I love vinyasa yoga. It’s a fast-paced, heat-building practice that tests your strength, flexibility and balance at breakneck speed. It’s not for everyone, but that’s okay. I truly believe there is a yoga for every body. And even though vinyasa is my favorite style, I do sometimes like to switch things up. In fact, the last couple of weeks, I’ve been yoga-hopping.
I got a Groupon for a month of unlimited yoga at a local studio, and I’ve been trying out all sorts of different classes – none of them vinyasa. It’s been a great learning experience for me. As a yoga teacher, I always get something out of every class I take, whether it’s a new approach to teaching handstands or a variation on a restorative pose. A new perspective, if you will.
I believe it’s a good idea to break out of our routines now and then. When we spend too much time doing the same activity over and over, our bodies get used to those movements, and it becomes difficult to continue growing, moving forward. I think the same is true for writers.
I love Chick Lit. I read it, write it, even dream it. But I also like to venture into other literary territories once in a while, just to shake things up. I’d been on a Chick Lit kick for months, reading fabulous new books by debut authors and devouring them like cake pops (who decided it was a good idea to put a cupcake on a stick? Irresistible!). But I needed a change of pace, and settled into an epic historical fiction novel set in Leeds in 1870. It was a juicy drama filled with scandal, unrequited love, madness, and a touch of romance. I loved it. But when it was over, I was ready to jump back into modern day tales of cheeky girls having fun while trying to have it all.
And how does this help my writing? It gives me a new perspective. One of the things I love about Chick Lit is that I can relate to the plight of the heroines. I know what it’s like to struggle in my career, to fall for the wrong guy, to commiserate with my best friends. It’s my life reflected through another lens. But sometimes it’s good to travel to another world or another time to see what life is like in Queen Anne’s court, for instance, or in a parallel universe. And you begin to realize that what all these different literary genres have in common is the human condition. We are all really just looking for fulfillment, happiness, a place to belong.
So the next time you’re heading into your favorite yoga studio, or your local bookstore (are there any left?), try mixing things up with an Iyengar class, or toss a gritty murder mystery into your reading pile. You never know what you may discover when you step outside your boundaries.