My yoga practice

I have to admit, it does amuse me when Ecoyogini talks about yoga studios and how expensive and unenviornmentally friendly they are.

Yoga, for the most part in England is practised in village halls. There are studios in London and other big towns/cities, but everywhere I have practised (including London) it has been in little village halls, school halls, church halls, playgroups and other such places, often just after the cubs have met and so the floor needs a good sweeping.

Women practice in their baggy tracksuits with old tshirts, or cheap see through leggings. And so, the talk of £100 lulemon leggings is quite laughable, especially when Lulemon seems to go out of its way to insult women.

I went to my first yoga class when I was 14, I distinctly remember my mum writing to the British Wheel of Yoga and recieving a little booklet of nearby classes. My mum was desperate for a way for me to manage my generally stressy ways, which would in time develop into a full on depression, which is still with me today, as is the tendancy towards stress.

I am now 34, and so have been going to yoga on and off for over twenty years. To be fair, it has mainly been off with periods of concentrated practice. Now, yoga is back in my life, I go to a class once a week, I practice in the morning for about 20 mins and I am starting up my YogaGlo membership again in exchange for my gym membership.

For the last three years I have been focusing on running and competing with that, as well as trying to train for triathlon. Essentially my body has now broken down and I am convinced it was marathon training which did it, I have damaged my neck and my knee, and it is time to develop a different exercise routine and stop focusing on competition.

When I first started doing yoga I did competitive yoga, trying to be the best in the room. Oh how I can look back at my younger self with amusement and fondness. I have now learnt a different way. My practice is based on how I am when I am on my mat, not on anyone else, or on how I was a month ago.

I hope to attend more classes, but I don’t want to overcommit and with the Rangers, Buddhist classes and seeing my husband and friends I am tight for time. Ideally I would have an afternoon session, as I much prefer working in the mornings but I haven’t been able to find one.


Care Vs Control:healthy relationships

Following on from my last post about new directions, here is a post which actually sits on my work site, but is one which I feel maybe of interest to you as well.

It is on a report from Girlguiding, which looks at young women’s attitudes to relationships and behaviour within them. I first started reading the report when I was waiting for a meeting to start, and I just had to stop as I found it far too upsetting.

Please go and read care vs control: healthy relationships at my other site.

Women in marathons

Well, I signed up for a marathon this week – the Brighton marathon, which is happening next April, so a year to train!  I will be doing it for either Cancer Research or Mind, depending on which one I am allocated to, both are important to me.

I am very excited and very scared, all at the same time!

However I was surprised to see this article today – first from Spikes and Heels and then more detail at the BBC.

The city of Boston is staging its annual marathon. Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run the race 45 years ago, despite stewards trying to physically force the 20-year-old off the road. Here she recalls how a female runner caused such a fuss.

Anything long like 800m, or even longer, God forbid, was considered dangerous, de-sexing and de-feminising for a woman

Anyone else completely and utterly shocked by this? It is only forty five years ago, just 12 years before I was born. I am totally surprised. They actually tried to attack her. I got really rather emotional reading this story, but maybe that’s just me – watching the London Marathon makes me cry and when I finish a race I find it rather hard not to burst into tears.

Now of course we have amazing women runners like Rosie Swale-Pope, Paula Radcliffe, Jane Tomlinson,  and all the Ultra running women of this article.  Not to mention the Triathlete (one day…one day for me!) Liz Blatchford.

So, a big thank you to Katherine Switzer, I cannot imagine not being allowed to run.

Sir Patrick Stewart

I have to admit, I have long had a somewhat inappropriate crush on Patrick Stewart. Of course, he plays Jean-Luc Picard to a wonderful level, a character that I have always admired.

Sir Patrick Stewart - taken from Wikipedia

He has never shied away from Sci-Fi, playing a magnificent Professor Xavier in the X Men series, he is a serious acTOR as well, from Shakespeare to Beckett. Both of which I studied in detail at the University of Huddersfield, where the great man himself grew up and he is Chancellor.

Then today I read this article by him in the Guardian Domestic Violence blighted my home, that’s why I support Refuge. He writes so eloquently on the subject and almost moved me to tears.

The financial footing of women’s charities has been shaky for many years; now it is in real danger of slipping into the abyss. Let me be quite clear about what is at stake here. Without services such as refuges, more women and children will be trapped in violent relationships. Domestic violence rarely peters out. On the contrary, abuse tends to escalate over time. If they can’t get help – preferably at the earliest opportunity – their stories may well have the most tragic of conclusions.

