Things your yoga teacher won’t tell you

Not all yoga is good. Ha! I said it. Just had a vertebra removed/hernia operation/six months pregnant and your doctor told you ‘yoga might help?’ Then this Power class is for you.

When we say ‘notice any intense feelings in this pose and let them go,’ we mean ‘Stop looking at me like I’m Hitler.’

Don’t giggle when we say ‘perineum’. Think about the muscles of the pelvic floor. How would YOU describe them?

Why smart women still do the pre-wedding diet

Your super easy-going friend is getting married, but something is off. At a time at a time she’s supposed to be feeling her most blissed-out and beloved, you catch her Googling ‘ketosis’. For months she was fine – she didn’t buy into any of that ‘wedding as performance art’ malarkey, but two months out something changes.

Family violence does not have a colour

For this story I interviewed Lani Brennan – a freakishly strong woman who pushed through institutional racism to bring her attacker to court.

“I grew up in an environment where everyone was drinking and there was a lot of violence. I got together with my partner at 17, but I’d known him my whole life. We were both using drugs and alcohol, and it started with verbal abuse. I already had low self-esteem on account of being an alcoholic and addict, so I was primed to accept that kind of treatment.

Is it time to end the three-month ‘don’t tell’ pregnancy rule?

You’re idly scanning your Facebook feed, past photos of organic seedlings and Andalusian beer, when suddenly a black-and-white splotch claims top spot. Your first thought: Christ on a stick! My friend is pregnant with an out of focus baby! Your second: How did they keep that secret for twelve weeks?

The awkward relationship with people we pay to touch us

My first massage was at 19, in Nepal. An ex-pat hippy picked me up on his scooter and took me to his house where he cranked up the heat, whipped off his shirt, and donned a Pat Cash sweat band. “I like to be comfortable,” he explained.

After a while he asked me to roll over and commenced that painful quad kneading, before working his way up to the chestal region. “Is that ok?” he asked. “There are a lot of important glands around there.”

Do you have ‘goal fatigue’?

Most days I get out of bed at 5.45am and practice yoga. I do not leap or spring, in fact I’m a zombie until 7am, when BOOM! I feel energised, zen-ified and yes, just a little bit smug. My secret is ‘Auto-pilot’. The lazy person’s way of accomplishing the most while doing the least.

But lately it hasn’t felt like enough. Last week when I couldn’t muster the energy for handstand my teacher gave us a lecture; ‘How can we expect to achieve your goals when we don’t challenge ourselves? Where have we ever gotten on auto-pilot?’ Does 5.45am count for nothing?

Is yoga immune from fat-shaming?

There are days when the world feels like a competitive, ego-driven nightmare. A world dominated by the glossy and superficial, where a decent ‘box gap’ (if you don’t know, don’t Google) is as highly prized as a safe place to sleep for the night. At these times I like to remember that, as a yoga teacher, I am blissfully free from the repetitive, ‘not good enough / better than’ thoughts that dominate less bendy souls, and that my ‘office’ is a bastion of peace, tranquility, and ylang ylang-scented bliss.