how yoga reminds me of writing

As the year progresses and the end of the year comes closer (I heard someone talk about how many days to Christmas just the other day, yikes!), like for many of us,  setting goals and making some changes to how I live my personal and professional life is comng to the forefront. One of the most significant changes for me that I have made is returning to regular barre and yoga practice and lessons.

My mine is so refreshed after a great week of sessions pushing myself and feeling more aligned. This morning reminded me of a few important factors that I had forgotten in amongst the hustle of the bustle of life.

The mind is a powerful tool to get through pain. Now in the context of yoga, poses do remind us of the pain in the body. For me my tight shoulders and hamstrings scream when I move into many of the poses. But persistence and flexibility within each pose, aligned to breathing releases the tension. The mind can wander however in owning the pain, refocusing and being present, small and progressive steps allow for improvement.

This reminds me of writing.

We can put it off. Procrastination comes to mind here. Finding the flow of the writing difficult, even not knowing where to begin, or worrying about the correct words appearing on the page. Like yoga, regular practice, and establishing a regular routine with writing are key for flow, flexibility and progression to occur.

In yoga class this morning I was reminded of taking small steps with each pose. Setting my body up right, tuning into any tight muscles and supporting myself with props (such as a block or blanket) to allow for me to participate but also build my strength and skills in the pose. Like yoga, approaching writing and how one begins the process is important. Scaffolding the process is central, as to preparing for writing. I ask the questions:

  • What is my overall writing plan?

  • How do I break this down into parts that are achievable?

  • What is my time line?

  • How will I achieve this time line?

  • Where in the diary will I allow for this time to be placed to support action?

  • Are my ideas or my data ready to write up? Have I analysed them?

  • What literature do I need to think about?

  • What theoretical approach am I taking?

  • Who is the audience?

  • What is my word limit?

  • What rewards will I give myself for meeting my time line?

  • How do I create mindfulness in order to achieve this writing?

As I wonder, what do you do to set up your regular routines with writing?