I often try not to  find out too much about people that I admire, because so often one is disappointed at home much of an idiot they turn out to be. Which is why I did not know this, or that he has a Scholarship in his name at the University of Huddersfield to fund postgraduate research on domestic violence, nor that he made a film about domestic violence for Amnesty International.

So, now, my inappropriate crush has become rather overwhelmed by admiration for a man that is prepared to stand up and talk about a difficult issue and raise awareness for women’s charities.

It’s not a compliment

Ok, so when you cycled passed me shouting something I just kept my headphones on and carried on walking.When you cycled back and started talking to me as you cycled along side me I took my headphones out as I could see you talking.

‘i just wanted to say you are really attractive’, ‘thanks but I’m not interested I replied. You carried in cycling alongside me.

Yeah, thanks I’m not interested, go away

But I’m a DJ

…by this point I am walking under a bridge, with a brick wall on one side, railings on the the other and he is still cycling behind/alongside me and talking to me. I am not in a good part of London, it is dark and I cant go anywhere to escape. This is not a compliment, this is harassment, my natural instinct would be to shout at him and tell him to fuck off, but as I have got older I have got slightly more sensible.

I didn’t put my headphones back in as I wanted to hear if his tone changed as an early indicator of the situation getting worse. At that point he decided to start cycling away and shouted ‘are you married then’ I replied yes and he said ‘ok then’ and left.

Now I am that his in his head he was just paying me some attention and giving me a compliment. all women like that, right?

No, we don’t, especially at night in the dark, when we can’t cross the road to get away from you, it is not the busiest street in the world and there is no one around. This is harassment, clear and simple, you approached, I said I wasnt interested. At that point you leave, you do not cycle back or cycle alongside me continuing to make approaches. This is harassment, not a compliment.



Another attack on sex education in the UK

Once again, Dorries is trying to attack sex education in the UK – for full details check here. I have previously written about this here and here, here But the summary is:

  • Girls only to be given abstinence sex education – because you know, boys NEVER push girls for sex, its all because of the little whore-girls
  • She thinks that teaching children to say no will cut down on sexual abuse – because I am sure they were begging for it in the first place
  • wanting to make abortion illegal
  • failing that to reduce the abortion time limit

******in case it is not obvious there is a heavy use of sarcasm in the first two bullet points*********

If you want to email your MP please please do so – there are details in the article above. Here is the letter I have sent to my MP based on the template linked to in the article above. She didnot even attend the last vote on this (probably because she is conservative and doesn’t feel that she can vote against it).  I have said at the end to contact me by email. This is because each time I write to her she sends me a postcard saying ‘thanks for the contact’ and then later sends me a letter. In this day and age, when I have used the internet to contact her, I think this is a waste of limited resources (mainly money to be honest).

Dear Jackie Doyle-Price,

On 20 January 2012, Nadine Dorries’ proposed amendment to sex education, Bill 185, which suggests GIRLS be taught abstinence, is due to get a second reading in parliament. I know that you were absent last time this came up, but I really hope that you will vote against this bill this time.

A demonstration opposing the bill is being supported by Youth Fight For Jobs, The British Humanist Association and Queers Against The Cuts.

The bill is sexist as it positions girls as being solely responsible for decisions about sexual activity and boys as having no responsibility for ensuring that sex is mutually wanted, fully consenting and safe. Dorries even said that teaching children to ‘say no’ could reduce child abuse. This victim blaming is dangerous, incorrect, and offensive to survivors of abuse.

Abstinence education on its own is ineffective in reducing teenage pregnancies and STI rates. Good quality comprehensive Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) should already explicitly address the option of abstinence as part of decision-making about sex, and safer sex.

SRE should be informative and fact based. Some of the most important bits of SRE, which really helps young people to take responsibility for themselves and make healthy decisions (namely the relationships and communication aspects), are optional for schools and this bill will not change that. If this bill passes, some schools could end up only teaching the biology of reproduction and STIs (within the science curriculum) plus abstinence.

If Dorries really wanted to help young women to stay safe and healthy she would be advocating for statutory, comprehensive sex and relationships education for all young people, of all genders, and in all schools whether they are faith schools, academies, free schools or community schools. Her party in Government has already stated that they have no intention of making SRE statutory.

I call on you to vote against this archaic ideological bill on its second reading on Friday 20 January 2012.

Please respond letting me know your voting intentions regarding this bill. Rather than wasting tax payers money on a postcard, followed by a letter, please just use email.