The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude
By Neal Pollack
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061727696, 320pp.
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
The hilarious true account of an overweight, balding, skeptical guy's unexpected transformation into a healthy, blissful yoga fiend.
Neal Pollack was out of shape. The hair on his head was thinning and the hair on his face was pretentioustraits a New York Times critic gleefully pointed out while panning his second book. Combined with the predestined failure of his punk rock band, it was almost too much for Pollack to bear. He was willing to try anything to get his life back on track . . . even yoga.
While struggling to master difficult poses without kicking other yogis in the face, Pollack actually, remarkably, began to feel better, both in body and mind. Soon he found himself immersed in the "weird and circuslike" world of yoga. He participated in a 24-hour yogathon, attended yoga conferences and Asian retreats, went to yoga rock shows, started getting regular assignments for Yoga Journal magazine, and, finally, began teaching yoga classes himself.
Stretch mercilessly lampoons the bizarre, omnipresent culture of yoga, but it's also a story of profound personal transformation. Pollack started off mocking yoga. Now he's become one of its most enthusiastic proponents.
“Neal Pollack has a well documented history of putting himself into ridiculous positions, but never so literally… If Eat, Pray, Love had been written by a sweaty, aging, male smartass, then that book might be called Stretch, and Elizabeth Gilbert would be named Neal Pollack.”
“[Neal Pollack is] a yoga bad boy, a bong-hitting carnivore with a taste for laughter…a highly entertaining guide as he investigates the good, bad and ugly of the yoga spectrum…Both sincere and subversive, Pollack will likely inspire more than one reader to commit to yoga.”
“Touching as well as funny...Ultimately, Pollack lampoons himself more than the culture, and this is perhaps the most compelling evidence of Pollack’s conversion: his inability to be snarky about yoga.”
-San Francisco Chronicle