Follow up: clarifying a few points in my letter to the Janes

I received an email from a friend, studio owner and teacher letting me know she had some issues with my blog post entitled “A letter to Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2”. I have already written her an email in reply and let her know that I would be using her points in a follow up post. If she had issues with what I wrote it is more than likely that others did, so I’d like to clarify. I also encouraged her to use the comments section on this blog if she’d like a more open discussion.

Taking my friend’s points in turn:

  • The money thing – it is great to know that my home studio has no financial obligations whatsoever to Bikram HQ. This is a major issue for me and very reassuring to have that cleared up, which makes it easier for me to go on with my practice. It’s a relief. I would really encourage you to ask your studio owner for the same assurance; I expect you will be told that there is a one-off licencing fee then no more financial relationship. I would suggest media outlets reporting on this story with phrases such as “Choudury … runs an international empire of about 650 yoga studios across three continents” do suggest he has a financial stake in studios bearing his name (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/14/bikram-yoga-sexual-assault-lawsuit) and it would be useful for them to be set straight.
  • Turning a blind eye – I didn’t mean the whole bikram universe has turned a blind eye, I meant his inner core at Bikram HQ or TT, who reportedly dismissed the Jane Does’ request for help. Presumably these are the 24 co-defendants named in the lawsuit/s along with Bikram; it seems to me “turning a blind eye” is quite a generous summary of their charges. I hope that is clear now and I hope I didn’t hurt anyone else’s feelings if that was ambiguous.
  • No, I have not turned my back on bikram yoga practice. I say at various points “I believe I will return to my practice”; “I choose to continue with this practice despite my discomforts”; and “by continuing in this path with my yoga”. Ditto, I hope that is now unambiguous.
  • Am I able to separate the man from the practice? Yes, it is more than possible, but please be aware that our appreciation of this practice is built around his name and defined by his name and by extension so are we. Can you realistically expect people to be able to separate his name from the practice without suggesting an alternative name – what do we call it if we’re not to call it bikram, when the very name leaves an unpleasant taste? What are we to call ourselves after years and years of being encouraged to identify ourselves as bikram yogis? Can studio owners take his name off their businesses, can they take his picture off studio walls, are they prepared to ask teachers and studio twitter feeds to stop quoting him directly? I’m sure these things are being into consideration, if not straight away then in anticipation of a possible guilty verdict, but these are difficult questions and let’s not be naïve – these things don’t happen overnight. Not for teachers, not for students like me, and not for the broader bikram universe. Okay, maybe it’s only semantics, but it is very emotive for me and I want to know these things are in hand because I feel we have been let down.
  • It takes quite a lot to stomach being asked to separate the man from the practice when the vast majority of the bikram universe is acting like nothing has happened.
  • My home studio has sent an email to members about the lawsuits. It was six days after the lawsuits were first reported which is a little slow for my tastes but I have to say that I am on the mailing lists of several bikram yoga studios in the UK and US and mine is the only one to acknowledge publicly that this is happening, so I do respect that. Maybe you’d like to tell me how your studio is handling this in the comments section below? (If you know a studio whose PR agency is telling them to remain quiet, tell them “Silence is compliance, bitches” and get them to sack the PR and make a statement.)

More generally, I think, the lack of response from Bikram HQ is really troubling – and I daresay there are legal subtleties there that I’m not conversant with. But because we invest so much in this very demanding practice which – let’s face facts – does ritualise him that when something like this happens with even a chance that he is guilty we feel leaderless, and the silence compounds that into a feeling of abandonment. I can’t tell you the crisis of faith I have been facing – which in itself has taken me by surprise. If anything has taught me how important this yoga has become to me it is this shameful episode, I can assure you.

I am sincerely pleased that my friend got in touch as these are times of heightened emotions when it’s really easy to misunderstand each other and the fewer ambiguities remain the better.

Spread love. Speak up.

Thank you for reading

Namaste

Caz

A Letter to Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2

Dear Jane and Jane

I’m so very sorry for all that you are going through right now and over the past while and all the circumstances that have brought you to file a civil suit against you-know-who. I can’t imagine what you are going through but I’m pretty sure it’s hideous. Literally unimaginable.

Sitting in the midst of my relatively comfortable urban professional life in London I can’t even picture how things would change if I was put in your position. I’d probably lose it completely.

