This review originally appeared in Elevate Difference
Tales from the Yoga Studio is, in many ways, the typical story of White women who discover Eastern philosophy (in this case, yoga) and learn how to breathe deeply. Though the women weren’t all from White, upper class society (there was a token Latina and some women who couldn’t afford the yoga class), it essentially contains the trials and tribulations of upper class Angelenos: Which yoga studio to go to today? What to wear to yoga class?
I have had experience attending a wide variety of yoga classes and peeking into the world in which yoga is a competitive sport. I dislike the commodification of yoga, which has become, in this context, devoid of the union of body and mind. In spite of this, I was looking forward to reading a potentially fun drama about a yoga studio.
While there were a few lines that I almost marked to look at later, for the most part I was annoyed with the characters, found the writing lacking a strong voice, and felt slightly impatient to finish the 297 pages. I continued as a result of a sense of wonder that there might be a hidden point that would illuminate itself in the last few pages and make everything seem worthwhile. No such luck.
It could be that, as a woman of color recently returning to the United States from India, the characters of Tales from the Yoga Studio were too preoccupied with their own world. For this reason, I am explicitly exposing my potential bias. There may very well be people out there who would enjoy this novel precisely because of its simplicity. In retrospect, perhaps my expectations were too high.
Tales from the Yoga Studio was clearly not my favorite novel, but for someone who does yoga in LA, may be right up your alley.