Yoga Teacher Training: 6 Keys to Making the Most of Yours

I climbed off my mat in December 2016, after twelve months of training with YogaLondon, my 200-hour yoga teacher certificate clutched in my hands. My heart was swollen with joy — I made it! But my head was swollen with questions — what the heck happens now?!

Bridge

I had practiced yoga for the first time in secondary school when I was sixteen. All I remember is that my wrists hurt a lot, but I was certainly intrigued. It was years before I came back to the practice. I was suffering from acute anxiety and loneliness living in Dublin in 2013. The yoga helped, and as the months went by, my mat was a place of safety when I was struggling. More and more I started to think about teacher training.

The loneliness and anxiety of Dublin got the better of me eventually, and I departed the city for London in 2015. I had a shiny new corporate job, a salary that allowed me some crucial disposable income, and a whole new life. I found a yoga studio and, within months of landing in Camden Town, was researching possible training courses.

This article was first published for TribeGrow. To view the entire article, please click here.

History Books that Bring the Past to Life

I’m in a non-fiction rut and I think it’s time to admit to myself that true stories will always be my preferred ones. All books teach lessons, from comics to academic texts, but my love for non-fiction is abiding because I come away from each book knowing something more about the world I live in.

History is one of those topics that people either adore or tend to shy away from. I think there’s an abounding fear that it can be boring and bloated, but some of the best books I’ve read have been about the lives that were lived before me.

Some history books are definitely prone to a stalling sense of intransigence, but there are some true gems that make history come to life on the page. In those books, it feels like you’re living each second in the past. This  is just a short list– I’d certainly be interested to read recommendations for other truly immersive books about the past.

To view the entire article, please visit Book Riot. 

In the Library with my Crisis of Faith

I think I am having a crisis of faith. Or rather, I have plenty of faith but no idea what it’s telling me, what I should call it or where it belongs. In true Hermione Granger style, I’ve been rifling through books to try to come to terms with my introspection—but since I have no idea how I got here, even the library feels like a labyrinth. Books alone might not be the answer. Let me explain.

I was born and raised in the Republic of Ireland. In the 1990s, we were still heavily under the thumb of the Catholic Church. When I was born, divorce, abortion, and suicide were illegal, as was homosexual activity. The photographs from that time tell a story of the prominence of the Catholic Church—when Ireland went to the polls to legalize divorce in 1995, parades of the religious walked the streets, statues of the Virgin Mary held aloft, insisting that marriage is a contract before God and should never be voided. The fervor was intense.

I made my first Holy Communion in 1997; I was six years old. Small girls in white dresses paraded down the aisle to accept get communion. We were forced to confess our sins to a priest. At age 6, I had to make up sins—I was mean to my brother and I swore at the cat. We didn’t even have a cat, so then I had made a sinner of myself for lying. Each week we were sent to Mass and tested in the classroom; shamed if it was discovered that we hadn’t actually been. There was a lot of guilt.

To view the entire article, please visit Book Riot. 

Reliving Agatha Christie at Witness for the Prosecution

I’m a child of the ’90s—when I was growing up, it was all about the Spice Girls, Titanic, Y2K and Friends. Agatha Christie wasn’t even a consideration when it came to books, because Harry Potter had arrived and we were all busy with our Furbies. I read Agatha Christie for the first time when I was 22 years old and discovered And Then There Were None, one of the bestselling books of all time.

And Then There Were None is a child of its time—racist references and pejorative terms pervade the earlier versions of the text and even in the 2000s, the writing feels old. In the 1930s and ’40s, reviews lauded the originality and genius of Christie, who was prone to surprise endings, plot twists, and intrigue. For a child of the ’90s, where amazing twists and turns are par for the course, Christie can seem old-fashioned—until you realise that plot twists were the wheel she invented and perfected in pursuit of her craft.

Living in London, it seems a shame to not see more of Christie’s work, given that The Moustrap has been on stage here since 1952. When Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot took to the screen in 2017 in Murder on the Orient Express, I went to see it in Leicester Square. Neither item breaks the mould of modern cinema or theatre, but there’s no denying that Christie’s stories pull even the most contemporary reader in. Her plots are where the crime genre became a kingmaker, with intelligent storylines and a mass appeal—especially in the UK, where many stories were serialised in newspapers over a period of weeks or even months. It’s hard to imagine the excitement people might have had for the next snippet—not unlike today’s fandoms when a film trailer everyone has waited ages for pops onto a screen. Star Wars, anyone?

To read the entire article, visit Book Riot. 

A Yoga Sequence for Reading

Sometimes when I read for too long sitting in the same position, my body gets sore and restless. I’m not sure if this happens to many other people, but when it happens to me, all I want to do is move around. The problem is that if I move around too much, I might lose track of where I am on the page and find myself reading the same sentence over and over again. If I try to read lying down flat, I inevitably drop the book on my face (this has happened to everyone, don’t pretend otherwise). If I try to read while walking around my house, I am infinitely more likely to walk into a corner or a wall (again, I think this is universal)

For a while now, I’ve been doing a yoga sequence while I read. Follow the flow below and hold each pose for as long as feels right for you. These all flow together into a soft yoga sequence that aims to relax. Book at the ready? Here we go…

To view the entire article, visit Book Riot.

Check Yourself: A Critical Analysis of My 2017 Reading

Every year, I try to set myself some sort of reading challenge. Last year I was hoping that 50% of the books I read would be by women, and I went out of my way to make sure that happened. In the spirit of examining my own behaviour, I set out on my 2017 reading journey without any list of books to adhere to, but determined that 10% of everything I read should be by a person of colour, and at least 60% should be written by female voices. At no point in 2017 did I stop to count if I was reaching these goals.

I wanted to explore genres I haven’t been too strong on—some environmental and science titles, some comedy, and some investment in comics. I wanted to read either more books about Ireland, or more books by Irish authors. I wanted to read more sports.

That’s a lot of goals—and to be honest, throughout the year I wasn’t really keeping track. It’s not quite the end of December as of this writing, so I’m not totally finished yet, but I’m stopping the clock to look back.

To view the entire article, visit Book Riot. 

Duncan Jones Launches the David Bowie Book Club

David Bowie was a prolific reader, so perhaps it’s not surprising that a book club in his name has been set up by his own son. Duncan Jones made the announcement on Twitter, referring to his father as ‘a beast of a reader’.

Jones didn’t indicate a structure for his book club, but has selected the first book–Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor, and set a completion date of February 1st for anyone who wants to join in.

According to The Telegraph in London, Bowie himself travelled with his own library, books encased in cabinets that developed into an amazing collection over time. He credited his own parents with his fascination for books and noted that reading Kerouac’s On the Roadinspired him to get out of Bromley when he was a teenager.

To read the entire article, please visit Book Riot.