So, I wanted to say hi and I’m sorry and thank you and congratulations and be strong and I hope you find light somehow and please know that if I knew you personally I would do whatever was in my power to help. As it is, this may be all I can do.

Since I heard – via a twitter friend – two evenings ago about the lawsuits I have been able to think about little else. I was on day 8 of a 30 day bikram yoga challenge and I found I couldn’t go to class yesterday or today. It’s the first time I have skipped class not because of laziness, injury, making excuses, getting a better offer, being generally lame or having eaten far too much penne vodka at lunch. I skipped class because of disgust and revulsion; betrayal and its counterpart: allegiance. Allegiance with you.

Changing gear a little, I think that the purpose of our “innocent until proven guilty” policy is to civilise our basic “where there is smoke there is fire” instinct. The smoke in this case, sadly, is simply that having read anything I could get my hands on about Bikram Choudhury over the last few years, and in the absence of hundreds of his friends and colleagues rushing forward shouting “Bikram would NEVER abuse his position; Bikram would NEVER assault anyone let alone a woman let alone a TT student!” – I find it all too easy to believe he is capable of rape. And I find it all too easy to believe the culture that surrounds him would rather turn a blind eye than lose him; than tarnish the practice; than demean the transformative power of this yoga; than cut off their income; than admit they had been hoodwinked; than be shown the devastating effect of false idols. Than enquire within. Ironically, this yoga teaches us that this is the hardest thing we are asked to do in the hot room. It is the only thing we are asked to do, ultimately.

I don’t know any of these people but I will say one thing: silence is compliance; and silence, every bit as much as yoga, is a choice.

So, anyway, I guess I’m really writing to tell you that having thought about little else for 48 hours I am not planning to turn my back on bikram yoga, but I did feel I wanted to let you know why. This may well be empty rhetoric, it may well be post rationalisation but as much as I credit Bikram Choudhury with giving me this yoga, I will be damned before I let him take it away. It is tragic that he took it away from you.

Here’s what I’m still profoundly uncomfortable with:

  • This practice and his name are inextricably linked
  • In order to continue to practice this yoga I am obliged to give money – indirectly – to a probable rapist
  • Each hot room available to me has images of Bikram Choudhury in it
  • I don’t think I can become a bikram yoga teacher if he is found guilty

However, I believe I will return to my practice because he doesn’t get to take this away from me. The anger and the disillusionment and betrayal and injustice and bitterness do not get to win. Fuck them all. This is no longer bikram yoga, this is fucking badass Caz yoga from now on and I own it. If I could I would give it back to you complete, washed, reborn. Change, savasana.

I hope you can see that as your sister if I choose to continue with this yoga despite my discomforts that I am honouring the part of you that is also the part of me. I recognise the part of that of you was injured which is also my injury. I offer you my strength, my practice, my transformation.

By continuing in my path in this yoga I hope I can demonstrate to you that you weren’t wrong. You were not wrong to fall in love with this practice; the meaning it offered to your life was not a mirage; the healing and change you witnessed was not sleight-of-hand; your faith in yourself in training to become a teacher was not misplaced.

Say someone forgets that violence and coercion have no place in yoga, which is ultimately and only about choice, that doesn’t change all the other things that yoga does mean. It doesn’t mean that you are weak.

Anyway, lastly I want to say how much I hope none of this is upsetting for you, I absolutely do not mean it that way. And I want you to know that even all the way over here in London I am thinking about you – and I can’t be the only one. I mean I know I’m unique but I can’t be that special; hundreds of others must be sending you positive vibes also.

So, during these low, dark, challenging days: good luck to you. What is past is prologue.

All my love

Namaste

Caz

There’s nothing wrong with you.

A thought struck me on the way home tonight; that since I moved to London in late 1999 the most constant and consistent relationship I’ve had has been with my acupuncturist. He’s also an osteopath and I’ve recently started calling him my osteo or (Sexy Osteo on twitter) ‘cos it’s easier to say and doesn’t invite lots of questions about needles, but when I first went to him 13 years ago – when he was a young man and I was little more than a child – it was because he was an acupuncturist and I wasn’t even aware that he practiced osteopathy also. My point is, he knows me as well as anybody and a lot better than some. He gets paid to know me but I choose to believe that this doesn’t cheapen the bond we share. Also, he’s quite sexy so there’s that.

