Read our posts about body

Cosmetic Surgery Makes Beauty That's Barely Skin Deep

Cosmetic Surgery Makes Beauty That's Barely Skin Deep

I was sad to read in The Guardian today that there’s been a big rise — nearly 17 per cent – in the demand for cosmetic surgery in Britain in the last year. Breast augmentation is the number one favourite, with anti-ageing techniques such as eyelid surgery and face and neck lifts following closely behind.  I was, however, not surprised to read that there’s also been a rise in reports of patient dissatisfaction. Quite apart from any issues of competence  this shows that cosmetic surgery doesn’t offer lasting satisfaction. Why not? First, the procedures rarely promise...
» Read More
What is Kundalini yoga?

What is Kundalini yoga?

In the farthest departure lounge of yoga (next stop, Nirvana), white-robed initiates pursue altered states of consciousness, chanting and panting as they wait for a mystical serpent to rise up through their spines. Kundalini yoga is as far from the tight-buns yoga-cise trends of East London as the Himalayas are from Hackney. Kundalini shakti is the name given in esoteric Hinduism to a potent energetic force that believers claim lies coiled at the base of the spine, like a snake – which is why it’s sometimes called the ‘serpent power’. Kundalini...
» Read More
Veganism: Obsessive or Principled?

Veganism: Obsessive or Principled?

With stars like Beyoncé and Jay Z doing couples’ cleanses, and Gwyneth Paltrow being papped  every other day with the diet deity that is cold-pressed green juice, veganism seems to be this year’s must-have accessory. Could it be that this fashion for deprivation, veiled as nutrition, is doing something damaging for our already body-conscious society? A vegan diet was once an ethical life-choice, the preserve of so-called hemp-loving hippies concerned with the moral dilemma of eating produce from sentient, living...
» Read More
Kicking the Sugar Habit

Kicking the Sugar Habit

Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, so the The Sugar Detox diet book tells us. We are easily led into obesity and ill health. This book encourages us to take a closer look at the ingredients of our daily intake of food and drink. The devil, we learn quickly, is in the detail. Although the Sugar Detox offers a plan for a month the key to the programme is the initial three day total detox. I started mine after a weekend fuelled by a friend’s birthday, wine and cake. I would advise others to read the book more closely than I did before beginning and get their fridges...
» Read More
Can Exercise Make You More Creative?

Can Exercise Make You More Creative?

I’m tangled in the threads of an idea for a story. Everything’s there, but I can’t bring the different aspects of the piece together in a meaningful way. I need to free up my thinking, so I go for a run. After 45 minutes I have worked out what’s missing, where I’m going wrong, and how I’m going to start.For me, running allows thoughts to bounce around my head and sort themselves out. If I don’t have a specific problem to solve, I often find ideas for stories wandering into my mind – some of the best have come while running. There is no definitive answer as to whether...
» Read More
What is Iyengar Yoga?

What is Iyengar Yoga?

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar is the best possible advertisement for the yoga movement he founded. At the age of 95, he still practises regularly; anyone who thinks they are “too old for yoga” should take inspiration from recent photographs of BKS in postures he first learnt ...
» Read More
What is Bikram Yoga?

What is Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga is the creation of Bikram Choudhury (b. 1946), who began studying asana at the age of three. At 20 (so the story goes) he was badly injured in a weightlifting accident and despite a grim prognosis from the doctors, managed a full recovery with the help of yoga. Since the 1970s,...
» Read More