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  • Rosie Iles-Jonas

That One Time I Went Mountain Biking...

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? When I answered that in 2015, I definitely wouldn't have described the events of 2020! It's not been the year I anticipated.

Already feeling challenged, I thought I'd add one more and decided to try mountain biking. ...Here's a lighthearted look back at what I learned from that traumatic experience.

Using my strength and endurance to cycle through the Sussex countryside sounded idyllic. It was however, easily one of the worst things that's ever happened to me! For the first 5 minutes I was having a glorious time bumping along pathways, surprised at my speed and bravery. Very soon I discovered the path was in fact impassable and there was no gear low enough to grind the bike up a 40 degree hill.

The inclines were relentless and felt like a very visual representation of how uphill life can be! And I spent the steep declines burning out the breaks and my metacarpals because I was scared of falling off. I was going so slowly during the 'fun bits' there was barely enough forward momentum to keep me upright! And ironically I nearly had the accident I was so carefully trying to avoid. I endured this for four hours until; saddle sore, sprained fingers and silent, I arrived home and slept for 12 hours.

To say it was the worst thing that's happened to me was of course hyperbole. Comedy thrives on exaggeration. But, it touches on the real issue of harm inflation. Mountain biking was painful and I didn't enjoy it at times. But it wasn't traumatising. Language matters. It's funny to think about how irritated I was dragging that bike along the South Downs Way and laying face down in the pub garden, trying to summons the energy to cycle ALL THE WAY BACK AGAIN.

Too often the language we use to describe events to friends, or read about in the media are inflammatory and encourages a traumatic response. Go to your favourite news website and just read the headlines. How do the words make you feel? Are you feeling relaxed and hopeful about the future?

When I'm teaching yoga and meditation I speak words of compassion and kindness. You're welcomed into an environment where you're looked after and nourished. Even reading those words has nourished you a little. That's how powerful language is.

My 10 week course starts 2nd September and I'd love for you to be a part of it. There are 3 ways you can join in:

In person

Live on zoom or

Via recordings

£90 per person, or £75 per person when you book with a friend. More details here.

Rosie Iles-Jonas

Yoga Teacher

Postgraduate at SOAS University

Yoga and Somatics for Healing with Charlotte Watts