Writing and Yoga, will it work?
Last weekend, I led a workshop with Robyn’s Yoga that combined yoga with writing. We called it ‘Wriggle and Write’ which, in hindsight, perhaps sounded a little more like a primary school Summer Camp than a writing workshop for adults. Still, the folk who booked on looked suitably adult-ish, and there were no forays into coloured ball pits. And, yes, the title made me smile. So, we ran with it.
It was glorious. Gentle, fun, and full of friendly females. During the break, we had ‘happy tea’ from yellow tea bag packets. And afterwards, we sat smiling. Perhaps we’d cast a spell from movement and mind. I wondered: if we could write a single story together, from the simultaneous words in our minds right at that moment, what would that story say? Would a story like that feel like a bath? A kind of sinking into a comfortable numbness? Which doesn’t, admittedly, sound like the makings of a particularly gripping story. (But do stories always have to be gripping?).
Showing up, not showing off
As well as writing and wriggling, we thought and discussed. We mused on how yoga and writing are similar: both about exploring conscious and unconscious sides of the mind, both about gentle encouragement to let both sides work in harmony. Both writing and yoga involve processes where, at times, it is good to switch off and let intuition take hold, and at others it is helpful to be very switched on and deliberate about the decisions being made, and how that feels (for you, and for a character).
But what I thought about most was how yoga and writing both make conscious a process. They highlight the journey rather than the outcome. They prioritise the act of showing up, not showing off. They are about exploration and curiosity and just plainly about making oneself better.