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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upifting, Spiritual Chick-lit - Yoga, Eckhart Tolle, Law of Attraction et al
This is an uplifting, fun read for anyone interested in both contemporary spiritual teachings and chick-lit. I know some people do not like the label 'chick-lit', but I happily admit to reading quite a bit of the books and authors usually included in that genre, so I use it here as a compliment. On the surface this book meets all the standard requirements of the genre -...
Published on May 11, 2011 by L. Erickson

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost interest
After reading some very deep and thought provoking books, I thought I needed a chick-lit fix and was drawn to this one because of it's yoga theme. However, I'm afraid it was all a bit too simple and fluffy for me - a bit like a drive-in fast food outlet for ready made spirituality. There are some good messages contained in this novel - the importance of living in the...
Published on August 1, 2012 by Amelia68


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upifting, Spiritual Chick-lit - Yoga, Eckhart Tolle, Law of Attraction et al, May 11, 2011
This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
This is an uplifting, fun read for anyone interested in both contemporary spiritual teachings and chick-lit. I know some people do not like the label 'chick-lit', but I happily admit to reading quite a bit of the books and authors usually included in that genre, so I use it here as a compliment. On the surface this book meets all the standard requirements of the genre - thirty-something Lorna has a successful career as a marketing/PR exec in an ice-cream firm, a likable, successful boyfriend, a good group of girlfriends, a loving sister, and a fine fashion sense. She also has the required foil - a hyper critical mother. What makes this book different is that Lorna is not satisfied with that, and the plot does not revolve around will she or won't she get engaged to the boyfriend, or will she or won't she get a promotion. Instead, Lorna is vaguely dissatisfied with her life as the novel begins, and decides to seek more. With the help of her interfaith-minister sister, she devours a slew of spiritual and self-help books, and takes up yoga. The plot of the novel is essentially her struggle to incorporate the new teachings she has discovered into her life, including her existing friendships and relationship (which are strained by her new interests), her job, and yes, even her relationship with her mother.

As the story unfolds, Lorna details her practices, and her struggles with them, including mindfulness, various yoga pranayama (breathing techniques), yoga asanas (positions), meditation, and law of attraction techniques. Along the way, she also attends a 2-day silent yoga retreat, a lecture with a spiritual teacher who channels, and a session with an energy healer. The teachings most often referenced are Eckhart Tolle's (A New Earth and The Power of Now), and various law of attraction and mindfulness teachings. However, these teachings are integrated into her daily life. For example, at one point she is on a date with her boyfriend and finds herself overly angry that he is resistant to letting her pay her own way; she goes into the bathroom to try and calm herself down, and works through the issue using Tolle's teachings on the 'pain body.' In another instance, she draws on various mindfulness practices to help her accept her mother's limitations.

This is a first novel by the author, who has written quite a bit of non-fiction, including for O magazine (and if you like Oprah and O, you will probably resonate with this novel.) I felt there were some bumps from a literary perspective - scenes or dialogue that didn't flow quite realistically for me. But that didn't keep me from enjoying the book, or from wanting to read more. And I found that every time I did, I felt uplifted, which counts for a lot to me, and offset any literary problems. There isn't much spiritual fiction out there, especially targeted to women, so if you are looking for some, this is a recommended read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written new age novel both energizes and inspires, August 6, 2011
This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
I loved this book. Meryl Davids Landau's new novel fulfills my requirements for good new age fiction: compelling characters, a strong plot, and a well-structured theme that supports the story without overwhelming it. New age novels must appeal to both the emotions and the intellect, and "Downward Dog, Upward Fog" does both.

Spiritual/metaphysical content: High. As Lorna works through her personal issues and grows spiritually, the author references information from books such as A New Earth, A Course in Miracles, and other sources that can help expand the reader's knowledge. Lorna learns how to apply a number of spiritual concepts to better manage her relationships, both personal and professional. The author details specific yoga postures and practices (stomach wash, anyone?) that helped me gain a deeper understanding of unfamiliar spiritual techniques. She shares practical meditation techniques, mindfulness tips, and mind/body/spirit principles that everyone can use. In particular, I enjoyed reading about the power of joining a spiritual community.

Landau does a great job of describing what living a spiritual life feels like, including the "high" that can come from living in the moment and learning to apply spiritual techniques to everyday life. However, she also makes it clear that the goal is not the elation, or even the occasional peaceful moment in meditation, but the "lingering calm that sustains every moment, regardless of what transpires."

My take: I'll say it again: I loved this book. New age novels must entertain and educate; they must appeal to both the emotions and the intellect, and Downward Dog, Upward Fog does this in spades. Meryl Davids Landau's writing is excellent, and she spins an engaging tale that will appeal to readers who enjoy the lighter tone of chick lit.

My only observation is that the book has an unrealistically happy ending; in the real world, living a consistently spiritual life does not guarantee happiness. However, the feel-good ending is in keeping with the chick lit genre. I felt energized and inspired when I finished the book, which is precisely the point.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing Ourselves in Others, May 24, 2011
By 
Carol Smerling (Boca Raton, Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
Sometimes a book comes along in which we can easily identify and recognize ourselves in the author's portrayal of its character. I know I have quite a bit of "Lorna" in me; her faults ande foibles are mine as well as the rewards she finds as her spiritual practice deepens and she begins her ascent out of the every-woman struggles into a higher understanding of the Oneness we all share. I thank the author for bringing this work to life and light.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDEFUL and UPLIFTING!, April 11, 2012
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This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
I was instantly drawn to this book by its cover, its review, and its name. I didn't have any clear expectations, but I did wish to inhance my own spirituality and learn about someone else's journey (albeit fictional).

