Have an un-Happy Christmas

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Christmas at “home” 2007

This will be the first Christmas without my Mum. And our boys’ first without any grandparents. So you’ll forgive me for feeling a little sad and nostalgic.

There will be no Christmas visit home this year. The small village in Nottinghamshire where I grew up remains the archetypal “home” of my imagination, even though I’ve lived in at least 14 other flats or houses in the last 30 years. The other morning shadows on my yoga room floor Continue reading

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A gift of yoga – to people in prison

prisoner savasanaFor the last couple of months I’ve been teaching a weekly yoga class to men coming towards the end of long prison sentences. Some were introduced to yoga in prison – for others this lunchtime session in probation service hostel is their first yoga experience.

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Turning 50 – my autumn years?


Aged 20, around 1985/6

I turn 50 tomorrow. I can’t quite believe it. I feel more like 15: still a bit nervous when I meet new people, uncomfortable with figures of authority, curious about the world, full of awe for its beauty, and longing for connection with my fellow human beings.

But I have to face it; I am now in my autumn years. The high energy and excitability of youth has gone; the decade or two of focused intent on work, marriage and children is passing and I am entering a new phase. Continue reading

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Midsummer Reflection: turning points

Dorset 2015This reflection – or meditation – was conceived on 20 June, Midsummer’s Eve 2015, with 19 of my yoga friends forming a sunny circle in a grassy Dorset meadow.

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A tribute to our mother Frances Holt, 1932-2015

o elliotThe tribute my sister and I made to our mother, who has died of cancer, at her funeral last week. Continue reading

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10 ways to beat the December frazzled feeling

Christmas-StressAt this time of year we can sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by demands on our time and energy. Even if you’re not trying to live up to self-imposed expectations of making perfect home-made Christmas cards (no way) and home-cooked Christmas pud or cake (guilty!), there are huge lists of things that “have to be done by Christmas” – at work and at home.

The kids have all sorts of extra seasonal school events and performances to attend; the dreaded Christmas shopping won’t do itself; and friends will insist of throwing parties or inviting your out for Christmas drinks! It’s tempting to say, “Bah humbug”” to the lot of it. But before I do, here are my top tips for beating the December frazzled feeling in 10 minutes or less: Continue reading

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How to make yoga a habit for life

Aristotle_Altemps_Inv8575“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

We’re nearing that time of year when we think about kicking our bad habits – and adopting some good ones. If yoga is going to be one of your New Year’s resolutions, how can you give yourself a reasonable chance of keeping it? Continue reading

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