5 Things My Yoga Practice has Brought to My Writing Practice. ~ Kim Haas

Via on Mar 19, 2014

writing a book journal

I’ve been writing for close to 30 years and practicing yoga for less than two.

But, as soon as I hit my mat, I could see the connection between the two practices and knew that the alchemy of both yoga and writing would be powerful.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Presence

Yoga is teaching me to be in the moment, whether it’s on my mat or off. Writing deserves nothing but my fullest, most focused attention I can bring to the page.

2. Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Practicing through tears, through challenging sensations in my body, in my heart, in my mind…yoga is teaching me to stay there, in those dark, uncomfortable places. Writing also takes me to those kinds of places. Before yoga, I might’ve found that the refrigerator suddenly needed to be cleaned from top to bottom rather than stay at my desk. Now, I’m learning to stay there. Stay on the page, stay with the discomfort and let the story that needs to be told, be told.

3. Vulnerability

Falling out of headstand, needing to sink into Child’s Pose, crying in the middle of class. These are all ways that yoga is allowing my vulnerability to emerge. Writing calls for vulnerability as well. If I try to squash it, my writing becomes stiff and fake. When I allow it, my writing is fluid and authentic. As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

4. Enjoy the Process

Sure, it’s fun to shoot for a challenging pose, like handstand but it’s not the point of my practice. For me, the point is to stay present to what is happening in my body and mind, moment to moment, breath to breath. In writing, I definitely have goals: finish that novel, start that new one. But, I try to stay focused on the page in front of me. What words need to be written next? What sentence? Scene? Story? What questions need to be asked? I try to keep it fun and relaxed while still making progress.

5. Honor the Ebb and Flow

Some days I can rock out 3 classes in a morning, other days Yin is all I can handle. I’m learning to listen to my body, to my spirit. Same with my writing practice. I used to think that if I didn’t set up a truly grueling writing schedule, then I wasn’t a “real” writer. Now, I understand that I am not that kind of writer. I don’t wait for the Muse to magically appear, but I also don’t sit at my desk every single day, expecting ten brilliant pages. It’s enough to show up, whether to yoga or writing, almost everyday. Maybe it’s just a few minutes of Cat/Cow and Child’s Pose to release my back or 15 minutes of Morning Pages. Either way, I’ve shown up, put in some effort and that’s okay. It’s enough. There’s always tomorrow to work harder, go deeper.

As I continue to practice both, I’m sure I will continue to see the ways in which yoga impacts my writing, each nurturing and challenging the other, as well as me.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo credit: elephant journal archives

 

About Kim Haas

Kim Haas lives in Michigan with her husband and their two amazing daughters. She does not have a BA or MFA but is learning the craft of writing the old fashioned way—through lots of reading and writing followed by more reading and writing. She recently became a certified yoga teacher because yoga changed her life and she hopes to offer the same possibility  to her students. She enjoys an unexpected good library day, indie bookstores, indie films and loves a good pun, or even a bad one. Visit her blog where she ponders all the ways that the art of practice permeate her life, like her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter.

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6 Responses to “5 Things My Yoga Practice has Brought to My Writing Practice. ~ Kim Haas”

  1. Coco says:

    Loved this post. Writing and yoga are among my favorite things to do but I have never realized what an impact my yoga had on my writing. Thanks for the perspective.

  2. cleclair1020 says:

    Yes, I've always believed yoga and writing go hand in hand. Your article is a beautiful example of how the two disciplines compliment each other.

  3. Colleen says:

    Great article, Kim! I feel exactly the same way. Yoga bleeds into all areas of our lives, but into our writing process for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kim Haas kimhaasdesign says:

      Thank you, Colleen. Exactly- yoga does indeed bleed into all areas of our lives. That's what makes it so powerful. So life-chaning.

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