Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: May I Be Happy

***Giveaway is closed***

By Tracey Meyers


When the review of Cyndi Lee's book, May I Be Happy, was originally scheduled, little did I know I would be sitting in a yoga class at the very moment it went live on Chick Lit Central.  Several weeks back, Monday and Wednesday mornings were just like the rest of the week.  I got into work two hours before everyone else did so I could get things done before things started to pick up.  These days, that's not the case.

I still arrive at work at the same time as I always to do during the week;  however, instead of getting settled at my desk and going about my day, on Monday and Wednesdays I open up my office, dump my work things by my desk and head to the gym for my morning Heated Vingasa Flow yoga class.  Truth be told, even though I've only been going to this class for three full weeks (I am currently starting my fourth week), I wonder how I got along without it.

My yoga instructor is not Cyndi Lee, who is the founder of OM Yoga located in New York, though after reading this book I hope to one day take at least one yoga class instructed by her.  Admittedly, prior to coming across this book by chance, I did not know who Cyndi was; however, I was intrigued by the idea that a yoga instructor (and former dancer and choreographer) could have self-judgement and dislike of her body.  Being someone who was in the process of losing weight and reshaping their lifestyle, I knew this was a must read.

Before I jump into the content of this memoir, I want to point out the unique way this book is structured.  Instead of chapters, this book is broken up into three parts - Arising, Abiding and Dissolving.  At the beginning of each of these sections, Cyndi explains each term and goes somewhat in depth about being in each of these states.  I liked the way this was executed.  I found myself keeping these ideas in the back of my mind as I read about her journey.  Furthermore, I feel it's important to point out that throughout each part, Cyndi interjects stories about her yoga classes and her students.  This switch is easily identifiable as they appear in a different font than the main text.  Though something like this may seem like it would cause confusion and throw a reader off-track, I didn't feel that was the case.  I actually felt it broke up the parts of the book nicely and functions as a way to break up the parts into chapters, even though they really weren't chapters.  Also, these stories though separate are still connect to her main story she is sharing.

As for the content of this book... I fear I cannot do it justice.  Reading Cyndi's story was like having coffee with a friend discussing some deeply intimate thoughts about our bodies and exploring why we feel the way we do.  "Yes!" I found myself wanting to reply back as I read something that hit home.  Also, might I say I have a piece of paper filled with ideas from the book that I wanted to make sure I had on hand to ponder at a later date.  Both of these reactions are tell-tale-signs, in my mind, that what I was taking in was creating a connection that was transforming me.  Going into reading this book, I only thought of body issues as weight and shape related.  Leaving it, I see it goes beyond that.  Not only do body issues cover the above, but also encompass obsessions over the wrinkles that come with age (I swear the ones on my forehead weren't there yesterday) or the blemishes on our skin that doesn't seem to go away (I'm seriously convinced each and every person I encounter is staring at the one that has taken up residence on my cheek as they interact with me). 

Joining together.  Union.  If you do a search as to what the word "yoga" means these are some of the things you'd find in your search results.  The last thought that I will leave you with, is that overall I feel this book does an excellent job of connecting each and every women through it's messages of self-love and how we, as individuals, and as women, have the power to think differently about our bodies and the changes we experience at every stage of our life.  I feel Cyndi does an excellent job of structuring the book in a way that creates a flow and energy that matches the energy and flow of any given yoga class.


Thanks to Dutton Books for the book in exchange for an honest review. They even have TWO copies for some lucky readers in the US!

How to win May I Be Happy:
Please tell us: What is your favorite healthy food?

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US only. Giveaway ends March 15th at midnight EST.


TinaB said...

My fave healthy food is asparagus.

Anonymous said...

My favorite healthy food is berries.


Molly said...

My favorite is blueberries!

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

I am a salad junkie! I love every salad there is! The more veggies the better!

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

Every week I make up a big bowl of cut up fresh fruit and a large green salad. Then I can eat off of them all week. I can add a protein to the green salad and some Greek yogurt to the fruit.

Nova said...

My favorite healthy food is any kind of fruit. I love it!

Linda Kish said...

I like yogurt.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Stephanie said...

My favorite are brussel sprouts.

Sara said...

My absolute favorite of all time- strawberries.

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite healthy food is apples.


susieqlaw said...

My favorite healthy food is spinach.

sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

My favorite healthy food is broccoli.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

My favorite healthy food is carrots.

Lauren McCormick said...

I love edamame! I eat them every day!

itzhunic at hotmail dot com

Just a Girl In the World said...

Congrats to the winners of "May I Be Happy" by Cyndi Lee!!!

8 - Sara
11 - rubynreba