Yoga has been in my life for almost two years, but I feel like I carry it with me all the time.
The Urge to Write
It didn’t change my life immediately, nor did I find yoga when I was going through bad times. It came into my life, changing it slowly, and still is, because yoga is a moving thing. During these changes, I wanted to write down my feelings about my yoga practice to share with others. Sharing has always been important for me and I always hope to inspire people with my writing. Above all, this urge to write comes from the feeling that if I don’t write, I will forget and all the thoughts and feelings will fly away and I will not remember them anymore. I put my thoughts and feelings into words on paper so that in the future I can look back and I can connect with myself.
However, writing about yoga is different. I can write about my experiences on my yoga mat, but at some point it feels like I am stuck. Also, I have small knowledge about yogic wisdom, so I cannot write about that. Yet, still the urge didn’t leave me. Then, a beautiful thing happened. Our yoga studio announced that there would be a workshop about writing and yoga. After spending a few minutes in the workshop I realized that the workshop is about showing people how to use yoga as a tool to write.
The Flow of Writing
First of all, this workshop reminded me of the importance of continuation. This means that you just write. Even if you are stuck, you continue to write (for example, write: "I don’t know"). Even if you make mistakes, you don’t look back, and continue to write. Breathe and keep on writing. It sounds simple and yes, it is simple, but sometimes the simplest things are the hardest ones, and if you are a control freak, like me, it is not easy to keep on writing without looking back, without checking the mistakes. During the workshop I really tried to do that and saw why it is important. Once you start to look back, you start over, you see your mistakes, you correct them, and then what? The whole flow is gone, the inspiration; the urge that makes you start to write is gone. It is like yoga, if you focused on only one asana during your practice, you will neither do the asana better, or be able to keep the flow.
The second thing that I’ve learned from this workshop is to experience how practicing yoga has affected my writing. We started the workshop with some Hatha Yoga practice. Then, we began a writing session. Following, we practiced Yin Yoga, and then another writing session. After Hatha Yoga, I was actively writing. After Yin Yoga, I was more inspired. Lastly, we did "dynamic meditation," which was new to me. I was so relaxed that I didn’t feel like writing. There is approximately twenty minutes of a recording playing in the background. As soon as the recording starts, you start to shake your body first slowly and then more aggressively, as if you are shaking something out of your body. This lasts for four minutes and then the rhythm changes. Next, you start to dance as if you’re the only one on earth for four minutes. Then Osho, the founder of this type of meditation, starts to talk about something. After four minutes of the recording, you hear people talking gibberish (a language where you speak a nonsensical sound of words) and you join them as if nobody is hearing you. Four minutes later Osho says "stop" and you freeze for four minutes followed by breathing exercises. (On the internet you can find a different variation of this meditation, but the core is the same.) It was interesting to see that my urge to write was lessened.
The Mat & Your Words
At the end of the workshop I was fully inspired about writing more and more. The notebook we were given during the workshop reminds me of all the things I learned in the workshop. Additionally, it reminds me how beautiful it is to write with pen and paper.
As we practice yoga, we learn more about our inner self. Writing about my yoga practice reconnects me to that experience through a different means of expression. Try going deeper into your practice and yourself by picking up a pen and paper after a class!