An Accidental Awakening by Stephanie Hrehirchuk (Review by Shelley Jomaa)

2 min read

Rating: 4.5/5
An Accidental Awakening is an inspiring memoir of Stephanie’s journey through a spinal injury, job loss, and her chakra-based yoga practice. Following the diagnosis of a large disc herniation, Stephanie’s chiropractor recommends yoga and swimming rather than high impact fitness activities. As a personal trainer, this was devastating news. She is determined to find a way to heal herself and come back stronger than ever.

In the meantime, Stephanie’s best friend Anna invites her to join a year long yoga practice. The year is organized by the seven chakras, with there being one chakra retreat every forty days in the Canadian Rockies as well as homework assignments. The book is divided into sections representing the chakras, and she shares personal stories of her experience through each one, including walking over burning coals! My knowledge of the chakra system and energy centres is limited, so this book provided helpful insight.

This book resonated with me on many levels. I practice yoga on a regular basis, and a yoga retreat is something I am curious to try. There seems to be misconception that a yoga retreat will be nothing but pure bliss. However, this book shows the transformative work to be done during the process of awakening and growth. I have also lived in Calgary briefly, and could easily feel the peaceful setting of the mountains through her writing.

Stephanie is driven and successful, and constantly pushing herself to perform perfectly in all areas of her life. She shares the feelings of guilt she struggles with when taking time for self-care instead of looking after others or doing something productive. This is definitely relatable.

I loved reading about the journey to physical healing, and the accidental spiritual awakening along the way. The short chapters and clear writing style make this a quick and engaging read. Anyone interested in yoga and spirituality will love this book. The author also has a follow-up book, which I plan to read, as I would love to hear how the year of yoga affected her life afterwards over the long-term.

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