Review: Yiddish Yoga: Ruthie’s Adventures in Love, Loss, and the Lotus Position

A few notes:

1. I am not Jewish.
2. I do not do yoga.
3. I am not a senior citizen.

I tell you these things because my choice of Yiddish Yoga: Ruthie’s Adventures in Love, Loss, and the Lotus Position might be a surprise (especially since, as I write this review, I’m listening to Christmas music and wearing a Virgin Mary medallion). But I still enjoyed this short, punchy, illustrated story about a woman who is all of those things.

When Ruthie Brodestein’s husband passes away, her granddaughter buys her a year membership to yoga classes. The book follows Brodestein through her year of classes, and includes her revelations as her body stretches, and how doing yoga helps her work through her grief. It’s funny, whimsical and a good read, even if it doesn’t have my swapping out my running sneakers for a yoga matt.

My only disappointment was realizing that Ruthie is not a real person and that Yiddish Yoga is fiction. But to author Lisa Grunberger’s defense, I didn’t look before I started reading.

I grabbed this book off the shelf after starting and stopping two different books last night. I finished this one in an hour, and what a delightful hour it was. I got this book too late in the mail for it to be part of my holiday book gift guide, but maybe that’s a good thing — it allowed me to give it a full review.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. Katy B on January 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I linked here from goodreads specifically for your review. Being a sometimey yoga practitioner myself, this Kindle freebie has been on my "to be read" shelf for too long now. It sounds like it has a little bit for almost everyone. Thanks for your review!

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