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The James singer on yoga, meditation and his ‘shadow side’

I’m the Woody Allen of health and wellbeing. I’m not a hypochondriac but I did suffer a lot of illness when I was younger. A liver condition I had from the age of 10 hospitalised me when I was 21. I was actually dying. But it changed my life for the better. I was eating all the wrong foods and my liver couldn’t deal with it. So that threw me into Eastern medicine and things that in 1980 were considered to be completely whacky. I remember taking the vicar’s daughter I was going out with to her first yoga class and the next month in the parish newspaper was a piece about yoga being the work of the devil.

In my 20s I fell into a meditation cult, no alcohol or drugs, and days of meditation where you don’t move. Then we found the gurus doing everything we weren’t allowed to so we disbanded. But the meditation stayed. I now see it as technology rather than spirituality, which always has an aspect of hierarchy and holier-than-thou involved.

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