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Tales from the Yoga Studio: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Rain Mitchell
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Read Rain Mitchell's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

A sparkling new series introducing five unforgettable women who flock to yoga at turning points in their lives and find the gift of lasting friendship.

The yoga studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship. An aggressively expanding chain of Los Angeles yoga "experience centers," has Lee and her extraordinary teaching abilities in its sights. They woo her with a lucrative contract, a trademarked name for her classes, and a place for her handsome musician husband. But accepting the contract means abandoning the students at the homey studio Lee runs in L.A.'s Silver Lake district- and leaving behind four women whose friendships are suddenly more important to her than retirement benefits and a salary increase.

Tales from the Yoga Studio is an insider's look at the current obsession with yoga, told with enough humor, wit, and warmth to charm and delight readers, whether or not they've ever done a Downward Dog.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yoga pants are optional for this slow series setup revolving around L.A. yoga teacher Lee and four devoted students in her orbit--Hollywood deal maker Stephanie, dancer Graciela, ex-druggie Katherine, and actress Imani. Each comes with her own personal career and romantic melodramas, but fear not: yoga will bring them together, and though it doesn't get full credit for straightening out their jumbled lives--the friendships forged by this diverse gaggle of L.A. gals does that--it helps sculpt great bods and peaceful souls. Mitchell's debut is straight out of the hobby-as-salve-for-the-soul playbook, but with yoga mats instead of knitting needles. If sweet tales of friendship, bonding, and downward facing dog are your thing, this should be an agreeable diversion. (Dec.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

“It’s all show biz,” advises a yoga aficionado’s husband in this engrossing chick-lit tale about an independent L.A. yoga studio and its core community of faithful clients. Owner and veteran instructor Lee knows that selling her studio to a Los Angeles chain, YogaHappens, means she can still teach there, albeit while obeying the corporation. But her stage fright during YogaHappens’ teaching audition suggests deeper fears. Will commercialization end her small studio’s supportive intimacy (much like that of the woman-bonding independent hair salon in the movie Steel Magnolias)? Husband Alan, chasing success in Lotus Land’s music scene, urges her to sell, and since their marriage is troubled, Lee feels even more pressure. Independent masseuse Katherine; injured dancer Graciela; Stephanie, one of L.A.’s “43,000 freelancers” trying to gain traction in film production; onetime TV star Imani, “living the dark side of the Hollywood dream,” and other clients could lose the studio’s sustaining connectedness. Seamless integration of names and explanations of yoga positions doesn’t hinder mainstream readership, while Mitchell’s smoothly advancing character development enriches this entertaining meditation on building and sustaining community. --Whitney Scott

Product Details

  • File Size: 466 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0452296919
  • Publisher: Plume (December 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00499DROY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,127 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Yoga can bring more than a bit of exercise. "Tales from the Yoga Studio" tells the story of Lee, a Yoga teacher in the small town of Silver Lake. Many of her students come into her class, and they all have problems, in desperate need of spiritual renewal. Through their lessons, they will learn to overcome their problems, but Lee has many that a few spiritual exercise sessions may not be enough to solve. "Tales from the Yoga Studio" is a thoughtful and fun read for those looking for a bit of spirituality with their fiction.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light, easy, fun, read January 23, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book because it was like a "made for T.V." story. The characters were very believable, being a southern California resident myself. It was fun to think about life in Silver Lake, a suburb of Los Angeles with many of the community members being employed by the film industry.
It revolved around the yoga studio and it's owner, which is a part of everyday life for us yoga lovers.
Light and a very quick read. Can't wait for more "tales" to follow!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A frivolous read for those into yoga March 31, 2011
I enjoyed certain elements of this book a great deal, particularly the moments of female camaraderie. But I'm probably being a bit generous with three stars simply because I'm a yoga teacher, and identified with a fair amount of the storyline.

This book followed the lives of five women in less than 300 pages. Partially because of that, the book didn't get much into the meat of anything. There was no unexpected growth or discovery. Not every book needs that, but Tales from the Yoga Studio was too predictable.

For example, one thing I'm so tired by are horrible male characters that seem to drive the drama. Doesn't anyone have difficulties in a relationship simply because relationships are difficult? Not because their partner is a complete sleaze? And for the characters who do have a fulfilling love life, their man is some kind of hero. When their male counterparts are so over simplified, I struggle to understand why these one-dimensional relationships are so important to the main characters.

The author fell into stereotypes within other areas - yoga, LA, motherhood, finances, addiction. But the upside is all those matters are touched on, and flux amongst five different characters makes the book feel more dynamic. At the end of Tales from the Yoga Studio, a lot of ends were left untied. So I can't tell if that means this book is the tip of the this series' iceberg, or just the beginning of a road trip on a flat tire.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable contemporary December 31, 2010
Lee owns the Edendale Yoga Studio in the Silver lake section of Los Angeles; she also works as an instructor. She likes giving back to her students by helping them achieve their desires though she gave up on one of hers when Alan the artist left her and now has doubts about what to do as a chain wants her studio and is offering her quite an incentive package. Without prying, Lee looks deep into the souls of her long time pupils as their lives converge at her studio.

