Measuring yoga

Covid-19 cases and deaths in UK remains high (higher than anyone cares to notice or talk about) but strangely life is returning to something vaguely akin to the 'old normal' for many as formal restrictions have been largely lifted. I've been going to in person yoga class again regularly for a while now. The studio... Continue Reading →

Idling by the river

I sat a long while by the river today. The sun came and went, the sky was stacked with puffy white clouds. Birds appeared according to their individual habits. A kingfisher flew low and long over the water. A prehistoric-looking heron stalked its lunch. Half a dozen ducks came whirling in from somewhere and landed... Continue Reading →

Love from the inside out

Until relatively recently I used to watch myself practise and not recognise myself. Who was that strong girl who moved through vinyasas with grace and ease? Where was the girl with dark rings of exhaustion under her eyes, the unwashed hair (simply too much effort), and the cautious movements that anticipated pain and weakness in... Continue Reading →

Rupture and continuity

One of my best friends nearly died recently. A ruptured appendix, a bungled diagnosis and delayed surgery. I've been visiting her in hospital, feeling helpless in the face of drips, oxygen, and the indignity of surgical gowns. She was weak and confused. I'm not sure she remembered if I'd been with her or not; she... Continue Reading →

(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... Continue Reading →

Yoga Odyssey

In a different life I spent years studying Homer's Odyssey. It's an epic and it's in Ancient Greek, so that's why so many years were needed to achieve even my simplistic understanding!  Dressed up as an adventure story, it's ultimately a poem about nostalgia -- a longing to return home, a bittersweet sense of something lost infused... Continue Reading →

Teaching prep

Prep for teaching today: a couple of hours on the sofa, clutching a hot water bottle against my stomach cramps, a box of tissues within hand's reach. I have a cold and it's rocked my system a bit overall; it doesn't take much to throw me off balance. It's OK, it'll pass, I know that.... Continue Reading →

Giving it up, gladly

I've been having more fun with my āsana practice the last few classes I've been to. How does this sometimes occur and other times I make a meal out of the simplest practice? Is it setting an intention to be more focussed on joy? Is it keeping the practice lighter and deliberately having fun in... Continue Reading →

My new normal

I feel so good most days now (recent bouts of flu aside) that I often persuade myself I'm fully well. I so want to be fully well. I'm done with having a half life. I find myself at a transition point, a no-man's land between well and unwell. Symptoms are reduced, energy is higher. My doctor has... Continue Reading →

Easy does it

Blurgh. This was my first thought on waking up today. A lousy night's sleep and I'm feeling really sick. Plus it was raining hard. But I went to yoga class anyway. This two hour class on a Sunday morning still feels like such a gift and I don't easily reject the offering. I was uncertain... Continue Reading →

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