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Want a reading with your downward-facing dog?

February 9, 2010 |  7:49 am

Is this the best way to listen to an author read from their work? Neal Pollack, who mostly writes comedic memoirs, will find out soon. He's set up to a read at a yoga class in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Pollack, a former devotee of drinking, poker playing and punk rock, has shifted his focus -- first to fatherhood, with his 2007 book "Alternadad," and now yoga. His book "Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude" is coming out in August on Harper Perennial.

Readings, which should be an exciting way to connect with an author, often wind up being uncomfortable, over-lit affairs in bookstores, sometimes interrupted by wandering customers. I'm all for readings that break that mold. But is a reading during a yoga class fun or folly?

Pollack has certainly found a very non-bookstore environment. And he's taking his book about yoga to his target audience, people who care about yoga.

But -- and I ask this as a very infrequent yoga practitioner -- is a yoga class really a good place for a reading? Aren't you supposed to be focusing on your stretches, or on centering yourself? Should you be following along with a story, listening to someone else's tales of yoga-ing? Isn't there some physical exertion involved that might distract you from what's being said? Plus, we're talking about Neal Pollack, who can be very funny -- is it all right to interrupt a cobra pose with a blurt of laughter?

For those who are ready for a reading with their downward-facing dog, Neal Pollack's yoga class and reading is at Shakti Box in Los Feliz on Thursday, Feb. 11.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Downward-facing dogs on a beach. Credit: meredithwz via Flickr