Anyway, I saw him last week and he suggested that my lower back pain has been partially down to over compensation for immobility in my thoracic spine. Which is totally news to me, which was a little annoying but I went with it. And I started thinking about it a lot and it seemed to me that the couple postures I have real trouble with could be to do with the thoracic spine rather than the lower spine, especially as I have hardly any pain any more. So I went through my big white Bikram book and bookmarked those postures (and a few others) to show him and when I saw him today I said
“I have brought a visual aid”
‘I’m trying to think what that means”
“A book”
“Yes, a book, but you’ve never needed a book before. Why can’t you just show me?”
“I guess I wanted to be absolutely clear so that you can help me understand how to adjust my focus in class”
“OK. Show me the book”

He didn’t roll his eyes ‘cos profoundly gifted healers don’t do that. But I felt it.

Turns out not being able to get your finger tips below your nose in eagle is not to do with your thoracic spice so much as your shoulders. “Also your voluptuosity could be a hindrance.” I must’ve looked at him a certain way because he said “your breasts”. Thanks, I got it.

We looked through the photos:
“So what do you mean you can’t do the posture?”
“I can’t get my head to my knee”
“So what do you do?”
“Well, everything else but I can’t get my head on my knee so the posture hasn’t started yet”
“But you have this leg straight, and this leg straight, and your hands here on the floor”
“Just in front of my foot”
“But your head not on your knee”
“So I bend the front leg up to meet my forehead but it never meets”
“And does everyone else have their head on their knee?”
“I wouldn’t know, I don’t look around, I’m too busy trying to get my head on my knee”
[Pause]
“Do you know how hard this is to do”
“I’m telling you I can’t do it, so, yes”
“No, I mean, really, do you realise how hard this is? I think you think there is something wrong with you because you can’t get your head on your knee”
“A little, perhaps”
“You mustn’t think that, this is really hard to do. And this one – this is even harder, don’t worry if you can’t do this one. This is the last posture?”
“Yes”
“Because it’s really hard, you have to be very free here and here and here. Don’t worry. There is nothing wrong with you”
“Ok”
“Say it”
“Ok”
“No. Say it. There is nothing wrong with you”
“There is nothing wrong with me”
“Ok then. Take your top off”

Failure has no meaning in #bikram #yoga

When I started this blog I had two intentions: to tell the truth, and to be me. My hope was that in telling the truth I would sound like me; if friends read this they would hear me talking. In the playing out of writing about my yoga experiences I have reminded myself of something someone pointed out to me about 20 years ago, that I have a streak of self parody a mile wide. Often this is exactly how I tell the truth. Whether or not that is healthy is another discussion. I think probably in moderation it’s perfectly healthy but can become downright debilitating if it becomes a default position. Anyway, this is of no obvious significance right now. I just wanted it stated for the record.

Today was Day 20 of my 30 day challenge. I haven’t decided how I am going to finance my practice from here on, my preference would be to buy the next twelve months up front. It’s a lot of money to spend in one go and it’s a big commitment but – following my gut – it’s what I really want.

Anyway, I suspected I was going to have a tough class because I had what we in this country call “a few drinks” yesterday, but I had absolutely no idea. It was horrendous, easily one of the worst classes I have ever done. I more or less gave up after eagle, I was totally overwhelmed. I couldn’t do any of it. And the humidity and sweat – my word. Recently when I am in half moon back bend and I catch a glimpse of my forearms above me all I can think of is Apocalypse Now. Because of the sweat. And the funny part is I was scheduled to do a double. Yay!

So, long story short, I had two pretty hideous classes. But I stayed in the room and focused on my breathing and let the tears come and go and listened to the dialogue. And I refused to think about what my fellow students might be thinking about me and I refused to be too hard on myself. And tried to convince myself that these classes count and as long as I attend class I can say I did class today. I haven’t failed – even if all I can do is the belly down series.

It would be nice to think that Day 30 will be a good bikram day. Hopefully at least I’ll be able to stay in the room whatever happens, and convince myself even a “bad” class counts.

 

Questions About Resisting Change

Day 16 threw up something very surprising and not a little crappy.

I have a crummy old armchair which sits kind of low and I got up from it to go to class and my left knee just went. It just went. It was really painful, really burning. So that was worrying. But I was already dressed and packed for class so I went to go out but I could barely get down the stairs and then once I was out on the pavement the limp was so bad I realised I wasn’t going to make it to class on time.

