"Breathe and all will be revealed; love and all will be healed. This is yoga." ~ Seane Corn
It took years for me to find the courage to become a contributing writer. See, I didn’t want to just write. I wanted to offer my words in a way that encouraged thought-provoking insights and left readers feeling satisfied and inspired. I’m a girl who typically has a lot to say and one who carries a zest for childlike imagination; yet I spent years staring at a blank screen. I anxiously yearned for the right kind inspiration to “zing” me, but I always came up empty. I found this lack of creative space deeply frustrating.
So how did I push past my block and start writing? I can happily link my success to yoga.
Something shifted around the same time I decided to fully devote myself to yoga. As my practice deepened, I also began to notice subtle changes about me—a slow molding of not just a brand-new me, but a better version of me. I experienced a lot of personal and creative growth on the mat. It transpired in parallel with my practice.
I firmly attribute yoga as a direct influence to my ability to realize the kind of writer I wanted to be, and to start filling that screen with me. Here are three examples:
1. Yoga creates a space to cultivate inner clarity.
The creative writing process comes through a private and intimate connection with yourself. To create anything with “heart” requires you to look inward. What do you represent? What do you believe in? What message are you trying to convey? As a writer, I find that I am only effective when I have a clear idea of what I am trying to accomplish. Our judgment is often clouded by the fuss and stresses that we experience in our daily life. In yoga, you learn to let the mind untangle itself from the superficial noise of our external surroundings – and especially around the emotional turmoil we feel internally. Slowly, as we learn to detach from the noise, clarity presents itself. Clarity is simply that “zing” — a moment of truth. It is clear, transparent, and free. Only with clarity can you begin to seek and define your purpose.
My practice has enhanced my ability to grasp each thought with more clarity; thus, translating the messages creatively with more “heart” and truth.
2. Yoga lovingly guides you to face your inner demons.
When I wrote Letting Go of Self-Judgment (An Ashtanga Yoga Story), it was the perfect representation of how yoga facilitates the mindful connection between our physical and mental state. Through yoga, we learn to identify the negativity that hinders our ability to be great; recognize and acknowledge that these “differences” exist; and practice releasing them. Yoga simply provides an opening that nurtures these exercises with compassion. It is an exercise that has enabled me to understand my true essence. What am I made up of? What makes me, me? Consequently, I have learned to accept my “flaws” and imperfections as unique and individualistic, and as what sets me apart from the rest.
This realization has impacted not only the way I behave, but also how I write. I think it keeps my writing honest and relatable.
3. Yoga creates a life filled with gratitude and abundance.
Our minds have the power to create the life we live. Yoga accesses that innate power. This way of thinking – gratitude – is deep within us. Yoga is just a means to get out what’s already in there. It promotes a heightened sense of connection with not just ourselves, but to everything and everyone around us. Once you can cultivate a balanced view of reality, you are less preoccupied with what’s missing or what’s not meeting your expectations. You can simply be present with what is already abundantly good. This act of gratitude creates the flow of abundance. This mental shift allowed me to realize that even the simplest of existence is a true miracle in itself. Now I naturally feel more joyful and appreciative.
This is what inspires me, motivates me, and keeps me grounded – it’s the foundation of all my writing.
When I’m on the mat, I feel free, focused, and thankful. Almost immediately after a yoga practice, the words are ready to flow; crisp and meaningful. Every day, I learn something new about myself and yoga facilitates that process.
Tell me, what creative potential has yoga helped you realize?