Welcome to my new blog, Yoga for Writers. As an author and a yogi, I discovered that my yoga practice has been really beneficial to my writing. Not only does it keep my body strong and help battle writer’s butt, but it also aids in the creative process. Yoga is unique in its pairing of movement and breath to align the body and spirit. The practice often becomes meditative and can lead to remarkable ideas that had been lurking in dark crevices of the mind, overcrowded by the demands of daily life.
My two loves are writing and yoga, and I’ve found a way to meld the two into a source of creativity and wellbeing. Each provides an outlet for me. Yoga gives me the ability to move my body, to challenge my muscles while at the same time inspiring me to go new places in my imagination, expanding both my inner and outer worlds. Yoga also teaches me discipline. Yoga is a practice. And if you do it often enough, long enough, you eventually get pretty good at it. I don’t consider myself a master yogi, even though my training might suggest that. As a yogi, I’m ever evolving, changing, growing. There’s always more to discover.
As a writer, I’ve been telling stories since I could form words. I wrote as a kid to escape the dull and sometimes difficult reality of my childhood. Stories comforted me, both reading and writing them. But when I decided I wanted to be a novelist, I found the whole task very daunting. Penning 80,000 words (and making them coherent and compelling!) is a lot harder than cranking out a 2-5 page short story for English class. And just like yoga, writing is a discipline. At first, your work will be pretty terrible, but with practice and patience and lots of study, you will get better. It takes dedication and a willingness to fail, just like yoga.
Luckily, I came to learn that my yoga practice could help my writing in several ways. Not only did yoga keep me fit so that I could spend hours on end at the computer, but it also released a butt load of creative juices. At the end of a sweaty flow class, lying in Savasana (corpse pose) with my eyes closed and allowing my body to sink into the mat, the ideas percolate and bubble and rise to the surface, revealing plot twists, character arcs, story ideas and even some wisdom.
Whenever I feel stuck on a scene or in my writing career, I take to the mat. I set an intention at the beginning of practice, telling myself what I want to get out of my yoga session. And by the end, I’ve got something. It might just be a nugget, a morsel, but it will be enough to feed my mind for days and months. That little seed will grow with each Warrior I, will develop with every Half Moon, and will inspire still more ideas with all the Savasanas to come.
So, the next time you find yourself suffering from a bad case of writer’s block, head out to a yoga class. Or stop by my blog for tips and inspiration. And check out the 10 Minute Stretch to get your blood pumping and the creative juices flowing.