Lee encourages Stephanie already an overachiever to seek solace in her accomplishments. She believes Graciela the artist is a talent especially when the woman does not fear baring her soul to others. The Yoga guru knows Imani the actress conceals secrets that Lee hopes do not cripple her with shame. Finally there is her BFF loyal Katherine. She will be there for each them especially when they confront the agony of defeat

Tales from the Yoga Studio is an enjoyable contemporary that provides deep insight into yoga and running a studio with friendship. Each of the five women will learn truths about themselves and the others. Character driven, fans will appreciate this warm tale as Rain Mitchell brings more than just yoga and friendship to the wonderful story line; the author will persuade readers yoga is an art form that touches the hearts of those who participate; so get up and join.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a first act not a complete story March 21, 2011
Tales from the Yoga Studio is the beginning of a series and it feels it. The book reads like an introduction to all the characters that the reader will interact with later on. While each of the women is caught up in her own story, and we do need to understand that back story, there was not as much interaction between the women as I was expecting. I had the impression that deep friendships would form but so much of the interaction felt at a surface level, even with all the emotion rolling around underneath. Imani, one of the main characters, doesn't even attend the same yoga studio as the others for the majority of the book. She is with them in the beginning and again near the end but in between she is off doing her own thing.

All of the stories are interesting to a point but they never seem to come together as a whole. Mitchell does move between the stories easily and there is no confusion about which storyline is which. Hints are given for stories that might appear in future books, although I have no idea how many books are planned for the series at this point. While Tales from the Yoga Studio was a quick and enjoyable read, I don't think I'll go out of my way to remember to look for additional books as they come out.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable! February 23, 2011
To me, this book marries the worst of L.A. with the worst of literary styles. I've been a yoga teacher for 13 years, studied with nationally -known teachers, as well as many teachers in Portland, OR, and I have to say this book does not ring true for me. The yoga story, with all its allusions to famous yogis, and a Sanskrit word thrown in here and there, married to the uninteresting lives of the shallow characters, didn't fit any of the descriptions, such as "funny, and "gripping." In fact, I found this book to represent the worst of cliches concerning what yoga is all about. The kind of cliches that I fight every day to overcome. That was really disappointing to me. It's almost a spoof--on yoga, and on sisterhood. And not a funny one, at that. Contrary to its billing, it is neither informative nor funny, nor a story about any real people. The one thing that did ring true is the nod to the corporatizing of yoga, which is happening all over, and very destructive to the practice. But even that was over-dramatized and made false. My advice: if you know anything about yoga, the practice, the deep comittment, the sage teachers, the true bonding that can happen among practitioners--or more importantly, if you don't--don't read this book. It will be like eating cotton candy in Sukhasana--maybe not that substantive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fun
Fun light book with just enough drama. :) a little predictable but I still enjoyed it
Plus it made me want to do some YOGA!
Published 1 month ago by dawna
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book
I liked this book, until I realized it's fiction. I don't know why I thought it was non-fiction. I was fun to read. I still give it 4 stars and would recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Darmok
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I decided to finish reading this
For the first half of the book I felt I had gotten the first rough draft. Characters were generic, traits were attributed with no supporting anecdotal evidence, and any alleged... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Group of Ladies
At her yoga studio in Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, Lee brings something extra to her yoga classes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth
3.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the Yoga Studio
This story is about Lee, who runs and teaches at her yoga studio, and her friends the ladies who come to share yoga with her. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sandra Brazier
2.0 out of 5 stars Easy and funny but NOT amazing
I am very familiar with the 'inner workings' of a yoga studio and community and this doesn't seem quite true to life, and the references to real yoga are sparse. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Julia Chelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Really captures what it's like to be a part of a yoga community, both as a student and a teacher. Either the author is a yogi or... nope, definitely a yogi. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Elizabeth Strait
5.0 out of 5 stars a warm and witty look at yoga and the women who practice it
This breezy novel will delight all fans of yoga. Rain Mitchell takes us to the suburbs of L.A., where Lululemon-attired women drop to the mats with as much fervor as they engage in... Read more
Published 9 months ago by a Florida reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Flat, cliched, and pretentious characters
Don't expect anything deep from this book about a group of women who frequent the same yoga studio and who are dealing with different challenges in their lives. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Karen
1.0 out of 5 stars dysfunctional characters and marginal writing
This isn't a book about yoga, it is a story about dysfunctional men and the women who sigh and manage (eventually) without them. Horrible book.
Published on February 19, 2013 by Emily Moothart
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