Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi {A book review!}

First and foremost I wanted to thank everyone so much for all the comments on my marathon recap! I had tears while I was writing the post, tears as I reread the post, and then tears as I read the comments about some of you having tears as YOU read the post. You all really made my day. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Between Betty, work, and marathon training I haven’t had a whole lot of time recently to sit down with a book and that makes me a little sad. Reading is relaxing and I could certainly use a little more of that in my life. So when I was contacted a little while back by an author by the name of Brian Leaf asking me if I would like to read and review his new book, I was all about it. Especially after learning the title.


Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi? I didn’t need to know what it was about. I felt I could relate to it immediately based on the title alone. I’m a yogi! And I do a lot of parenting! And I tend to have a misadventure anywhere from 3 to 5 times per week! Never mind the fact that I did not read one single solitary parenting book during my pregnancy. THIS book was written by a yoga instructor. I wanted to know exactly what he had to say.

This is also my first review of a book ever unless you count book reports in school so bear with me. I kind of have no idea what I’m doing.


This book follows Brian Leaf’s trial and error approach to raising his two sons with his wife, Gwen. (Gwen is Canadian and sounds like a total bad ass.) He tackles major issues that affect probably most new parents-to-be such as home birth vs. hospital birth, the great diapering dilemma (cloth? no cloth? no diapers at all?), cosleeping, and breastfeeding. As the boys get older he explores Attachment Parenting, Dr. Spock style parenting, and also delves into other styles that I had never even heard of up to this point: Playful Parenting, Simplicity Parenting, and Unconditional Parenting. And through all of this, even though he has much less time to attend classes, the basic principles of yoga are alive and well every day in his interactions with his family.

My Thoughts

The Leafs sound like a really lovely family, but my family would definitely be considered “mainstream” by comparison. The earlier chapters, while humorous and engaging to read, were pretty much completely at odds with everything we did with Betty when she was really small: for example we left our placenta at the hospital, she slept in her room almost from day 1 and I have a giant stack of Pampers Reward points that I never bothered to cash in on. But even though I couldn’t relate to much of what he was saying, I was determined to finish out the book before forming an opinion on it and I’m glad I did. He has experienced things with his boys that I am only just getting into with my daughter now and as I read along, I started bookmarking many pages and then I went wild and even broke out a highlighter.

I know Betty is adorable in all the pictures I post of her, but she’s also 2 and anyone who has ever parented a 2-year-old knows that sometimes the situation is the complete opposite of adorable. I have had my fair share of not-so-graceful moments where I have struggled with how to handle it. Brian Leaf put a lot of things into perspective for me. Something so simple as not taking things that a small child says personally (which I’ve had to re-reference in my brain at least 5 times in the past week when I hear “I don’t like Mommy”) or the easy ways to acknowledge and address her feelings, which is becoming more and more prominent in our lives now that she is able to express to us in words that she is angry or sad. Or happy because usually she is pretty happy. Except for this morning when she was wicked pissed that we wouldn’t let her wear her pajamas to school.

I think in the end, the thing I ended up liking the most about this book is that while it’s a parenting book, it’s really not a parenting book. “Conscious parenting” is not a ‘style’. There aren’t a set of rules that you have to stick to with it. It’s about being mindful of the way that you talk to your kids and address their needs, which really is just OBVIOUS parenting.

If you are a parent-to-be and the word “doula” is a part of your vocabulary, you will probably love this book from start to finish. It’s insightful, informative, and funny in all the right places (plus he quotes Kindergarten Cop at one point which basically makes me want to be his best friend). But even for more mainstream parents such as myself, there is a ton of value in it, especially in the later chapters. I know I’ll be revisiting my highlighted pages probably pretty frequently over the next year at least.

I’ve heard 3 is more challenging than 2. I don’t even really want to think about that right now.

Thanks again to Brian Leaf for the very cool opportunity to read and review his book! You can find out more information – including where you can pick the book up if you want to give it a read – on the web right HERE.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it? (Now that I’m through this one, I’m in the mood to keep reading and I need some more recommendations!)




24 thoughts on “Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi {A book review!}

  1. Sara says:

    I hear ya on the 2s. Miss Independent drives me up the walls sometimes. Between the selective hearing and the “NOs” sometimes I’m just at a loss. We do time outs every now and again – but those are really just for me. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when she stops taking naps!

