Body Lessons 7: Loss of Faith

This is not the piece I had anticipated writing, when I woke up early one July morning, knowing that I was pregnant with our second child. In that sunlit moment, it felt almost identical to how it had been with Ella, and I assumed a similar journey was about to unfold. The pandemic ensured that…

In Defence (but not completely) of Ashtanga Yoga

I practise Ashtanga yoga and have done for around eight years. The majority of my yoga peers are not ashtangis, and my love for the practice is often met with negativity – whether supressed or overt – and sometimes with a knowing twinkle in the eye that seems to say: ashtanga is something you will…

Body Lessons 6: From the Ground Up

When I stand, my left ankle joint collapses inwards slightly, tugging at the delicate structure of my knee joint, a referred tension that travels up to my sacrum and causes the occasional dull ache in my hip. I’m not sure that this happened before. It feels new. I don’t think about it much, until I…

Lockdown Rave Culture: A Capitalist Production

These days, at the weekend I wake up to an Instagram feed full of lockdown rave culture. Secret forest raves, boat raves, people weaving their slalom six-am way through fields in the countryside surrounding London, private party lock-ups in unused clubs, above-board socially-distant outdoor club nights that descend into socially-un-distant after parties. Visually, atmospherically, this…

Learning to Be: 6 Tips for Starting a Meditation Practice

Recently I wrote a lengthy piece that touched on the topic of meditation. You can read it here. I wanted to accompany it with some more practical, brief tools and advice, on how to begin a meditation practice. Here are my top tips for getting started:   Be Long-Term Meditation has a less “instant” effect…

At the Speed of Dreams: Contemplation in the Between

“Tibetans discern six ‘betweens’: the intervals between birth and death (‘life between’) sleep and waking (‘dream between’) waking and trance (‘trance between’) and three betweens during the death-rebirth process (‘death-point’, ‘reality’, and ‘existence betweens’).” Robert A. Thurman introducing his translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, otherwise known as The Great Book of Liberation…

Body Lessons 5: In Two Minds

My friend Daisy said something to me recently that got me thinking. We were checking in with each other during lockdown as we do most days; we both have baby girls the same age and in this strange time it is a relief to share the sort of shorthand that is only possible when somebody’s…

Body Lessons 4: Know Your Power

I have a five-month-old baby girl, and winter is setting in. The dark November evenings are long. The sun is always low. I am indoors a lot. I am that strange kind of alone-but-with-a-tiny-baby a lot. Few things are quite so intensely ‘up and down’ as motherhood has the capacity to be. There is no…

Body Lessons Part 2: Ella’s Birth

I have thought a lot about whether I should share Ella’s birth story. It involved almost everything that I had not wanted to happen, and a few things I had long considered ‘my worst nightmare’. Despite this, I don’t consider it a negative birth story, nor was it traumatic in any way. I do not…

Body Lessons Part 1: Yoga in Pregnancy

This piece is purely focussed on yoga; I am writing a separate piece about pregnancy that is more general. I hope that my gratitude for the fragile luck of our fertility and conception is evident. I have never taken it for granted.   “Throughout pregnancy, your body is your unborn baby’s universe. You are the…

Low-Frequency Love: 4AM Freedom

Every hour of the clock has its own personality, its own character and flavour. From the crisp, fresh, lemon-yellow optimism of 7am, through the heavy, lethargic grey wasteland of 3 in the afternoon, to the tailing-off-winding-down navy blue of 9pm. Their colours change depending on the season, on whether you are awake or asleep: 10pm…