(Yoga) Hall of mirrors

That metaphor about the teacher holding a mirror to your practice? I always dread that he’ll do it literally one day, knowing my reluctance towards seeing myself practice. Ever since I heard Kathryn Budig talk about her teacher making her practise in shorts rather than leggings as a way of challenging her body issues, I fear…

Sore throat, big leap

I’ve had a sore throat for weeks now. It started when I was on holiday in Canada and has persisted. The accompanying cold disappeared weeks ago, but I’m still croaky. “It’s psychosomatic” one of my yogi friends told me rather brusquely. Yogis can be so annoying right?! My teacher joked (I think it was a…

Physiotherapy is no joke

I knew it wasn’t going to be a laugh-a-minute when the physio started off the session by insisting that I speak up when (not if) the discomfort got too much to take. Cue instant muscular tension in my whole body in anticipation! But I find I’ve learnt a thing or two from yoga practices about…

Irritations in outer-space

On my way to class this morning (some yoga multi-tasking!) I listened to the recent YogaLand podcast with Kino MacGregor. She’s not someone I come across very often, which I’m sure makes me quite exceptional, given how visible she is in some channels. But I’m not a big fan of either IG or YouTube. She…

Vegan diet, vegan life

When I was in bi-lingual Montréal recently I quickly figured out the difference between végétarien (vegatarian) and végétalien (vegan) on menus. Except that I then realised it’s not quite that simple and there is also a French word végan. I think I’m right in saying that végan goes beyond diet and refers more to lifestyle, avoiding…

Hobson’s Choice

I visited my parents at the weekend. My mum, slightly freaked out by my new eating habits and unable to conceive of cooking a meal without meat or fish, booked us all in at a favourite local restaurant. There was much angsting over the menu, even on the internet before we left home. What would…

Coming home

It’s funny being back at my home studio after holidays. It’s a nice ‘homecoming’ to be with my regular teacher again, in a familiar space, and catching up with yogi friends. But the pause, the distance, changes everything. For a while at least. I’m seeing things afresh. I’m more aware of old habits as I…

Elephants and feet

I’m increasingly realising what it means to ground oneself, in āsana practice, in life. How standing tall is a deliberate and powerful act of engagement with the world, even if its power is subtle enough to have eluded me until maybe now-ish. I find myself instructing my students to stand ‘as though they really mean…

Keeping it in the family

I’m realising that when people know you’re a trained yoga teacher there are two reactions: they either expect you to ‘fix’ anything that’s ever been wrong with them and assume you live some kind of austere ascetic lifestyle, or there’s mistrust and cynicism, doubting that you know anything of any value. I don’t think I’m…

Yoga BC

It’s quite a relief to be in British Columbia now, where I can happily speak English, with none of the confusion of bilingual Québec Province where I always felt I was speaking the wrong language, no matter how I played it. Here my sister in law took me to class at her local studio, shame-facedly…