Once I started reading this book, I was a little disappointed. I felt that the writing was simplistic and I did not feel "drawn in" to the main character, Lorna. I felt disappointment rising inside. However, by staying positivie and getting throught he first couple of chapters, I was COMPLETELY hooked! It is true that the first couple of chapters don't quite lure the reader in, however, the rest of the book makes up for it.

Everytime I finished reading yet another chapter, I felt more uplifted, positive and full of lessons that can be applied in daily life. I have learned about different spiritual modalities, different coping strategies, and overall how to be a better person and that everyone makes mistakes, but it is about how we persevere and learn from those life lessons and become a better person in the long run.

Lorna is a simple heroine, without too much complexity. However, she is relatable and I think most women will find something that they can find in themselves that is portrayed in Lorna.

I liked the uplifting tone of the novel, and even the happy ending. This is a very good read for anyone who likes simple fiction that dwelves into spirituality, self-help, and learning more about ourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and was sorry that it ended. I hope the author will consider either a sequel, or even better, another similar in style novel. I feel that this type of writing is lacking in today's world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lah Lah Lah LOVE Lorna & this novel, January 13, 2012
By 
ADR (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
"Downward Dog, Upward Fog" is chick lit for the spiritual set. Although fiction, it's what I fondly refer to as "nonfiction" fiction, meaning it is written with such an element of truth that it could be true. There are also practices mentioned that you may choose to adopt and integrate into your daily life, making for an inspiring & invigorating read.

The novel follows a young lady named Lorna, a lovable character who struggles with an existential crisis and embarks on a journey of spiritual self awareness. Throughout the journey, Lorna makes lifestyle changes that she often struggles to keep. Anyone who has ever started any type of self improvement will identify with Lorna and her struggles...but more importantly, her successes. You will find yourself silently cheering Lorna on, as she wages the war of self- ego vs. higher self, dropping plenty of "F bombs" (forgiveness) along the way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this book, July 20, 2011
This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
I just finished a relaxing vacation and took Downward Dog Upward Fog with me to read on the beach. Pretty soon I was reading it on the beach, in the condo, before I went to sleep...any chance I got! I am a holistic health practitioner and completely identified with the characters and topics in the book. Merle Davids Landau takes topics such as yoga, meditation and the power of attraction to new levels as she weaves solid advice into an entertaining book that will capture your attention from page one and make you fall in love with the characters until the very last page. I loved watching the main character find her true self while accomplishing things beyond her wildest dreams. This book is for YOU if you have ever thought about bringing spirituality and the power of attraction into your life. Enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely lovely,realistic and enlightened read., July 17, 2011
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This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
Meryl Landau's first novel speaks volumes.
To members not only in the yoga community,but to women everywhere this book is a gem. Landau candidly describes the highs and lows of the journey of life,offering women the insight to a different kind of living combined in a light read running the full gamut of emotions including scenes just pouring with hilarity. This book happens not just to be a story,but is a real option in life to make these types of mindful choices and changes that the main character Lorna struggles with.
Women everywhere can relate to the character in her normal daily struggles,and I bet most of us have felt/thought the same in many situations such as Lorna does.

So pick this book up, its a great story with lots of beneficial learning and paths to be inspired to try.Its not just a story about yoga but a womens evolution to healthy living,yoga and meditation,which those paths in themselves are incredible ways to manage/reduce stress,gain mental/physical health,and increase love and happiness.
This is a great starter read to anyone who is looking for "something more" than there current experience or reaching for a change,ESPECIALLY if you dont know where to start.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction to Grow On! CaroleBryant.com, July 5, 2011
This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
With a title like Downward Dog, Upward Fog, you know you're in for a witty, sassy, fun read...and this book does not disappoint! Finally spiritual fiction for women that carries a strong message...Grow Yourself. I was immediately drawn into the dialogue, enjoyed the characters, and felt right at home with many of the experiences. Juicy fun with a big dose of motivation! Treat yourself!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost interest, August 1, 2012
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This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
After reading some very deep and thought provoking books, I thought I needed a chick-lit fix and was drawn to this one because of it's yoga theme. However, I'm afraid it was all a bit too simple and fluffy for me - a bit like a drive-in fast food outlet for ready made spirituality. There are some good messages contained in this novel - the importance of living in the moment, for example, which Lorna struggles with continuously (as do many of us, no doubt). But these were overshadowed by things which simply annoyed me (such as Lorna's born-again condescending answers to everything)... so I'm afraid a 2 star rating is being generous. I think I just got bored with having spirituality served on a platter, pre-digested and simplified to a point where it took away the challenge to think things through for yourself. Which made me struggle to even finish the book .... and some scenes towards the end, like Lorna performing yoga in ICU instead of holding her loved one's hand, were way over the top for me.
I had the impression that the author tried too hard to pack in as much new age spirituality as possible into this story, which in the end made it preachy and unbelievable. For example, I have never met anyone who is able to perform perfect yoga asanas (like a 15-minute headstand) after just a few months of practice, especially someone made out to be as unfit as Lorna ... and whilst Lorna has some pitfalls on her journey (which made her appear human for a little while), her almost obsessive embracing of anything new-age seems unhealthy and unsustainable to me. All in all, the
answers all seemed too simple and contrived, and the preachy overtones spoiled a story which could have potentially been fun and entertaining as well as thought-provoking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable book, looking forward to the sequel!, February 7, 2013
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This review is from: Downward Dog, Upward Fog (Paperback)
Wonderful book as I love yoga and love all she wrote in the book. Looking forward to reading future books by Meryl David.
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Downward Dog, Upward Fog
Downward Dog, Upward Fog by Meryl Davids Landau (Paperback - May 3, 2011)
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