Unlikely Positions

A Yoga Journey Around Britain

Book Description

Elizabeth Gowing is not a likely yogini. She is too fond of cake and To-do lists, and sometimes falls over on her mat.
But yoga has taken her on journeys both inside and out and now she follows yoga around Britain – from the village hall where a quivering triangle pose was interrupted by the council recycling collection to a sound gong bath in the country's noisiest city, from Cornwall to Scotland. She discovers prisoners finding solace in child's pose; children finding expression in dancer pose, and dancers sitting bendily in cobbler's pose. Her feet start to hurt and she realizes that yoga is a current of shared experience that runs quietly through British society, through Middle England to the nation's extremes from Newcastle to Nottingham, East Anglia to West Kilbride, she untangles the Ashtanga from the Kundalini, the Sanskrit from the whimsical new-age, and finds the ways that yoga is rebuilding communities and lives – and her own wobbling body.
Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, Gowing evokes the characters and communities she meets along a fascinating journey in a celebration of ancient wisdom solving modern-day problems and the exultation of finally mastering the Crow.

About Gowing, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Gowing has been practising yoga for twelve years but is still not a likely yogini. She is too fond of chocolate and To-do lists, and sometimes falls over on her mat. She has done yoga in a cramped carriage on the Trans-Siberian railway, on a jetty off the Montenegrin coast, in a Kosovan house fortified against blood feuds and as an ice-breaker with a suspicious landlady in Cuba.
As a speaker for groups in the UK she has travelled to over 180 groups around Britain, and the diversity of the communities she has encountered - and the similarity in the ways in which all are working to find meaningful connections - inspired her to take this yoga tour round Britain.
This is her fifth travel book; she is also a winner of the Bradt/ Independent on Sunday travel writing competition (2014) and an established voice in quirky travel narratives. She also appears regularly on BBC Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent.