‘I took up yoga once a week and went to various studios,’ she says. ‘But after badly injuring my back, I haven’t done any yoga since.’
Jemma was diagnosed with scoliosis — curvature of the spine — when she was 11 and is still stronger on one side of her body than the other. But having spent years swimming for around two miles a day in open water, she felt up to tackling yoga.
‘The problem arose when a new yoga teacher didn’t give me any adaptations to the moves to accommodate the weakness in my back,’ she recalls.
‘She encouraged me to do a tough back bend called a camel pose. I felt pain in my lower back that made me cry out.
‘I ended up needing eight sessions with a Harley Street cranial osteopath, at £80 a time.
‘He advised me never to do those poses again, and said if I ever did yoga I must choose a tutor with advanced knowledge of anatomy.
‘It’s dangerous to have teachers who lack the knowledge to address existing problems in their pupils.
‘I did try to take it up with the studio, but didn’t get anywhere.’
Now, Jemma works out with a personal trainer who has an in‑depth understanding of her condition.
‘I’ll never do a yoga class again,’ she says. ‘It’s just not worth the risk when there’s clearly so much variation in the skills and experience of teachers.’