Random Inspirations

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Writing With Your Body, Mind, and Soul: 5 Ways to Incorporate Yoga into Your Writing Life

on March 13, 2014

In the past six months, I’ve really gotten into yoga. I’ve always adored exercising, and in the past I enjoyed the occasional yoga class. However, I’d found regular yoga classes difficult to fit into my routine, so I’d usually work out alone at the gym at times that fit into my schedule.

Since I’ve begun to create my own work schedule, I’ve finally been able to give yoga the time and energy it deserves. I practice twice a week, and have realized that regular yoga sessions have enhanced my writing, as well as my attitude on life in general!

We write as complete people–the sum of our bodies, minds, and souls. Hate it or love it, the “write what you know” cliche holds some truth; our experiences and mindsets influence our writing. In order to write our best literature, we must know ourselves as complete people, and the breathing exercises, stretches, and moments of meditation in yoga all help us to reach inside ourselves as artists.

Yoga is also a great way to create focus, which is extremely important in writing, whether we do it professionally or as a hobby. We as writers must make every moment count, to increase our productivity, reach new fans, and make a living doing what we love.

Since I’ve gotten into yoga, I’ve found myself writing with my body, mind, and soul. Here’s how:

Body: Regular yoga practice is the perfect way to stay healthy as we write; many of the ailments affecting authors are related to sitting in the chair for long hours, being inactive, or having poor posture. The stretches and poses in yoga allow our muscles to function optimally, and the emphasis on straight spine and flexibility encourages us to sit straighter and more ergonomically in and out of class. Since I’ve started yoga, I’ve experienced no lower back pain, even when I’m sitting and writing for hours. The activity gets my creative juices flowing, and keeps my metabolism and energy level revved up all day. And I find that I sit straighter, creating less stress on my back and shoulders.

Mind: The focused nature of yoga, from awareness of each muscle to the emphasis on breathing, carries through to other parts of our day, including writing. Bringing that intense laser-focus we learn in yoga class to our writing sessions makes us much more productive and prolific.

Soul: Many of my yoga instructors begin class by asking us to create a mantra for our session, and encouraging meditation during and after practice. Mantras and meditation are wonderful techniques to achieve our goals in yoga class, and they can be equally helpful in our writing sessions.  We not only write with our minds, we write with our spirits.

Yoga is the perfect way to write with your body, mind, and soul.

Yoga is the perfect way to encourage writing with your body, mind, and soul.

Now that you know how to write with your body, mind, and soul, here are 5 specific ways to actually do it!

  1. Begin each writing session with a mantra–and defined goals.
  2. If your mind wanders during your writing session, do deep breathing techniques, such as counted breathing (inhaling and exhaling to the count of ten, for example). This technique works for anything from a stress headache to just having focus issues.
  3. Clear your mind. One of the cornerstones of yoga class is the decluttering of your mind–letting go of any stress or conflict that you may be feeling, and simply listening to your body. If you’re feeling distracted or mentally cluttered while writing, meditate to let go of these distractions. You will be much more inspired and focused if you do.
  4. Incorporate yoga into your writing routine. It’s different for everyone, but I personally find that I am more productive when I write in the morning, do yoga around noon or 1, and return to writing again in the afternoon. It’s a great way to break up my day, and I get more writing done both before and after yoga than I would otherwise. Other people may prefer yoga in the morning and focused writing afterwards, while still others might like evening yoga classes as a reward for a work day well-done.
  5. Do your sun salutations–literally. I’m not just talking about the yoga poses, either. Getting outside for a few minutes every day really does wonders to increase creativity and productivity, and it gets easier to do this as the days grow longer. It goes back to my last blog post about neurotransmitters like seratonin being activated by bright light. Bonus points for you if you meditate out there or do some yoga under the sun!

2 responses to “Writing With Your Body, Mind, and Soul: 5 Ways to Incorporate Yoga into Your Writing Life

  1. My back feels better just reading this 🙂

  2. LOL I know, right?! 🙂

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