Not that I am scared to practice with it or around it, but I was headed for the 8pm class and I wouldn’t get there on time. If I had booked for the 6pm I could have just waited for the next one but I had no contingency.

But besides all the missing class bull – on day 16 – where did this pain come from? I do have a friend whose opinion I respect greatly who would say there are no accidents. So what role does this pain play? It stops me from going to class, it makes me feel bad about missing a day’s practice, I miss a day’s practice, it makes me self conscious, it makes me pause in achieving my objective rather than being a class and a day closer to my objective.

So, the question becomes, if this is not spontaneous, not an accident. Is it self-sabotage? This good friend of mine would likely suggest that this pain was invented by a part of my brain/mind/whatever that wants me to fail, the part of me that is resisting the change that I seem to be so taken up with right now? That I constantly self-righteously tweet about? Damn, I read my tweets sometimes and they make me want to puke.

What if I worry about not knowing who I would be, this changed version of myself? What if I don’t want to confront the change because it would force me to think about the things in my life/body/appearance/personality/circumstance that I am unhappy about and I’m not sure what would replace them? What if I found out change was actually easy and therefore had to take the rap for tolerating the unhappinesses for so long without taking accountability for them? Or worse, what if I put all this huge physical and emotional effort into this change and made it happen and my life turned out to be just as imperfect? If I’m a failure right now, after all, I know what to blame. If change and I’m still a failure then I am categorically the failure. Me. So right here in the comfort zone is safer, thanks. I’m good with the blaming and the tolerating – maybe Day 15 is as far as I get. What if changing is just too effing hard?

The truth is I don’t know. I just don’t know. I don’t know and not knowing means that this is a leap of faith to some degree. Maybe all of this is just self-indulgence and I just need to do the work, already. Jeez, I’m such a whiner! Whatever, it doesn’t have to be part of a giant life plan, the yoga is good for me, so shut up and go to class, right? All I know is that this happened at exactly the half way point and that is too big a coincidence for me.

The Hot One.

Do you remember in LOST when Jack was about to operate on Sarah (was her name Sarah?) and he came back from running the stadium steps, where he’d met Desmond and twisted his ankle, and he was sweating and he says “I showered but I guess I didn’t cool” and she gives him a quizzical look and he says “I’m intense”. Which at the time drew a quizzical look from me, and I felt validated later when the TWoP recapper more or less called him a douche for saying that. Anyway, THAT.

I have showered and I am still sweating. Poor Jack. Sorry, my love, I take it all back. Hey, I’m intense.

Yet again I was home all day and only got my act together and got to class ‘cos I had booked online. Otherwise I would maybe have skipped. But, yet again, I am thrilled that I went to class. I feel I am, not to speak too soon, getting my standing series groove back for the first time since my bikram hiatus. Lots of things came up for me in class this evening which would make good blog material but the only one I remember is the sweat.

In a class which brought my half moon back to where I left off in early January and my first pain free spine twist, I also rediscovered my deeper sweat response. This class was, ladies and gentlemen, what we technically refer to as a hot one. By the end of pranayama I was more or less drenched. It was the kind of sweat that comes off you in sheets rather than trickles. The kind of sweat that gives you friction-free skin and makes it hard to keep your elbows wrapped in eagle. Indianna Jones in the jungle kind of sweat. Sweat that makes you think washing won’t do for this yoga kit, you’ll have to burn it. Sweat that makes your fingerprints so, so, so wrinkly that you might have well just swum the Channel. Sweat that makes you think you’ll be able to speed skate to the changing rooms ‘cos not even the soles of your feet are dry. Sweat that makes you think those nude yoga practitioners really had it right all along. Sweat that makes you frightened that you’re losing so much DNA that by the end of class your personality will be dramatically altered. Perhaps permanently.

Well, too bad, ‘cos I’m going back tomorrow. Unlucky class 13?

My Challenges for the Next 24 Days

The biggest thing I have learned so far whilst doing my challenge is this: if you want to go to class, don’t spite yourself, just go to class. Often times the biggest challenge is just getting to class. So, if you want to go to class just remember your one and only responsibility is to get to class. Unless the journey to the studio will actually put your life at risk, just get to class and once you’re there the yoga will take care of itself. Twice this week I have felt absolutely exhausted and in days gone by I would have said to myself “too tired”. But now I’m thinking, if you have the energy to get to class, use that energy getting to class and once you’re in class you’ll find your reserves of energy replenished. Abracadabra. Just get to class.
Also: make sure you pee before Pranayama. Teacher no like student leave room. She say: no pee, sweat out instead. Ick.
I am one fifth through my challenge, this is what comes to mind when I think of the next 24 days:
  • Listen to the dialogue not the teacher. (I think we may already have covered this.) Can I keep breathing through everything, including my emotions?

