Getting Your Yoga Mojo Back

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Summertime, and the living was l-a-z-y… Does that sound familiar? Somehow, when it’s sunny outside, the allure of our indoor exercise regime dips, doesn’t it? Rather get a bit of extra vitamin D than hit the mat or the gym. I know I’m guilty of it myself, swapping my usual twice-a-week sessions at yoga class for extra-long walks or swims in the sea.

Well, if you’ve ever been on a diet, you’ll know what it’s like occasionally to lapse. There’s generally a lot of self-reproach that goes on, sometimes a feeling you’ve ‘blown it’, so what-the-hell: why not head straight for the biscuit barrel…? It can be the same with exercise – especially if summer’s left you feeling healthy, and you’re not necessarily panting for it like a dog with a lead in its mouth. Read More…

How To Know Which Yoga Is Right For You

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Q: I would like to do yoga but I’m worried about recent reports that it can be harmful. I have an intermittently dodgy back and am 43. Is it safe for me to do?

A: Yoga is a 5,000-year-old system of postures, breathing and meditation. Like 30 million people worldwide, I’m a huge fan both for its general mind and body benefits and because iyengar yoga [iyengaryoga.org.uk] helped my badly fractured left arm recover strength and suppleness to an extent that astonished the surgeon.

All sports can be harmful if you have a medical condition. ‘Yoga is no different,’ says Josephine Fairley, author of Yoga for Life (Kyle Books, £16.99). ‘But most yoga classes are very hands-on, which means that you will be closely observed and helped by the teacher. Always share details of injuries or conditions that may affect your ability to do certain postures. However, it is always sensible to consult your doctor first.’ Read More…

Yoga For Life

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I am a yoga bunny from way back. (You were more likely to find 12-year-old me attempting Tree pose in my bedroom with a copy of Teach Yourself Yoga at homework time than revising logarithms, that’s for sure.) Over the years since then, the one nugget of anti-ageing advice that I give out to everyone – aside from recommending eight glasses of water a day and plenty of omega 3s – is to take up yoga. And in the hope of making yoga a little more accessible for people, I’ve just written a (mumbo-jumbo-free) how-to book, Yoga for Life, which you can now buy signed copies of via VH.

With input from yoga teachers that I admire (and a foreword from the esteemed Simon Low), the book is designed to lead readers gently by the hand through many different yoga poses that are useful and often highly enjoyable for women and men who are forty-plus. (And indeed, beginners of any age.) But while it’s certainly perfectly possible to explore the world of yoga with the help of a book – without every crossing the threshold of a yoga centre, or even a draughty village hall – as far as I’m concerned there really is nothing like a class to deepen your practice. Read More…

Keeping Your Chin Up

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Photographs are cruel. Those unposed moments when we’re captured with a canapé mid-way to the mouth – and more chins than Russell Grant. And alas, sags, bags and jowls around the chin can affect even slender women, although the more weight you carry, the ‘softer’ the jawline.

There’s one way not to be bothered by the Facebook ‘tagging’ or Snappy Snaps evidence of more than one chin, of course: follow the celebrities’ golden rule of never, ever being photographed either eating or drinking. Does Jerry Hall ever let herself be shot munching on a sesame prawn toast…? Does she heck. She’s got one photo face, which has worked for her since the age of 17, and sticks to it unswervingly.

To tighten the appearance of the jaw in photos, you can also follow the advice of Faye Dunaway, who insists that if you touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth while looking at the camera, double chins disappear – and it works. (Up to a point.) And you can always make like supermodel Linda Evangelista, who arrived at a photoshoot I was at with – yes! – a double chin, and then made it disappear completely by tightening the muscles in her lower face. Her secret: she practiced for hours to control every facial muscle individually. Read More…