The practice of yoga will make you a better writer by helping you realize that, like yoga, your own creativity is not about you being in competition to others or comparing yourself to others.
Creativity is the truest expression of self. Creativity burgeons and flows forth when you feel as “you” as you possibly can be. Like yoga, creativity is a lifelong practice that requires showing up, exploration, play, letting go, and raw self-belief.
Yoga and writing are remarkably similar in that they are both practices that cannot be mastered — we’re always students to them. And, as with most great practices, both writing and yoga reveal to you that life’s journey (the practice) is the greatest reward.
“It’s Not About the Asanas”
Yoga is a personal practice that reminds you that everything you want, need and desire in life are lifelong practices: reflections of wherever you find yourself in this moment.
But what we tend to think about yoga is that it’s some heavy, lofty, divine spiritual artform: a series of challenging physical expressions that are meant to somehow open the mind and heart in profoundly religious ways.
Sure, the foundation of yoga is deeply spiritual. And of course, yoga contains a physical aspect of the practice: the asanas, the poses, and with each some requirement of effort or strength or balance or flexibility.
But what I’ve learned of yoga is what I’ve learned of writing.
It’s not about the poses. It’s not about what I’m actually writing.
Neither is what’s most important. No conventional advice tells you that. We don’t pay to hear people say that what they’re writing doesn’t matter. We don’t attend yoga classes to hear our instructor say that the asanas are secondary (or lower) to other priorities.
But it’s the God’s honest truth.
What matters most about these practices that I’m so passionate about is that they are practices: that by engaging in the practice of yoga or engaging in the practice of writing, I’m committing to a deeper and deeper sense of self that would otherwise be ignored; I would otherwise have so many thoughts, emotions, ideas, messages and beliefs that would forever remain undiscovered; there would otherwise be so many hangups, struggles, questions, problems and pain points that would be avoided.
Yoga is a practice that challenges you to open up to a deeper side of yourself — every single damn time you take the mat.
It’s the exact same thing with writing — or any creative endeavor.
When I sit down to write, I put pen to paper as a testament to my own self-belief: the act of writing is like a prayer made to a divine being but instead of pouring my thoughts into worship I pour what contents is nestled in the recesses of my soul onto paper.
Some of the time, what emerges is shared. Most of the time, it’s never shared with anyone but me.
Yoga has made me a better writer for this reason. Yoga is a lifelong practice that never ends. I understand that writing, creativity, artistry — hell, the feeling of happiness and purpose and fulfillment and meaning in life — are all lifelong practices that can only be “won” by continually showing up to practice them.
The rewards of yoga and writing are not won by reaching an ultimate destination — even when you publish a best-selling book or three, or become a 5-Hour certified yoga teacher.
You remain a student of writing.
You remain a student of yoga.
The rewards are experienced through the practice, and reaped as the practice deepens and goes on, and then deepens further, and then goes on still.
We are all students in this way.
Yoga shows us that we’re forever bound to be students of our own bodies, studies of our minds and hearts, students of one another, students of life itself.
Yoga has made me a better writer because it’s given me a near-daily practice that I can choose to engage in that helps me become become more and more self-aware. How, is by first showing up. Second, is listening to my body. Third, is responding appropriately to wherever I’m at in that present space — without judgment, comparing oneself to others, or fighting through an injury or pain.
Yoga has made me a better writer.
And now I want to help open your creative side up in grander ways through the art of yoga.
There will be food, s’mores, great people, amazing conversation, a few special workshops and yes, of course, some lightly-invigorating yoga.
Only about 6 tickets remain to Weekend in the Woods, my debut writing and yoga retreat this January.
Will you join me there?