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Episode 66: Jessica Berger Gross — The Courage to Choose Happiness

Jessica Berger Gross is the author of the beautiful, moving, hopeful memoir, Estranged: Leaving Family & Finding Home. Jessica was raised in a seemingly typical middle class family in Long Island. But behind the scenes she suffered physical abuse from her father. She made the decision in her late twenties to stop communicating with her parents not knowing that the decision would become permanent. Now, 17 years later she’s written a memoir that Elle Magazine included in their guide to the “best books of summer,” and that Glamour called “gripping.”

Jessica was first introduced to yoga in high school and immersed herself in the practice after the estrangement. She practiced many different styles — Jivamukti, Baptiste, vinyasa — before settling on Iyengar as her chosen path. We talk about how yoga helped her reclaim her body, how it informs her choices now that she’s a mom, and how it kept her sane and inspired during the writing of this book.


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Estranged: Leaving Family & Finding Home

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