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First There Is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  20 reviews
For the audience of Girl, Interrupted and Prozac Diary and the ever-growing audience for everything yoga, Kadetsky's struggle with eating disorders and her efforts to find a way to resolve them through the dedicated practice of yoga will resonate with millions of women practitioners.
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published January 2nd 2004 by Little Brown and Company
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Maiga Milbourne
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Kadetsky wanted an academic treatment of yoga blended with a memoir. Hefty goal! However, I loved it. I found certain story lines unsettling (a somewhat romantic treatment of her struggle with an eating disorder) but others so refreshing (she gave a really honest and engaged investigation of gurus and yoga history). So much yoga literature is a blend of myth and history with little to no footnoting. I really wanted a writer to begin parsing out history, culture, belief, and myth. Hers is the fir ...more
Rachel
Aug 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-friends
Here's my blurb:

"Like a neon lotus, this book dazzles with its hard-won revelations."
Emily
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting to learn more history of yoga and the more political aspects of Iyengar's career.
Lisa
Feb 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
As a longtime yoga enthusiast, I enjoyed this book tremendously for the light it shed on yoga's development, both in India and the West. Kadetsky's insider/outsider perspectives were especially valuable as she negotiated the sublime and the ridiculous that is not only yoga, but just plain human. I especially appreciated her nuanced view of Iyengar, as well as her excellent writing. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a well-balanced (no pun intended) view of this popular practice.
April-lyn
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was enjoying this greatly, but found my interest waning close to the end (mostly I just got distracted by shinier things); I'm sure I'll return to it someday soon to finish it up.
Grace
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I could easily relate to this book as I am just finishing up yoga teacher training. For someone new to yoga or wanting to learn about it, this book may be a hard one to get into as it is primarily experiential.
Michelle
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: yoga-memoir
The book started off very slowly but once the author is in India and studying with Iyengar, it picks up.

I really wanted to like this book, but it seemed to be all over the place, and perhaps it was meant to be, as a reflection of how the author felt about herself during various times of her life.

The book is a memoir about her life and how yoga affected her at various times. It's also about her relationship with Iyengar.

If I didn't enjoy yoga so much and learning about yoga, I don't think I wo
...more
Margaret
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga
Kadetsky's yoga memoir is poorly served by the cover art, which is very "lady travels the world to find the strength that was always inside her"-y. She does use words like "journey"--major yoga foul, in my book--but overall her book is both a carefully reported introduction to the historical currents behind Iyengar yoga and a personal story. As I read, I suspected that Kadetsky was more invested in presenting the fruits of her research than the particulars of her time in India, which was fine by ...more
kyle
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. Finally a book about yoga that explores the topics no one wants to talk about: yoga's connection with Hindu fundamentalism, to what extent yoga's relationship with the west is imperialistic/orientalist, what is the relationship between the classical yoga of Patanjali, medieval hatha yoga manuals, and the modern yoga movement, what is the nature of the rivalries between Iyengar, Krishnamacarya, Pattabhi Jois, and others? What a pleasure to read Kadetsky's always informed an ...more
Jane Settles cigarran
Some interesting thoughts on yoga and meditation well explained. And hearing about her experience with Iyengar was interesting but when she started talking about her eating disorder and exercise addiction it turned in to a different kind of story about a privileged white girl that I didn't feel like reading. I also didn't finish it...to be fair.
Meghan
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot because I've just finished my second yoga teacher training and I'm interested in the beginnings of yoga in India and its translation to the west. If you are not a yoga enthusiast, this book may be hard to get through.
Peri Yanmaz
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
this book is about İyengar family and memoir of Elizabeth Kadetsky. If you are wondering the BKS, you have to read this book. There are a lot of important information of YOGA, this is good for beginner yoga students.
Heather
May 07, 2007 rated it liked it
A look at the Iyengar family both as they influence one woman in the United States and as she travels to India. This book is good for anyone interested in the Iyengar school in India and some of the history of the family.
Alec Grae
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I certainly learned a lot! Well done...
Claudette
Mar 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
A little slow going, but I learnd a lot about yoga.
Melissa
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, such a masterful blend of research, memoir and immersive creative nonfiction.
Nita
Aug 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting memoir about her journey learning yoga, meeting Iyengar and India
Katie
Jun 28, 2007 rated it liked it
An interesting story so far but pretty self-indulgent.
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Dec 23, 2012
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Oct 28, 2020
Elizabeth
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Elizabeth Kadetsky's memoir in lyric essays, The Memory Eaters (University of Massachusetts press in March 2020), is winner of the Juniper Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is author of First There Is a Mountain (Little Brown, 2004; Dzanc rEprint series, 2019), On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World (Nouvella, 2015), and The Poison that Purifies You (C&R Press, 2014). Kadetsky's sh ...more

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