    Last book I read…I’m currently reading the Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother books. Both really good – lots of anecdotes and stories. I don’t have to read it all in one sitting – I’ve been skipping around chapters in both books.

    The last fiction I read was the Divergent Series – really really good. If you liked the Hunger Games you’ll like this too.

    Happy poolside reading!

    • runsaltrun says:

      We are so hit or miss on naps nowadays. Usually I can only get her to sleep on the weekend if we are driving somewhere. I miss naps. :-\

      I have Train Like a Mother and I LOVE it!! I may actually use it for my next marathon. I love the stories. 🙂 And actually I need to finish the Divergent series! I’m on the last book, but every time I go to Target they are sold out of it! (I really need to find the adapter to charge my Kindle.)

  2. northernambitions says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. I don’t have kids but my best friend just had a baby and is asking herself all sorts of questions like the ones Brian writes about. I will be sure to pass this recommendation along to her. x

  3. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the great review!!! This sounds like an amazing book and as my husband and I venture into the next chapter of our lives, I will definitely keep this book in mind!! Thanks!! Hope you’re having a lovely day!! XOXO!!

  4. themilereport says:

    I have no parenting experience or insight, but it was still cool to read the review.

    The last 2 good books I read weere Gone Girl and The Book Thief. Right now, I’m actually reading The Giver and its 3 companion novels. I read The Giver back in 3rd grade, but I had no idea that it was part of a series! Each book is about 150 pages, so they’re quick reads.

  5. journeysinmotherhood says:

    Love the review! I am sort of in the middle ground between crunchy and mainstream. I cloth diaper like 80% of the time but I don’t co-sleep. I also do cry it out and only babywear out of necessity. Maybe I’ll check this book out. Thanks for the review!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Really the only “crunchy” thing I did was babywear and that was mostly out of pure convenience too. And actually I still do wear her on my back in the Ergo when we go most places because she likes it and also it’s must easier to keep track of her when she’s strapped to me! It has definitely been helpful to read the bits about parenting his kids as they get a little older (like our kids’ ages now). Sometimes I’m just a complete loss.

  6. Change of Pace says:

    Sounds like a great book- thanks for the review! My neice’s teachers call it the threenager year when they hit three- lots of attitude! But such great conversations and animation, too!
    I also LOVE to read but haven’t had any time lately. Makes me sad!
    And, I adore Kindergarden Cop!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahaha I call Betty a twonager all the time! She’s already so snarky and bossy, I can’t imagine how it’s going to be more intense! 🙂 The conversations make it so worthwhile though and also that she’s starting to get this really awesome sense of humor, tells jokes, etc.

  7. Shawna says:

    i just finished The Book Thief this past wknd and am almost done with The Fault in Our Stars now (flying through these novels now that I don’t have school books to read!). loved The Book Thief and am really enjoying The Fault as well.

  8. txa1265 says:

    You earned all of the great comments this week – and I loved reading them, I just always love reading comments because people are awesome.

    ‘Conscious Parenting’ … um, yeah, I definitely think that is just plain old ‘paying attention and trying’, right?!? hehe – at every stage there are new things, from where they love/hate you with each passing moment, throw tantrums, try to strike independence, are all teen-angst, and become totally self-absorbed high-schoolers and beyond. If their life is going by while you are Instagramming mashed potatoes you made to look like Close Encounters … you are missing out, and so are they.

    Currently still reading ‘Diet Cults’ and really enjoying it … got bogged down due to a couple of reviews I had to work on (video games for another site), but finally getting back to it!

  9. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    The last book I read was Born to Run. I love reading and have found that I don’t have the time anymore. I really need to put the computer and social media away at night and just read, but it’s hard because that is my time to catch up on my blogging stuff!

  10. Pandora Viltis says:

    My kiddo is 19 and I still have no idea of what I’m doing. Do I get a high five for not strangling him yet? I wish he were still 3 and he thought I wasn’t as stupid as he thinks I am now. Lol. I love my kid. Truly. By I’m ready for him to go back to college and take his pile of stinky clothes in his room with him.

    I left the placenta behind too. Ick.

    I just finished Apple Tree Yard, which was good but not stellar. The last stellar book I “read” as an audiobook was Night Film. Loved it.

  11. piratebobcat says:

    Jennie brought home a book from the library the other day – I can’t remember the name off hand, but it was a short children’s illustrated book about yoga poses. Each page was a drawing of the animal doing the pose it was named after. It made it easy for the toddlers to imitate!

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