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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi

I have to admit when I sit down to review a book I never know exactly where to start. Oh, I know I should be there, highlighter in hand, pointing out the good points, noting the not so good and be able to give a full bodied review, bullet points and all, but it seems it’s just not my style. Rather, I dive in, devour and review a book from my overall impression, my experience with it, my journey through it and what it’s left me. Which is a perfect place to start a review of Brian Leaf’s new book Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi.
I was thrilled to be asked to review this book. The title alone had my interest. The moment the book arrived and I felt it in my hands, admiring its quirky artwork, I was hooked and after reading the introduction, well I was in love with it and ready to buy a copy for every parent I know.
I sometimes feel under-educated in the parenting book field. Unlike Brian Leaf, I haven’t read all of the top seller Parenting gurus work or researched all the philosophies. However, like Brian, my credo is the same: as parents we have to learn to trust ourselves, to be conscious in the moment and listen to our hearts. Therein lies what our children need and what only we can give. Brian’s intermingling of parenting techniques and personal spiritual pursuit are spine tingling. By being a better parent, he becomes a better yogi, by being a better yogi, he’s a better parent. The perfect blend.
Why haven’t I kept up in my reading of parenting bibles? Simply put, I’m a homeschooling mom, who co-runs a family business and tries to still find time to write myself into a soul connection. By the time I get to bed a book is lucky to be read past page one. And yet guess what? I read Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi in about 3 nights. I’d even stop mid-laundry load to grab a couple of chapters (which are laid out conveniently short and to the point I may add.) I think what makes it so easy to read is Brian’s easy going manner and real life humor. Sure friends without children may raise an eyebrow when laughing about getting out of bed with a sleeping baby or the various statements kids make innocently in public places, but I think any parent would feel a lift and a laugh when reading Brian’s antidotes. It all flows so beautifully well as he uses his funny stories to illustrate the philosophies he’s researched and his own personal absorption of them. Thanks to Brian, I now have a reading list of different authors of different parenting methods, also thanks to Brian, I don’t have to feel in a panic to read them all right away, as he provides a general gist of each philosophy, often in easy bullet point form, for my tired brain.
On top of his research on philosophies and techniques to calm a frantic babe, Brian also give sound facts on some of the issues of the day, such as home birth, circumcision, or breastfeeding, without holding any judgement or ruffling any feathers, Brian simply reiterates what him and his wife chose as the most loving choice for them. Parenting yogi couldn’t be a better term.
I want to add another note: Brian Leaf is a follower in ayurvedic medicine and its philosophies have woven themselves into his own personal parenting approach and hence into his book. I am so glad it did! I found the information fascinating, and again, nice and to the point. My husband, myself and our two daughters took his quiz in the appendix and since then all four of us have become aware of certain aspects in ourselves and in each other. Yet another thing I’m eager to read more about... when life slows down a bit.
So my final thoughts on absorbing Brian Leaf’s book: Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi is a must read for any spiritually aware parent, or any parent for that matter. It’s a joy to read, like sitting with a dear friend who has a deep understanding of the information out there, a wonderful sense of humor, great personal antidotes, a love of the journey and a kind heart who in the end will support you by simply saying- trust yourself, you truly know more than you think if you just breathe and listen.

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