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What Yoga is and Why You Should Try It

What Yoga is and Why You Should Try It

Ask a hundred yoga devotees, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. But most will agree that yoga in the modern world is having a bit of an identity crisis. At one end of the spectrum, it's an ancient system of physical and spiritual discipline, with its origins in the Indus Valley perhaps as long as 5000 years ago. At the other, it's a multi-million pound industry, a wellbeing cliché that's used to sell everything from probiotic yogurts to cashmere hotpants. Yesterday I saw a poster advertising “BoxingYoga™” – just the latest of many attempts to...
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Blue Really is the Warmest Colour

Blue Really is the Warmest Colour

Some movies are disposable entertainment, leaving nothing behind but the ticket stub. But Blue is the Warmest Colour is not one of them. It’s been two weeks now since I saw it, and – no kidding – I've thought or talked about it everyday, including an intense conversation with Anthony Lane, the man who reviewed it (rapturously) for The New Yorker. My assistant Claudine saw the film last night and we've been discussing it since she arrived this morning. It’s not the 7-minute lesbian sex scene or the controversy around whether the director exploited his young female...
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Why We Fall in Love with Pets

Why We Fall in Love with Pets

I have recently launched a Cat Campaign in my household. It is my firm belief that owning a cat will make both me and my single mother exponentially happier. Pet therapy has widely been used to treat a variety of issues ranging from depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and Empty Nest Syndrome. When her children left home for university, a family friend of mine reluctantly bought a dog to keep her company. Charlie the King Charles Cavalier proved to be this woman’s saviour. During a period of intense loneliness and isolation, she was able to channel her need to...
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What’s Turning Men Onto Yoga?

What’s Turning Men Onto Yoga?

In ten years of practicing yoga, I have never been alongside more than the odd man, usually glimpsed once and never seen again. Yet a quick head count at my class the other month confirmed my suspicions of a growing phenomenon: the women were outnumbered. What brings men these days to a yoga class? The newest recruits have a quick answer: Ryan Giggs. For Euan, 42, the footballer was the deciding factor. “I didn’t really know what I was getting into,” he says, having been persuaded to try yoga to relieve the aches and stiffness that often followed sports sessions....
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