Writing · Yoga


Today was one of those days when my yoga practice was miserably tough in the beginning. I struggled through Surya Namaskara B and felt like my arms had forgotten how to work. But by the time I started Marichyasana my mind had cleared, and so had my body. My movements were fluid, and though I was tired I was still able to really concentrate on my jump-backs. I left the studio feeling productive and refreshed.

It occurred to me on my way home that my writing practice often feels much the same. The beginning is usually the hardest. Sitting down, forcing myself to focus. Struggling to pick up the thread where I left off. Finding myself easily distracted. Feeling not in the mood to write, or just downright cranky.

But I always push through, because that’s the only way to get to the real work. Eventually my ears adjust, and the noise of the world fades. My eyes focus in on the sentences and the story. My memory starts churning, and all the important plot and character elements float to the surface. My fingers itch above the keys. And by the time my alarm goes off, telling me I have to go to the office to begin the work day, I’m deeply cocooned in my fiction.

I’ve talked about the writing-is-to-yoga-is-to-writing analogy before…it’s just that every time I’m reminded of it I find myself surprised all over again.

It makes perfect sense. The parts of the brain that allow me to tell my stories function just like any other parts of my body. Regular practice allows them to grow stronger and more effective. Writing every day should be no different from running every day, or playing piano every day.

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