Yoga of WritingAug 09, 2020
Years ago, I committed to a daily yoga practice after two decades of casual three-days-per-week practice. Within months, I saw tangible results. I became more fit, more flexible, a little happier, a little less reactive, and even more connected to my spiritual self, which I’d abandoned years earlier. All good stuff. I kept at it. The boons continued. And there was another, less anticipated result: daily yoga lit a fire within me to learn more about this ancient practice that promoted health, healing, and deeper spiritual connection.
What happened next?
I was a journalist and the author of a book about nature. I did what a journalist/author would do. I read everything I could get my hands on about yoga. It soon struck me that there was no end to what I could learn about yoga. I kept at it. My bookshelf became a yoga library. But I realized that reading about yoga was woefully inadequate. I needed to learn about yoga in-person from a teacher or teachers. Next, I signed up for a 200-hour teacher training course. The experience blew me open. I left the experience with certification to teach yoga. But more important, I left convinced I’d found a practice that centered me, that brought me home to myself. I imagined it would serve me for the rest of my life.
Adding a Writing Practice
Around this same time period, a friend introduced me to writing as a spiritual practice. He showed me a method that he used to consult his deepest wisdom, his higher self. I was skeptical, but curious. But I tried it, and I realized he was onto something. I began each morning with a 6 am yoga class followed by 30 minutes of Wisdom Writing. I saw that a combined yoga/writing practice was like a Reese’s peanut butter cup: two distinct things that went great together.
During the next months and years, I experienced a slowing down, a calming of my monkey mind. Yoga was showing this ADHD sufferer a new way to live. Meanwhile, my daily writing practice was taking me deeper into a truer sense of myself, a place that lay underneath the decades of conditioning. Call it my “heart” or “true self.” Now this was exciting, I thought. I wondered if other people would benefit the same way I had. I developed classes and workshops, and I began writing a book and creating an online course called The Yoga of Writing. My goal was to be a guide for people who want to explore the inner landscape, too.
What is Yoga of Writing?
Yoga of Writing is a new way to think about and do the art and craft of writing about your life. It’s memoir writing with a twist. Yoga of Writing’s methods and practices emphasize personal growth, emotional healing, self-compassion, telling your story with power and grace, and living with more freedom. The yoga of writing honors the sacredness of your story. It also advocates that we are not our story, and thuswe are not defined by or stuck in our story.
Who is Yoga of Writing for?
Who is the Yoga of Writing for? Anybody seeking to write about their life. Some Yoga of Writing students desire to write and publish a book, to become authors. However, other students only seek to write in order to better understand themselves, heal trauma, and grow as human beings. Yoga of Writing is flexible and designed for both types of students. In fact, some students begin with the goal of finishing a book only to discover that they really want to write for spiritual connection and growth. Other students start with the humble goal of establishing a journaling practice and, later, decide they do wish to write and publish a book.The important thing is that students dedicate themselves to daily writing and gaining the benefits from a daily writing practice, including deepening their connection with themselves and the Universe.
Why is it called Yoga of Writing?
People write for many reasons. However, I’ve found that writing can be a powerful spiritual practice like yoga, meditation, chanting, or other practices that ground and connect us with our deepest selves and the Universe. The Yoga of Writing draws on the ancient wisdom of yoga, which was developed over thousands of years as a way to live with more power, freedom, and grace. Yoga of Writing emphasizes starting where you are NOW, in the present moment. It teaches self-compassion, right action, and establishing a deep connection to yourself and the Univere. Yoga means union: union with the present moment, union with ourselves, union with the Universe or God. Yoga of Writing helps people write more clearly and powerfully. And to live more fulfilled lives.
My Yoga of Writing Classes
My classes include the following:
- Setting a heart-mind intention (Sankalpa)
- Asana (postures)
- Free Journaling
- Self-Compassion Writing
- Yoga and/or Writing Lesson
- Personal Narrative Writing/Storytelling
- Group sharing
- Closing Ceremony that emphasizes that stories are beautiful and powerful, but they do not define us.
Next month, I begin teaching The Yoga of Writing every Monday evening at Boulder’s Be Center yoga studio. Time: 6 pm to 7:15. Address: 1676 30thStreet, Boulder, Colorado, 80302.
I hope to see you there.
A former senior editor and contributing writer at Outside magazine, Brad Wetzler is an author, journalist, travel writer, book writing coach, and yoga instructor. His book, Real Mosquitoes Don’t Eat Meat, was published by W.W. Norton. His nonfiction writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, GQ, Wired, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, George, Travel + Leisure, Thrive Global, and Outside. He coaches up-and-coming authors to write and successfully publish their books. For your free 30-minute phone consult, email Brad at [email protected]