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4.3 out of 5 stars
Yoga School Dropout
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2005
This is the true story of one girls escape from the rat race to explore a variety of ways of deepening her interest in yoga.
She travels to India and goes from Ashram to Ashram, Guru to Guru, Yoga School to Yoga School. You read about the scams and the 'crazies' and also the deeply sincere people and spiritual places you could find yourself if you did the same. It's almost like an informal review of each place, which might prove useful if you were thinking of doing the same. It explains with humour and realism the difficulties of such a path, along with the joys and rewards too. Most interestingly you see Lucy's inner journey as she struggles with herself, much to the relief of the reader, as you see her own humanity.
This is a super book. I read it on holiday in Mauritius and the book and the surroundings together took me to a state of bliss. I absolutely LOVED it but as a result won't be travelling to India to pursue my love of yoga at any time soon! I am tempted though...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2005
I brought this on holidays and I found it so difficult to put down! It made me laugh, It made me want to give it all up and head to Kerala, it made me see beyond the veneer of mysticism that we create around yoga and most importantly, it made me remember to put it all into perspective.
I loved the book - so well written and such a fascinating read
Lucy - can't wait for your next book. Release it soon!!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2007
I should have read the reviews before buying the book as I was quite surprised that it's not fictional writing (as I expected) but instead based on Lucy Edge's own journey to India.

Lucy Edge - a burned out, high flying professional - is sick of her London life and decides to `find herself' in India. She attends about 6 different yoga and meditation ashrams there, hoping that one of them will help her find the answers she is looking for.

The book starts of promising. I laughed quite a bit and feel that the Western yogis she bumps into on the way, pretty much sound like girls I see at yoga class here in London. However, by ashram number 4 I got a bit bored as essentially she goes through the same emotions from start to finish and nothing new or exciting changes throughout her journey. There are no unexpected twists or turns, just pretty much the same from beginning to end. Nonetheless, Lucy Edge's writing is very honest and one gets a good sense of what ashram life in India is all about.

Overall, I would however only recommend this book to those who:

1. Are into yoga and are prepared to look at its humorous side as this book is far from deep

2. Like chick-lit

3. Have a remote interest in travel literature

4. Have some interest in India

In summary this is a cute, fun book, but not great.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2010
Lucy is a little bit naive, a little bit shallow and a little bit fish-out-of-water in India. So what makes this a good book? Well, personally I thought that even though she really didn't know what she was doing or where she was going (with her life or in India!), Lucy managed to a find a much more authentic India than many who travel there, especially certain yoga practitioners!

This is a funny, girly book (it's a bit on the chick-lit side) about one woman's search for a new view on life in India. Unlike many books of its kind, Lucy finds more solace in the everyday people she meets than in the religious practices and yoga that she does. As mentioned above, she's rather naive, but she does end up finding out a lot about herself and about life.

The type of yoga practitioners (from America, Uk, etc, not the yoga teachers in India) that Lucy meets in India are rather self-involved, a little bit know it all, and many of them are totally ignorant of the real India and the meaning behind their practices. To be honest, this has been my experience with many of the Western yogis I have met in India - they're certainly flexible, but at the end of the day they are no more in tune with the world than anyone else! Some keen yogis will no doubt find Lucy's portrait of some of the people she meets less than flattering, but at the end of the day Lucy's message is that yoga alone is not enough. Doing rigorous asanas every day will not change your life just like that, you have to learn to see the world differently.

This is a very honest book - Lucy is not afraid to admit that she finds yoga hard, that meditation sometimes leaves her cold, that when other people talk about their spiritual experiences she feels a bit lost. But she stills finds her way in India. A good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book literally jumped off the shelf at me. As someone just about to abandon everything and head off to India myself in search of....? , Yoga School Dropout couldn't have been a more apt read. Lucy Edge has brought India, with its mix of ancient traditions and culture mingled with western influence, to life in a down to earth, tangible and laugh-out-loud funny way, (to the point of people moving seats away from me on the tube...); letting her descriptions of the different forms of yoga practice and gurus she comes across create their own impression on you without being over explanatory - anyone who's ever dipped their toes into a spiritual movement or group will really identify with the sharp observations, and with the quirkinesses (is that a word?!) she meets - and she tells of the characters she meets along the way, in a way that lets their personalities unfold by themselves, but with a touching warmth.

