Book Review: Blijven Ademhalen – Hedi de Vree

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An unexpected rollercoaster-ride of emotions and inspiration, filled with little winks of familiar yoga teachers, studios and events, as well as giant tidal waves of recognition:

Blijven Ademhalen – Hedi de Vree.

Read it cover to cover in ONE afternoon.

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DISCOVERY: This book was sent to me by AW Bruna.

Based on the title and tag line I was intrigued, but I had NO idea it was actually the one thing I have so been longing for since Hell Bent: A NEW BIKRAM/HOT YOGA BOOK. FINALLY.

But the book does not pertain to Bikram Yogis alone. It is definitely more about the totality of yoga and the things you can learn about yourself and the world as you practice yoga, in whatever form. It is not just about sweating in a hot studio.

It is an extra fun read for someone who does do Bikram yoga, recognising the postures, the people and the events.

SUBJECT: The book is about Hedi. It is about a normal person doing yoga and how much it helps her. Hedi writes about her life, her relationship and how yoga has helped her to grow and learn as a person.

She starts out unhappy, being terrified of yogis and challenges herself to do a class. Everything starts from there and a beautiful, relatable story transpires.

KOOKINESS SCALE (1-10):  Based on the way that is written I would give it a 4.

It’s open minded and not afraid to touch topics like mindfulness, self forgiveness, gratitude, written in a pleasant style that goes a little incense-and-mhirre without becoming too much to handle for the average person. She uses spiritual words and down-to-earth phrases interchangeably, with a sense of humor to boot. Observe:

Only one chapter in, there is the book scene where Hedi describes a sun ray hitting in such a way everything transforms into true complete Love and Beauty and Life. And then she writes: “Still not sure if it was a spiritual experience or if I was just drunk.”

…I think I just fell in love you guys.

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FAVORITE PARTS: Because this is a Dutch book, I can’t really share quotes, so I’m just going to focus on what my favorite parts/chapters were.

  • “It’s just a decision” About how changing your mind can be the one and only thing you have to do in order to be able to do something. (Warning: Does not apply in all scenarios)
  • “Observe yourself” About how observing your own mind and heart can be the most enlightening thing to do when in inner turmoil, external conflict or difficult situations.
  • “I just want to know if I can do it” This was my ultimate favorite, because that story is actually exactly what my tattoo is based on: a story Mary Jarvis shared in the lecture I once attended that inspired me to the “and she wondered what she could do next” text.

SELF HELP HIPSTER STAMP OF APPROVAL: Oh GOD, yes. This book is amazing.

This book has moved me greatly. I read the entire thing in an afternoon, smiling, sighing and occasionally with the tears streaming down my face.

One reason this book could move me the way it did was because I know the real life this is based on.

With the Bikram studio in The Hague and its owner Lydia, the Mary Jarvis lectures I attended too, all the teachers I know and take class from in the credits,

Hedi writes about the world I walk in too. It’s like seeing a soap opera with your friends as actors, you know?

Another reason it moved me was because Hedi is so open and vulnerable about her life, about her fear, her pain and her journey: That makes reading this book an incredibly intimate experience.

Finally, it moved me because I recognise the fear, the pain, the resistance. It is confrontational, and inspiring. I’m not afraid to tell you that I actually cried occasionally while reading this, that’s how close to home some of the things hit.

YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You love yoga.
  • You love Bikram yoga.
  • You want to learn more about (Bikram) yoga.
  • You’re going through some difficult times in your personal life, like loss of a parent or relationship drama.
  • You like reading life lessons from other people.

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Thank God for this new (Bikram) yoga book in my life. I like the yoga books that talk about the lessons people learn from it, not necessarily the how-to’s. Curious? You can get the book here* for 18.95!

*Affiliate link. Eye roll. 

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5 comments

  1. Okay I normally do not comment here, but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REVIEW! The last few days this book appears everywhere. Really, everywhere. Think I will just buy it then 🙂