Sunday, March 20, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell

Tales from the Yoga Studio
Rain Mitchell

Page Count: 288
Release Date: 28 December, 2010
Publisher: Plume (Penguin)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist, FSB Media, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

The yoga studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship.

In Los Angeles, yoga teachers have become celebrities and designer tank tops can cost a small fortune. Still, many students flock to the relatively unglamorous Edendale Yoga in the hip, out-of-the-way Silver Lake neighborhood. It's here where Lee uses her extraordinary teaching skills and unusual empathy to help students gain control of their bodies and possibly their lives as well.

Katherine, the studio's resident masseuse, is trying hard not to sabotage what could be the perfect relationship.

Graciela is a dancer on the cusp of getting her breakthrough job, assuming she can overcome a suspicious injury.

Imani, a happily married and successful actress, struggles to get beyond the one big loss she can't seem to forget.

Stephanie, a talented screenwriter and development girl, might be driving herself to the breaking point.

But will Lee's students have learned enough from their beloved teacher to help her when she faces financial problems and a marital crisis of her own?

Tales from the Yoga Studio is a warm, funny, and gripping novel about the gift of connection and the joys of discovery, featuring five amazing women you will never forget.
Vivid descriptions and easily relatable struggles are brought alive in Rain Mitchell's debut novel. The lives of five women are intertwined thoroughly, each one with varying, realistic concerns. I loved how each woman was a small part of me, and not just me, but every woman in this common world. 

Katherine is my intrinsic factor. Always true to herself, she won't let anyone fool her, and risks hurting her own heart in the process. In Graciela, I find my own vulnerability, one that is too unsure to speak out, but is never still never completely satisfied. Imani represents my success, my smiling face that only the public sees, and she also contains the rapid deterioration of my self and body that only I know of. Stephanie (aside from our same names!) is my weakness, my breaking point, but also my determination, as well as my will. And Lee, she's everything I want to be, my zen, my composure, and my selfless strength. Each woman is beautiful because each woman is a part of me, which was what spoke out most about this book.

Tales from the Yoga Studio is the kind of story that brought new revelations and surprises within every page, thanks to Mitchell's precisely-composed, lyrical prose. A lot of it was very tongue-in-cheek too, which was entertaining. The only reason I am not rating Tales from the Yoga Studio higher is because I felt some parts were too long and dragged out. There were several times while reading, where I would flip back and see how many pages I had left to read—I was sort of bored. But that set aside, it was a fantastic, too-good-to-be-true story that every woman can relate with because essentially, it is a book about every woman and what is really in her neglected heart.

Stephanie Loves: "'Whatever comes up for you in these [yoga] poses,' Lee says, 'try to let it go. Maybe anxiety? Maybe sadness? Anger? They're just thoughts. Let them go. They only control you and have power if you let them. They're parasites—they can't live on their own.'"

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