Ron Adams is on his motorcycle, gazing at the Pacific as he’s about to start college in California. He then shifts back to his childhood in Tucson, when he’s about to turn 9. He remembers as a young child seeing his grandpa do “Now yoga” and already being dubbed “Yogi Ron” at school. Local boys came to collect him, telling him that he was now old enough to join “Army Boot Camp,” i.e., shoot BB guns in the park. In the following years, he went along with friends in this and other activities, but he also began receiving a series of numbered Sutra messages, which always appeared by his pillow. As he wrestled with such issues as girls, peer pressure and what to study in college, Ron found insights in these notes, which included concepts such as “supreme non-attachment,” “true-self” and the meditative state of samadhi. His educator parents served as knowing mentors in his discoveries, and the novel concludes with his arrival at college and an encounter with “that girl with the bindi,” who’s likely to figure in the next book of the series. In his preface, Crolene, a physicist who has worked at NASA and penned previous spirituality-focused tomes, notes that “Drs. Melvin and Evangeline Adams decided to bring the Sutras to the education of their only child, starting at the time he learned to talk. The journey is documented here, all in first person as it occurred.” Whether this work is inspired by real life or not, Crolene has created a highly sympathetic character in the sensitive, searching Ron as well as an accessible arena in which to showcase the enigmatic Patanjali sutras. Readers might wish, however, that Crolene had been a bit more succinct with Ron’s musings—“How can human life, scrapings on a tiny planet, be so important that the whole universe exists for its liberation?”—and kept Ron as the narrative’s sole voice, since the occasional switches to other first-person narrators tend to confuse rather than illuminate.
A relatable if complex construct to explain yoga philosophies.