  • I am going to ask you to visualise this one with your mind’s eye: *this* is yoga, *this* is waiting at a bus stop. Can I stop fidgeting completely between standing postures? 

  • There are times when my reflection in the mirror disgusts me still. Can I fall more deeply in love with my own reflection and understand my body as a miracle?

  • I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway. Can I take my faith in this process to the other mechanics and paths in my life?

  • I’ve come to accept that 9 times out of 10 my mind will give up before my body does. Can I train my mind to trust and follow my body?

  • Lastly, can I forget about setting myself a load of pious challenges and have some fun celebrating my achievements so far? I’ve been to class six times in my new studio now and only just realised there is no clock in the studio and I don’t miss it. Yeah, baby.
Yoga means union.

“You love it, don’t you?”

I’m learning to tell the difference between a tough class and a class which is sub par because my back pain is too restricting. The last three nights I have been so stiff and sore that I have sat out tree, toe, and everything after cobra series – or rather my modified cobra series. I feel very self-conscious although I have stopped feeling like a failure. Strangely – but in a positive way – it never occurs to me to leave. Perhaps partly because getting up off my back is so painful Whatevs.

For the second night in a row I had a new teacher – new to me, but clearly a veteran teacher. It was a very good class; dynamic and up; bright and relaxed with a lovely group energy.

Afterwards I just happened to be right next to the teacher in the changing rooms – our lockers were side by side. And she turned to me and said “you did great”. And I must have looked at her rather dubiously because I thought, I clearly did NOT do great, I only did about 50% of class. But I said thanks rather blankly, not wanting to appear rude despite being yoga stoned. And she said

“You love it, don’t you?”

“I love it”

“I can tell. You can tell. You did great”

“Thank you, I do love it, even if I can’t do it.”

“You can do it, you did it. Don’t worry – everyone’s on their own journey”

“Thanks a lot. I have a tilted pelvis so I get discomfort sometimes. And I haven’t been to class for four months, so. That’s my journey, I guess.”

“Yeah, seriously, don’t worry, it’s fine. You’re here.”

And we talked a little about loving the heat and then said see you next time and that was it. But walking to the tube I thought, she made the – probably minuscule to her because she is clearly someone to whom kindness comes naturally – decision to say something encouraging and kind to me. No drama, just a few nice words but clearly sincere. And that made a huge difference to me. To my experience of that class and my whole day. I do love my yoga and to think it was evident in my practice brings tears of joy and humility to my eyes. (I want to be clear that I waited to get home before welling up, I’m not totally losing my shit.) Not to mention the perfect example she is setting regarding respecting and encouraging fellow students’ practice for everyone earwigging in the locker room!

Anyway, know that if you make the split second decision to say something true and nice and encouraging to someone, you are doing a good thing, even if it seems merely like passing the time to you.

I believe it was Gandhi who said “Be excellent to each other. And. Party on, dudes.”

Triumph turns to tears (not really, I’m being dramatic)

This post is going to be so postmodern it will actually be post-postmodern. You should hurry up and read it before the postmodern element achieves critical mass and begins to exert its own gravitational force, pulling all the other elements towards it until they all collapse in on themselves and disappear into a black hole of self-referential meta-narrative and get commissioned by BBC FOUR, and I spontaneously transform into an episode of LOST.

In the last 24 hours since my studio review I have learned of the dizzy heights and the crashing lows of internet notoriety (netoriety? Can I make that a thing? Your homework is to use that in a sentence, straight-faced, by Friday).

1. Dizzy Height

The owner of the studio I reviewed yesterday got in touch and we had a lovely conversation today. She asked me if I would like to guest blog for their website at some point in the future and – AND AND AND!!! This is the good bit – added 10 complimentary days onto my 20 day intro ticket so I can do a 30 day challenge! How awesome is that? That’s like, share my joy! So, so gracious and kind. I’m a lucky girl.

