Broadening your practice at home is one of best ways to honor yoga’s roots

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Yoga is an ever-evolving, ancient practice with South Asian origins. But for many people living in the west, yoga has meant something very specific for the past several decades: thin, lithe, usually white women bending in spandex in a minimalist hardwood floor studio.

The past year has thankfully changed some of that perception. For the first time, people who want to practice yoga have had no choice but to do so from home. Luckily, there have been no shortage of Zoom classes, YouTube videos, and fitness apps for both experienced practitioners and eager pandemic beginners. And beautifully, many people have…

Don’t think of it as a phase or a reaction to difficulty. Think of it as an act of kindness

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Photo: 10'000 Hours / Getty Images

There’s a meme that I encounter every now and then that reads: People go to therapy to deal with the people in their lives that won’t go to therapy.

It reminds me of a conversation I often have with various friends. We’ll be dissecting some relationship conflict or family crisis, and inevitably reach the same exasperated conclusion: Why doesn’t everyone just understand they should go to therapy! Life would be so much easier! And look at the evidence!

Of course, it’s true that therapy isn’t as financially accessible as it should be, and that many of the challenges we face…

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

On January 2, someone close to my family passed away from Covid. Like every Covid death, it was a tragedy. Like every Covid death, the space available to grieve afterwards felt woefully insufficient.

The night he passed away, I thought: Okay, here’s another thing I need to integrate and process, mostly alone. How many more can I take? That was before another national lockdown in the UK, an insurrection, an impeachment, an inauguration. I shudder to think what will come next.

His death happened suddenly, but also slowly enough that his closest loved ones had the option to go see…

Panic and stress are contagious. So is peacefulness.

Young man wearing orange beanie closing eyes in peace.
Young man wearing orange beanie closing eyes in peace.
Photo: Brianna R/500px/Getty Images

There will be no shortage of ways to remember 2020, but from our bodies’ collective point of view, the most vivid memory may be one of panic. The sirens, the hand sanitizer, the darting across the sidewalk when someone moved too close. The virus wasn’t the only thing that was contagious this year — our extended state of high anxiety was, too.

But now that the Electoral College has voted, and the vaccine is being administered in the U.S. and U.K., the tenor of life feels slightly different. Calmer.

It would be easy to write this off as mystic nonsense…

The main thing that strikes you in a garden, surrounded by life, is how much death there is.

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I’ve been working in a garden recently. When I say working, it’s more like I’ve volunteered my meager labor skills to help out in a garden under the supervision of people who actually know what they’re doing.

It’s quite an embarrassing position to be in, really: A lapsed urbanite who has few practical skills to speak of, but yearns to work with the earth anyway. Nevertheless, every Friday, it feels damn good to squat atop some soil instead of sit before a…

There’s a hidden power in recognizing all that we’ve lost

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A few days ago I walked past a central London office building I used to work in.

I indulged in that time-honored urban past-time: revisiting a life I used to live by re-enacting a daily routine that’s now long gone. …

Unhinged optimism isn’t healthy.

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Photo: South_agency / Getty Images

Is there anything more American than a redemption narrative — the idea that deep down, we know we’re right? That the right guy, the good guy, our guy, always wins in the end if you wait around or watch for long enough?

During election season, this belief becomes something like an addiction, with the New York Times needles and the Nates (Silver and Cohn, that is) serving as our dealers — offering up hope, horror, tweets, and forecasts long after our twitching eyeballs beg us to look away.

As things stand right now, with Joe Biden looking victorious, one iteration…

The pandemic and climate crises make working ourselves to the bone in service of our own ambition seem a little silly. Let’s change that.

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Illustration: Ana Galvañ

Earlier in the summer, while picking up trash on a beach near where I live, I had a revelation: Engaging in this rather mundane activity was the most useful I had felt in a while. The idea was both unsettling and freeing at the same time.

We’ve all been spending more time lately on activities that feel immediately useful: cooking meals, moving our bodies, making and mending things, growing gardens, and — like me with the beach rubbish — serving as stewards of the places where we live.

But while the litter-picking was initially a way to fill my time…


Before the pandemic, stepping off the treadmill always felt impossible

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Photo illustration, sources: Ronnie Kaufman/The Image Bank/Getty Images, Abstract Aerial Art/DigitalVision/Getty Images

In the first sentence of Joan Didion’s iconic essay, “Goodbye to All That,” on leaving New York City, she wrote, “it’s easy to see the beginning of things, and harder to see the ends.”

No offense to Joan, but I actually can remember when it ended for me — the moment when I decided to leave London, the place I’d lived for nearly a decade.

It was late April, several weeks into the UK’s lockdown. I was lying on the grass outside, taking a break from reading a book. I watched an ant crawl up my leg, and marveled at…

Dismantling structural capitalism may be unrealistic, but there are practical ways to reframe our relationship to it

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Illustration: Laurie Rollitt

No matter how I face each of these strange days, something feels off. On days when I feel creative, lucid, and even thankful for some of the side effects of this great global pause — usually on weekends when I ignore the news — I also feel a twinge of guilt. I should be thinking about death counts, government failings, and wealth disparities instead of reading about ancient Indian breathing techniques or delighting in the scent of wisteria on my neighborhood walks, shouldn’t I?

And then, on the days when I’m despondent, low, and depressed, I chastise myself for feeling…

Rosie Spinks

I’m a journalist with bylines in places like the Guardian, Quartz, Vice etc. | See my work at | My monthly newsletter

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