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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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003