Author of new 'Yoga Bitch' memoir gets audience laughing

The importance of taking care of your body before you can take care of your children was spelled out clearly for me long ago. Photo: J. Haney

ARLINGTON, Va, August 30, 2011 — The importance of taking care of your body before you can take care of your children was spelled out clearly for me long ago: fertility and health eluded me until I addressed deeper issues related to digestive, adrenal, and thyroid health. But after getting strong and pregnant, the game changes when the baby actually comes out of your body and demands feeding (from your body), not to mention held. A whole lot of the time.

Currently one year postpartum with my second child, this health-conscious mom is struggling to stay above board. Dealing once again with adrenal fatigue thanks to a champion night-nurser and the resulting dip of my thyroid that just can’t keep up, it’s all we can do around here to keep ourselves fed. A special dairy-free and grain-free diet takes a lot of work in order to prepare everything from scratch. Six months ago, tummy troubles screamed for attention, probably also in connection with my body being so depleted.

As a result, there’s not a whole lot of leisure time in these parts, as if there ever were. When a Waldorf-inspired playgroup picked Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children for its August group read, it finally had to come down from the shelf where it has gathered dust for years. Its words inspire breath and self-care. But when energy lags, it’s hard enough to take the time to cook and clean, let alone indulge in yoga or creative writing, even though they would feel so good.

Hence my decision to go out to hear a writer discuss her book about yoga. Why not try to soak up good energy vibes in two directions at once? Suzanne Morrison’s just-released memoir Yoga Bitch is a hoot. Or at least it sure was entertaining to hear the animated author read from it Sunday at Boundless Yoga. The actual reading of the book may take some weeks to get to. Heck, it took suggesting that my husband drive me there so the baby would nap for me to not feel guilty about abandoning him with both kids for the afternoon. Well, not so much guilty as that I’m stingy about the time I steal for myself, and driving doesn’t usually count as my favorite solo activity. Unless there’s something good on NPR.

But this was much better than radio: a real live reading with real live funny author. It came as no surprise when Morrison revealed that she first wrote the memoir as a one-woman show or that her recommendation to writers working on “voice” was to read their work out loud. This woman clearly is in her comfort zone projecting to an audience.

The crowd at Boundless Yoga enjoys author Suzanne Morrison’s wit.

 

And yet, her first attempt to publish her story of finding herself through a yogic journey – that included two months in Bali with yoga teachers who instructed their students to drink their urine – was as a novel. But since she tried to “improve” herself into a stacked, svelte red-headed protagonist who had none of Morrison’s penchants for hippie earrings or Tarot cards, the novel didn’t feel real. Publishers didn’t want it. Her agent told her to make it a memoir. So she did. The subtitle is “One woman’s quest to conquer skepticism, cynicism and cigarettes on the path to enlightenment.”

What a delight to hear about the writing process from someone whose book is coming out ten years after her journey began. For a mom who sees her writing future as slowly evolving, it’s heartening to know that these things just take time. And that you can be scared and angry and still come out with a funny book that you read to aspiring yogis with a wide grin. This woman is no B-word!

Not only did I feel like I was reconnecting to a creative life and breaking free of my mom shell to sit in the sunny space upstairs at Boundless, but it also felt enlivening just to get into the city from the suburbs. We didn’t take any extra time to shop in any of the eclectic or trendy furniture shops on U Street or 14th Street. My husband didn’t stop at a hip coffeeshop after taking the kids to the National Air & Space Museum. But we each got at least a little out of our heads and got a little bit of perspective, which is always a good thing.

Jessica Claire Haney is a freelance writer, editor and tutor. Her writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. A former high school English teacher, Jessica is mother to a five-year-old son and a baby girl. She is passionate about holistic health and well-being and is a leader of a chapter of Holistic Moms Network.

Jessica’s blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama, crunchychewymama.com, and her writer’s site is jessicaclairehaney.com.

“Like” Crunchy-Chewy Mama on Facebook, and follow Jessica on Twitter @crunchychewy


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Jessica Claire Haney

 

This holistic mom dreams of a day when all kids -- and adults -- eat foods with only recognizable ingredients. Paying attention is not an option for me; it's a necessity.

A few years ago, my body started breaking down and let me know I wasn’t like all those other Jessicas who were still in their twenties. I began making the rounds of alternative health practitioners and nutritionists to deal with stomach problems, thyroid problems, chronic grumpiness, and infertility, issues that my doctors weren't addressing with any success. With a lot of help and a bunch of lifestyle changes, I managed to work my way back to healthy and happy. And pregnant!

Now a full-on convert to natural family living and a mom to a three-year-old, I’m on a mission to share my insights -- and my persistent questions -- about nutrition and holistic health with other moms and with anyone else looking for something that will work and feel good when other stuff doesn’t. As a leader of a local chapter of Holistic Moms Network, I've tried to build a community that supports other parents in making healthy decisions for their families.

My writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. I blog about life on the alternative/mainstream divide at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, and I'm a contributor for DC Metro Moms.

Contact Jessica Claire Haney

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