But what really weaved its magic with me in this book was the constant thread of Lucy's search for something deeper, in an ordinary and unassuming, yet incredibly inspiring, way and keeping her integrity (and humour!) completely intact. I am even more excited and pulled to go there than I was before and if I experience half of the myriad of impressions, emotions and adventure (spiritual and otherwise!) described by Lucy, I will think myself truly lucky. Definitely buy this book, it's completely worth it on every level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2007
Lucy Edge had written a warm, humane account of her genuine search for enlightenment and a husband amongst the ashrams of India! She weaves in her background reading beautifully, as she describes her adventures in each of the ashrams. One comes away from reading her book, better informed about the history and current status of the various ashrams, than one realizes. Her account of the Osho ashram in Pune is particularly charming. Her english prudishness is honestly described and she comes across all the more convincingly because of it. But most importantly, the book is a real joy to read and her openheartedness invites a similar response in the reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2011
I was hoping for some spiritual insight from this but it reads like a trashy chick flick. The term "ashram chic" is used a lot (need i say more?). Its an account of her travels to various ashrams and yoga retreats but lacks any real depth on her opinions of them, or what she actually learns there. Instead the focus seems to be what men she fancies and who looks better than who. In the end she seems to realise that yoga offers a lot more than a toned body but theres no real depth to it. Not necessarily a bad book, but i was really hoping there would be a bit more spirituality in it and it wasnt for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2006
Loved it. I have read a couple of other books in a similar vein (Holy Cow, My

LIfe in Orange) and definitely thought this was the best - it kept me laughing the whole way through with its astute observations of twenty first century India and yogis and I also found it a very touching and honest memoir about a single girl's quest for enlightenment. I thought the prose read very fluidly too and it was definitely one of those (quite rare) books which I felt very sad to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2006
Anyone looking at this page should buy this book. It is fabulous book on yoga and Lucy's experience of different styles of yoga and ashram experiences as she travels round India.

This is the best travel book i have read with regards to yoga.

I also practice yoga and love it finding it helps me stay strong,healthy and happy.

Thank you for writing such a wonderful book Lucy which really lifts and inspires and has made me laugh so much along the way and i was very sad to turn to the last page.

This book is fab if you already practice yoga or just starting explaining about the different types of yoga out there. There is also a lovely glossary at the back too so if you don't understand some of the yoga jargon it is all explained.

The contacts pages at the back of the book are great so if you want to find out more about anything to do with yoga all the contact details you'll ever need are made availiable, especially if you want to find out more and don't know where to begin.

A must read for any yoga student, you'll not want to put it down!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2006
Basically this book is an entertaining read.
But from the very beginning on Lucy is sceptical towards the scene she encounters in India. She so biased from the very beginning on that she of course has her difficulties in finding the much sought for "cosmic bliss". Late in the book she writes that in the beginning of her travels a fellow yogi called her a "yoga shopper" which is what she basically does throughout the book. She is on a big ashram shopping spree. Meaning she tastes here and there without ever really immersing herself in one place or method or even into relationships with the people she meets.
It seems as if she always leaves her various destinations at a point where "real work" would begin.
She has a quick look at things, decides it does not meet with her expectations and leaves.

In the end she decides, that home is actually the best place to be and that her job in advertising might not have been all that bad...
There is a certain emptiness to her yarn, the landscape etc might be described in a lively way, but her personality and the personalities of the people she meets remain unsatisfyingly pale.
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