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Embracing Chaos Through Yoga

March 1, 2011


Author Claire Dederer first tried yoga as a way to keep up with her fellow trendy young mothers in north Seattle. Yoga fit the “rules” of hip new motherhood: It was virtuous, healthy, congruent with an organic lifestyle, and allowed a break from the chaos of home.

But she was dubious at first. Of her very first yoga class, she writes:

“The scene was the very picture of white female self-indulgence. There were no Indian people in this room, that was certain. A woman in her late 20s entered and rolled out her mat in front of us. Her thick blond hair was cut in an expensive bob. Her eyebrows were fancily mowed. Her outfit was black and tight. She looked as though she had been a step aerobics teacher until about five minutes ago. She looked like her name was Jennifer. ‘I am Atosa,’ she said, and I thought, ‘Like hell you are, sister.'”

But instead of being a path to motherhood perfection for Dederer, yoga eventually allowed her to embrace the messes in her life, and ease up her grip on the idea that in order to be a good mother she had to be a perfect mother.

Dederer shares this experience in her new book, Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, which she recently talked about on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered.

She tells host Linda Wertheimer: “I started to be more content with what I had, and stopped being so concerned with trying to make everything better all the time.”

To hear the interview with Dederer and read an excerpt from the book, click on over to

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