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

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3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,739 Ratings  ·  393 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
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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 MacdonaldMisadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian LeafYoga School Dropout by Lucy Edge
Best yoga memoirs
1st out of 27 books — 49 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
184th out of 586 books — 635 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jenny Stanfield
Dec 08, 2012 Jenny Stanfield rated it really liked it
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
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Sarah
Jun 02, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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
Catherine
Oct 20, 2011 Catherine rated it really liked it
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
Feb 12, 2012 Beth Jusino rated it really liked it
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
Jun 13, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, yoga, recommended
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
Ciara
Oct 26, 2011 Ciara rated it liked it
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
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S.P.
Aug 18, 2011 S.P. rated it it was amazing
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
Danielle
Aug 25, 2011 Danielle rated it liked it
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
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Denise
Mar 01, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Andrea
Sep 06, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga, memoirs
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
Oct 23, 2011 Catherine Shattuck rated it liked it
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
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Jennifer D. Munro
Sep 24, 2012 Jennifer D. Munro rated it it was amazing
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
Tracey
Mar 05, 2012 Tracey rated it it was ok
Yawn. Many of these yoga memoirs are cookie-cutter copies of Eat, Pray, Love, and I'm simply not interested in such navel gazing.
Justyna
Oct 28, 2011 Justyna rated it liked it
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
Sandra
Apr 18, 2012 Sandra rated it liked it
This book is an enjoyable read, although I don't think the title fully captures the flavour of this book. Probably it's meant to sound bad-ass. Regarding the term "yoga bitch" - this has to do with the more-enlightened-than-thou attitude that extreme yogis sometimes display, and the author doesn't come across as really having this problem. As for the after-the-hyphen bit... sugar is a much more significant vice within the book's narrative than cigarettes. Banana milkshakes never sounded so good. ...more
The Joy of Booking
Dec 15, 2011 The Joy of Booking rated it really liked it
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
Nov 23, 2011 Jaclyn Day rated it really liked it
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
Regency
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
David
Oct 11, 2011 David rated it it was ok
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
Susy
Nov 04, 2012 Susy rated it liked it
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
Jess
May 30, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
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
Michelle
Apr 11, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga-memoir
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.

She
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Kae
Sep 27, 2011 Kae rated it liked it
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
Sally
Jan 04, 2013 Sally rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-challenge
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
Jessica
Sep 18, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok
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
Sep 27, 2014 Tejas Janet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-challenge
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
Lina
May 28, 2012 Lina rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer Strukoff
Jan 20, 2016 Jennifer Strukoff rated it really liked it
I stumbled upon this book by accident at the Calgary Library while searching for Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong. Would you believe that Yoga Bitch was right beside it? My plan was to read Karen Armstrong's book and then if I had time to look through this one and see if it was worth reading. With a title like Yoga Bitch I was thinking it was going to be an old, bitter yogi writing her memoirs and bitching about how yoga is a scam. I was struggling with Karen Armstrong's b ...more
Mary
Apr 27, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
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
Meg Marie
Nov 22, 2013 Meg Marie rated it it was ok
I wanted this to be a snarky take down of yoga bitches, but it's about as hippie as you get, and absolutely insufferable in places. Allegedly most of it is lifted from a journal she kept while on a yoga retreat in Bali at age 25 (now heavily edited to read like a teen novel) and then interspersed with her journey to the present (predictable romantic comedy ending.) Didn't do anything for me.
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In Yoga & Wellness: What came up during you reading the book? 1 6 Jun 04, 2013 11:37AM  
In Yoga & Wellness: First thoughts on the book. 1 2 May 29, 2013 10:05AM  
Yoga Folks: * Yoga Bitch chapters 6 to end, and whole book 22 44 Oct 30, 2011 08:53PM  
Yoga Folks: Yoga Bitch chapters 1 and 2 41 56 Oct 28, 2011 01:06PM  
Yoga Folks: Do we want to ask Suzanne Morrison questions? 8 23 Oct 15, 2011 08:48AM  
Yoga Folks: Want to read Yoga Bitch as a book club? 28 43 Oct 05, 2011 10:23AM  
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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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“I think there's a secret part of me that would like to drop my entire life off a cliff and watch it break into a million pieces” 61 likes
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