May 2018: On Consent

Today, 7am from 16 May 2018

It is a delight to write these newsletters to you. As you may know, however, new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are coming into force in the UK, which requires anyone processing other people’s data (such as your email) to provide consent. Consent is a very important thing, in law, in yoga and in life, and should not be thought of as a default thing.

I want to make sure you still want to be part of this mailing list—it is not a problem if you don’t. The sole purpose of asking for your email is to send you these musings and information about my classes, all in one monthly email. I write them and manage the list through tinyletter, and you can unsubscribe at any moment. There is always a link to do so at the bottom of my newsletters.

Laura x

What I have been watching
I have been glued to the screen watching Netflix’s documentary series Wild Wild Country, which tells the story of how Osho and his followers, moved from India to a small village in Oregon US, and enter into a serious conflict with the locals. It raises questions of cults, of what it means to live well, of spiritual idiosyncrasies, responsibility and profit.
What I have been thinking about
I have been thinking about what it is to name someone a guru, a dispeller of darkness, and the responsibility it entails. I experienced some of this when I visited Amma, the Hugging Mother’s ashram in India. Some of the most wonderful things come from this relation, but also some of the darkest darknesses. With the recent whirlwind of allegations against Sri K Pattabhi Jois sexual and spiritual abuse, the removal of senior teachers from the official KPJAYI website, I have been reflecting on Ashtanga yoga as a business, and on Mysuru and the drive towards obtaining certification. I have been pondering on the idea of consent—how it is asked for, given and managed. I have been thinking about touch, and what I do when I assist students, when I enter someone’s personal space. I have been considering ethics and true, balanced, yoga, the one that just is and does not belong to anyone. You can see, I have been thinking a lot. I don’t have answers but questioning the system and the spiritual materialism our culture seems to drive us towards are worthwhile practices to engage in every so often.
What I have been reading
I found this article fascinating. In a few instances, a visiting teacher has uttered the same words as Rosina has to me for years. Yet, somehow, the visiting teacher has managed to obtain results. In Ashtanga, it is very easy to anticipate, the get into a pattern we don’t even realise, to use autopilot. And this includes how we listen to out regular teacher.
The out of town teachers get the best version of us. The one that is super present, open, excited and woke. Wow, how my life would be different if this version of me showed up every day!!! But she does not. If she did, I wouldn’t need yoga. To be open and present to life is the end goal of yoga. Game over. Just sitting around in and out of daily life and Samadhi. Ready to die when the good lord takes me. Glorious. However, after the workshop, the girl with the baggage shows up. This is the girl that yoga is for. The one who has, as the Yoga Sutras says, “assumed the forms of the mental modifications” aka letting my negative thoughts rule my life. This is the girl that my local teacher has to deal with.
Reading this made me cultivate presence with Rosina, listen to her with curiosity and follow what she says without pre-empting it. That’s yoga too.


My regular open classes are in full swing. I did a very successful breath and ashtanga yoga short course and the Sutras one will begin on the 29th May.

At the Arlington Baths (61 Arlington Street Glasgow G3 6DT), as part of Rosina Bonsu’s programme, my classes are on Thursdays:

  • 7.45 – 9.00: Ashtanga Yoga and Pranayama, £11 full price | £9 concession or included in the 8 class and unlimited cards.
  • 18.35 – 20.30: Assisted Self-Practice (Mysore), £11 full price | £9 concession or included in the 8 class and unlimited cards.

I will also continue to teach students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Tuesdays and Fridays until mid June, when they take their summer break.

Tuesday short course
29 MAY, 5, 12 JUNE 19.35 – 20.50: The Yoga Sutras. £40/£35, booking required, so I know how many texts to bring. You may be able to join single sessions for £15, please email or

In June, I will be teaching a free weekly class at Sweaty Betty. Booking opens a week before each class and places are  limited to 12 people only so you will need to be fast! Keep an eye on my facebook for links to the booking page.

Sweaty Betty, 14 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AB
Mondays 4, 11, 18, 25 June, 6.15 to 7.15pm.

I hope you have a fantastic month!