Student

Think of yoga societies and you probably think of women. Think of video games, and it's more likely to be male-dominated. But does it have to be like this?

Obituary: Derek Ireland

IN 1988, Derek Ireland, the charismatic yoga practitioner who was largely responsible with Radha Warrell for introducing to Europe the "aerobic" yoga called astanga vinyasa, accidentally blew himself up with camping gas canisters on a Greek island. He was severely burnt on his legs and arms so a Greek doctor peeled the skin off. "He peeled my hand which really hurt because of all the nerve endings. My lateral ligament was sticking out like an onion ring," Ireland recalled later.

Secretarial: How to put the perk back into your work

Pep me up before my get-up-and-go goes, says Debbie Barham

The last laugh came all too soon

City Life NEW DELHI

Travel: Long Haul: Bend me, shape me

Eight hours a day of contortions and meditation: no one said a yoga retreat would be easy. Or enjoyable.

Nature in the raw

The active birth movement warns thousands of women a year that only a low-intervention home delivery can guarantee proper bonding with their babies - and, of course, the psycho-sexual exaltation of 'natural labour'. So what happens when, despite breathing, yoga and water bath, it all goes wrong? After her life-saving emergency Caesarean, Kate de Selincourt feels betrayed by the home birth gurus

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE

British actress Olivia Williams stars opposite Kevin Costner in The Postman

Book: The Knack How to breathe, by Cheryl Isaacson

"So you think you're breathing, do you? Well, there's a good chance you're inhaling and exhaling. The question is, how effectively are you doing so and can better breathing practices improve your overall health and vitality? Yoga practitioners think unequivocally that it can, asserting that proper breathing brings oxygen to the blood and thus empowers the muscles, organs and the nervous system.

Relax, it's just another hard day at the office

Every working person in the UK takes three days off a year as a result of stress. You can avoid this, say Melanie Rickey and Holly Davies, by making time both in and out of the workplace to indulge in some serious relaxation through yoga, Pilates and on-site massage.

Preview: Meditate The psychic and the yogi

Controversial psychic Yuri Geller conspires with veteran meditator Dadi Janki tomorrow "to show how deeply refreshing it is when thoughts of peace fill the mind". The meeting will also aim to use the power of the mind to unlock our hidden potential. Will it work? Well, if the force is with you, should already know.

Trial by tiger traps, stone walls and water jumps

Dressage contests are nerve-racking. Especially if you are a novice. Anna Dedhar, rider No 13, steels herself for the Porlock Vale hunter trials.

Letter: Let 'em dance

I disagree with Chris Blackhurst about the "sad" decline of competitive sport ("Country dancing wins no prizes", 22 June).

Yogic flyers offer to take Hague on a higher plane

William Hague needed this like he needed a hole in his transcendental consciousness. Just as the Conservative Party leader was starting to work up some gravitas, it was revealed yesterday that up to 3,000 yogic flyers have formed an airborne back-up squad for him.

Stately home for sale: could suit yogic flyer or maharishi

Transcendental meditation is proving so popular in Britain that the organisation which teaches it, the Maharishi Foundation, is selling its Grade I listed home and searching for a new one.

Letter: Calmer karma

That the practice of yoga promotes harmony and balance of body and mind is beyond dispute, as the many thousands of practitioners will testify ("Christians get into a devil of a twist over yoga", 4 May). I have always felt uneasy, however, with the chanting of mantras, which is included in the classes and seminars I attend. While it is rather nice to think that one praises God with every breath, it does sit uneasily with Christian beliefs, and I would advise Christian practitioners to abstain from this part of the practice if it offends them. But to abstain completely from the practice of yoga would be to miss out on its many benefits.

Christians get into a devil of a twist over yoga

The lotus position is the work of Satan say fundamentalist groups who want a ban. Hattie Sellick reports
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