Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude
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Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude

4.1 19
by Neal Pollack
     
 

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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 pretentious—traits a New York Times critic gleefully pointed out while panning his second book

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Overview

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 pretentious—traits 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.

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Editorial Reviews

John Hodgman
"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."
—John Hodgman
“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.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061727696
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/10/2010
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
8.24(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.83(d)

What People are saying about this

John Hodgman
“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.”

Meet the Author

Neal Pollack is the author of the bestselling memoir Alternadad and several books of satirical fiction, including The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature and the rock novel Never Mind the Pollacks. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

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Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Neal Pollack is a yogaholic. Once trying yoga, he becomes obsessed with doing yoga every chance he gets. This humorous look at his journey in search of his inner self and realization is an enjoyable read but taught me nothing of the principles of yoga. But I still liked this book.
KatherineMc2 More than 1 year ago
Getting Hooked On Yoga Neal Pollack began as a skeptic towards yoga. It doesn't seem manly enough, but he soon finds out that, after being called fat and having a mid-life crisis, yoga might be his only choice. Pollack's search for his 'best self," is a journey that leads him all over the world. Although it is a common cliché, one of the main themes is letting go to your troubles. Yoga is a way to put focus on the things you live for or even the things you want to bring into your life. This may be your family or religion, and/or joy, awareness, or understanding. Everyone is seeking something different. I Sanskrit it is written, “Yoga is to still the patterning of consciousness.” Yoga is where one is supposed to find pure awareness, or isvara. The nature of modern society tends to do the opposite: to get distracted. Yoga helps us calm the mind and reach that still conscious. These are things Neal comes learns throughout his yoga transformation. I usually find nonfiction books to be quite boring because there isn't much emotion. Neal Pollack does a really nice job of keeping you interested the entire time. His zealous nature and the cursing he isn’t afraid to add in, defines his writing style and gives the book personality. You are really able to picture who he is and his real thoughts and feelings as he goes through this journey. I surprisingly enjoyed him talk about farting in class. It was entertaining. What I didn’t like was how he contradicted himself when talking about how politics shouldn’t be incorporated into Yoga. He turns right around and adds his two cents to the political side of things, and chants with other students later in the book about the president. I also didn’t enjoy when a huge history lesson was put into certain spots. It was a little too much. Needless to say, the book as a whole was fairly enlightening into the yoga world but was more of a funny story about Pollack’s transformation into his “best self.”
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noodles0up More than 1 year ago
Writer Neal Pollack is at a crossroads in life and yoga saves him. In 2000, he led a glamorous life of book tours and appearances while dishing out his edgy, cutting, wit that the 20-somethings craved. But now, a decade later, he's struggling to support a family while keeping his writing career afloat. He is on a quest to do good things and to be his best self. In this book he bravely dives into some heavy yoga terminology - explaining iashtanga, kundalini and the yoga sutras in layman's terms. The philosophical revelations he uncovers are humbling and inspiring. Such as, "Don't let other people's work ripple your waters. Their business, whether you choose to enjoy it or not has nothing to do with you." Practicing yoga opens doors he never expected. Even if you are not into yoga, the dichotomy of Pollack's wise-ass attitude and his obsession with yoga makes for an enjoyable, humorous and uplifting book.
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Georgia Siposs More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Haven't read all of it yet, I thought it was for any one. I just wanted to stretch. But so far it has been okay. I will finish it, some time.