2. Crashing Low

When I was leaving the studio this evening the happy and smiling guy who greeted me yesterday was reading out my blog – the bit about how he was so unfeasibly happy and smiling. He was smiling as he read it out, but I ain’t too sure about happy. He said to his friends “Is that a compliment?”  So, the person I was describing was reading my description of him and, having written it, I was listening to it being read out loud, and he was unaware I was the person who had written it but he knew I was listening or at the very least could hear him. This, dear reader, is the postmodern part. Large cracks are starting to appear in the walls of my front room and the lights are flickering. I think I just crossed the streams. As postmodern boundaries go, Russsell Brand should be looking for new representation.

So, here’s the thing. I am SO, SO, SO, SO, SO sorry, happy and smiling guy, for making you doubt yourself and probably for giving you that sick feeling in your tummy when you realise someone is talking about you and you’re not 100% sure it’s not quite mean. I didn’t mean it to be mean, I truly didn’t. It’s just a cheap gag. I’m sorry. I’ve been reacting to quite a lot of stuff recently and had kind of free-floating anger and I’m often so pleased with myself and how I can turn a phrase that I incur some collateral damage. I’m sorry. I hope you get to read this as it’s sincere.

I might also add that your friendliness did genuinely take me by surprise as the reception staff at my old home studio, which I won’t name (Old Street) generally avoided eye contact at all costs and only learned “hi” within the last 8 months or so.

Long story short: a) judge not lest ye be judged; b) fame’s a fickle bitch.

I practice yoga because my handbag is too big

Fairly typically, today I carried an over-sized leather shoulder bag. I believe people who decide these things call the style a hobo. For whatever reason, I can only carry bags on my right shoulder. No idea why. But I do think it’s bad for me to be so inflexible. No pun intended.

This is what, fairly typically, I had in my shoulder bag today:

  • my beautiful, shiny new BlackBerry (no, I won’t be getting an iPhone)
  • a Sony Walkman mp3 player (see above)
  • a Game of Thrones paperback (yes, I’m sure a kindle would be marvellous but if I buy just one more thing that comes with a USB charger then the terrorists have won)
  • my purse
  • Avalon Organics green tea and peppermint lip balm
  • my Starbucks thermos tumbler
  • my neoprene water bottle (both of which constitute my attempt to make up for the small wooded glen sacrificed for my Game of Thrones paperback)
  • small hair brush
  • house keys
  • baby wipes
  • a huge tub of home made dark chocolate peanut butter brownies (this is not typical, but were a necessary post-London marathon treat for the family)
  • sunglasses (and sunglasses case)
  • oyster
  • back up oyster ( i know)
  • mini A to Z
  • Hello Kitty make-up case (I never do touch-ups during the day but always take my make-up with me. My reasoning being that I never know when I might bump into Timothy Olyphant)
  • Hello Kitty make-up mirror
  • three pens (you know, for all that writing I do)
  • a big scarf (amost pashmina size, but not a pashmina)
  • I think that’s it

Discounting my nail polish collection, that’s more or less my entire life. And I carry it around with me more or less every day. In addition to my yoga kit, which I also carry on my right shoulder. No wonder I have back trouble – it doesn’t take a genius. But wait, there is a predisposition to back trouble. I have a tilted pelvis and an over extended S-curve in my spine. I guess I should take responsibility to know the names of the vertebra that are in trauma but what do you want from me? I can recite Point Break from start to finish, do I look like I have time to learn L2 from L4? Anyway, I get pain just below the small of my back, I suspect from bad technique picked up from 14 years of classical ballet, but I cannot prove this.

What’s my point? My point is that the yoga (bikram) didn’t exactly heal me; it alerted me to the problem in the first place. The pain is apparently a “healing crisis”. And I think a lot of people would say “yoga made my back hurt” and stop, but I keep going. Some classes it hurts so bad that tears roll down my cheeks. Why don’t I stop? I’m not sure except I know that I trust the process, and since I stopped going to dance class several lifetimes ago, bikram is the one thing I am truly passionate about. It’s alerted me to back pain, sure, but it’s given me so much more besides. That’s all. Perhaps not much of a point but it means something to me – and back pain or no, bikram is – some days – all I think about.

I know I’m meant to wrap up blog posts with some supposedly cute and witty call-back like “bikram is all I think about – well that and Point Break”. But, as simple as my point is, I don’t want to trivialise it like that. So I’m just going to stop. The blog post, not the yoga.

The Kingslayer: also right-handed.