Love as a Yoga Class in Bradford


I believe that knowledge is power

I believe that social connection is as vital as food and shelter

I believe that when you bend the front knee and bring the fists down

you feel like a warrior

I believe there’s a lot of bollocks out there


but yoga provides tangible relief

and we breathed and moved and made shapes together

and the women lay there in a line under blankets

and some of them fell asleep.


I believe that what I’m doing has a lineage

at least three thousand years old

I believe that when people breathe together, their hearts synchronise.

It transcends language.

I believe that when you’ve lost everything

to rebuild your life here

along with a house, a visa, safety,

there’s also being so fucking alone

I believe that in none of my training

did anyone talk about love –


I mean, all of these women

who’ve been through horrific stuff

– beyond comprehension horrific –

felt calm enough to lie down, rest,

even safe enough

to fall asleep –


I believe that however shit we’re feeling

connecting to someone we feel safe with

is so unbelievably precious

I believe that when I started going to yoga classes

in a small room on an island in Hong Kong

it changed my experience of life,

it felt like hope


and when I think about what the system does to those women

and all they’ve been through

I’m a she-wolf

and it feels like this gentle fierceness

on their behalf


because I believe that ‘yoga posture’ is a weird word

and I like the word “shape” better

I believe in the neurophysiology of trauma.

I believe that when you stretch

the belly of the muscle begins to pull on the tendons

they release a neuro transmitter that makes that muscle relax

I believe that to be trusted to hold that safety

it’s a total honour.


A group of women under their blankets.

I’ve been thinking, is it okay –

is it weird that this feels like