Writing can be a wonderful outlet for creativity, emotions, and growth. Taking the time each day to write in a journal helps us sort out our thoughts and tell our stories. The discipline of writing can be as beneficial as a yoga asana practice, but too often we get intimidated or blocked, and fail to keep up with our craft. But by confronting this fear and committing, just as we would in asana, we can embark on some wonderful creative endeavors.
Here are six ways to practice your writing, in the same way you practice yoga on your mat.
In a yoga practice, we listen to the messages the body is sending us: a pain response, a twinge, a tightness. These things tell us about our bodies. Sometimes what they are telling us is the story. Why is my right hip so much tighter than my left? Why are my shoulders so stiff today? Don't overthink you're writing; simply launch into the words and let your hands do the talking.
It’s your voice and your writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because this is a practice, remember? If you are hearing that judgmental voice in your head, yoga and meditation can help you quiet it down. Because if the voice is yelling at you, it’s not your real voice. Thank it for showing up and show it the door.
In the stillness of your mind, inspiration blooms. Focus on your breath and soften your forehead (the site of your third-eye chakra). Consider meditiating or practicing a gentle flow before you write.
In a yoga class, the quickest way to get injured is to show off, or think we have to outperform the person next to us. In writing, this competitiveness can lead to plain old bad writing. Have you ever read a memo where someone used lots of big words and clumsy phrases, just because they sounded “smart?" Let that go. Write in your true voice.
Write every day. But just as you should vary your asana practice (vinyasa one day, restorative the next, hatha, yin, etc.), vary your writing practice. Try a journal entry today. Use a writing prompt tomorrow. Play with genres: write a short scene from a western novel, or science fiction, or romance. Write as if you were a GPS voice. Enjoy your writing practice just as you enjoy your yoga practice.
It helps everything.