honesty and...more
Suzanne is attempting enlightenment - so much so that she is traveling to Bali to become a yoga instructor and be at peace with the world. Her memoir takes you through the really funky (in my opinion) things that people do to achieve this. From drinking pee (no, I am not kidding) to discussing other bodily functions in full detail (again, seriously)...I was dying with laughter.

However, the book lost it's humor and zest about halfway through for me. It became more introspective, which may have be...more
Overall I was pretty unimpressed with this book. The premise was that the author Suzanne Morrison hoped that yoga would turn her from a cynical, skeptical, smoker into an enlightened "perfect" yogi. After signing up for some yoga classes she finds that she loves it and when her favorite teacher invites her to come to Bali for a 2 month yoga teacher training she immediately starts saving up for it. But, during the retreat Suzanne finds that her connection with her favorite teacher starts to unrav...more
Tejas Janet
I practically inhaled Suzanne Morrison's autobiographical memoir about that poignant time of life in-between between childhood and adulthood that is by turns exhilarating and frightening. Yoga is a part of this story, but by no means the whole story or even truly the primary focus. It's more about coming into one's own and that journey told with a sense of self-awareness and sense of humor. Parts of this had me so choked up that I was relieved I wasn't in a public place, where I'm sure my convul...more
Absolutely hilarious. I was more amused with her use of language than anything else really. I've never read a book of this genre, but I couldn't get my eyes off the title of the book, which is why I decided to pick it up.

The author of the book made me laugh, sometimes to tears with her remarks, but that was it for me (there were a few lines here and there that could be considered inspirational or quote worthy).

So if you're looking for an enjoyable read due to it's outrageous sense of humor, thi...more
I chose this book because I was amused by the title; I wanted someone to ask me what I was reading so I could say, "Yoga Bitch"! Unfortunately, no one did since it was on my Kindle. :)

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, yoga studios and pricey alternative stuff abounds. I started the book fully prepared not to like the author, Suzanne Morrison. I suspected she was another spoiled, jaded, Gen-Y white girl writing about her enlightenment and condescending to the rest of us. But the title and the...more
This book annoyed me pretty much from the start. The author's worship of her teacher had me on edge, and her "transcendence" of the normal human experience wreaked of a superiority complex. I also don't buy that the book was her "actual" journal from her yoga teacher training, unless she just has a natural gift for completing a narrative without knowing the ending and a tendency to add dialog tags. However, the book redeemed itself (or perhaps I redeemed myself as a reader) with the author's ret...more
Absolutely loved this book. I haven't laughed so much (continuously) while reading a book in quite some time. You don't have to be a fan of yoga to enjoy this book...but you definitely have to be a fan of memoir and appreciate the art of storytelling by a very quirky, honest writer.
Definitely could've been about 100 pages shorter, but an interesting, occasionally funny foray into the appeal and inevitable pitfalls of yoga and the search for spirituality. Reminds me why I prefer pilates' focus on the core (and prefer my spirituality in church).
One of the most engaging novels I've read in awhile. If you're searching for meaning within spirituality, read this novel and you'll find yourself quite inspired.
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In Yoga & Wel...: What came up during you reading the book? 1 3 Jun 04, 2013 11:37AM  
In Yoga & Wel...: First thoughts on the book. 1 2 May 29, 2013 10:05AM  
Yoga Folks: * Yoga Bitch chapters 6 to end, and whole book 22 39 Oct 30, 2011 08:53PM  
Yoga Folks: Yoga Bitch chapters 1 and 2 41 50 Oct 28, 2011 01:06PM  
Yoga Folks: Do we want to ask Suzanne Morrison questions? 8 22 Oct 15, 2011 08:48AM  
Yoga Folks: Want to read Yoga Bitch as a book club? 28 42 Oct 05, 2011 10:23AM  
  • Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude
  • Enlightenment for Idiots
  • Downward Dog, Upward Fog
  • Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses
  • Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD, and Find the Key to Happiness
  • Yoga School Dropout
  • enLIGHTened
  • Tales from the Yoga Studio
  • Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life
  • Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit
  • Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life
  • Breathe
  • Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga
  • The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker's Guide to Extraordinary Living
  • Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
  • Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
  • Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice
  • Yoga: the Path to Holistic Health
Suzanne Morrison’s first memoir, Yoga Bitch: One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment, was published by Random House/Three Rivers Press in August 2011 and will be translated into Dutch, German, Russian, Hebrew, and Serbian. Yoga Bitch was named a must-read by the Los Angeles Times and New York Magazine, and was one of Crosscut's "Best Northwest...more
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