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What you can learn about writing from yoga

Life is crazy, the to-do list is nev­er end­ing, and there’s always some­thing more to add to it. As far as I know, there’s no get­ting around that, it’s just part of being an adult. Hav­ing a pas­sion for some­thing, and want­i­ng to pur­sue it doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean you’ll get it done. There’s real­ly only one way to become a nov­el­ist, and that’s to write nov­els. When­ev­er and wher­ev­er you can.

I’m not an advo­cate for writ­ing every day. It does no good to com­pare your­self to some­one else’s ide­al, and then berate your­self for not liv­ing up to their stan­dards. Find your bal­ance, find what you can do and fit into your life, and do that.

In Octo­ber, I start­ed tak­ing yoga. I’d been think­ing about it for years, but always put it off as too expen­sive, too scary, as some­thing I wasn’t fit enough to do. Know­ing myself, prac­tic­ing at home isn’t going to hap­pen. I’ve tried. There’s always some­thing I need to be doing while I’m at home. If I don’t sign up for a class, then it’s not going to hap­pen. I’m too afraid of just show­ing up unex­pect­ed to a drop-in class. So, I signed up for a begin­ner series. Then I signed up for three more one after anoth­er.

I’ve only tak­en begin­ner class­es so far, but I already feel stronger and more secure in my body-image. I haven’t changed at all, but my mind­set has. And that’s giv­en me a lit­tle inspi­ra­tion as far as my writ­ing is con­cerned. When start­ing out in yoga, you will not be able to get ful­ly into all of the pos­es. Some of them are sim­ply out of reach, and you may not ever real­ly get there. Your body’s struc­ture, might just not be set up to accom­plish that.

And that’s fine.

My yoga instruc­tor has said that yoga is a jour­ney, and your yoga prac­tice is the path of that jour­ney. The ide­al of the pos­es, is the goal. If you can’t fold that far for­ward in hum­ble war­rior, that’s fine. You may find that over time, with prac­tice, you can fold fur­ther. If not, visu­al­iz­ing the goal and striv­ing to achieve it, even if you’re not actu­al­ly mov­ing for­ward yet, brings it’s own strength.

To me, it sets up your mind to accept that you can.

You may not be able to yet, but you’re not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­i­ty. And that’s impor­tant.

It’s the same with writ­ing. You may not be a best sell­ing nov­el­ist, but don’t sell your­self short or set your­self up for fail­ure by giv­ing up that goal before you get start­ed. You might fall over in walk­ing tree pose, but there could be a day where you don’t. You might go a month with­out writ­ing, but even if you only write once a month, even­tu­al­ly you will fin­ish a draft. Then you’ll fin­ish anoth­er draft, or twelve. You’ll find your groove, what works for your life, your goals, and you’ll do that. Whether it mea­sures up to some arbi­trary stan­dard or not, doesn’t mat­ter. All that mat­ters is that you what’s right for you, there’s strength in that.

Published inWriting