Vitality The Power of Yoga and Writing A yogi and writer reflects on the transformation yoga and journaling can have on the body and mind. By Silvia Mordini There are two practices that are central in my life: I practice yoga and I practice writing stories. And, sometimes, I practice them together: flowing through some asanas, sitting quietly for a moment to still the mind, and then writing down any thoughts when I open my eyes, before moving through more postures. Both of these practices are completely absorbing and perspective-bending. They take me out of the everyday, so that each day feels better. One of them reminds me to be aware of every movement in my body and pattern in my thoughts as I travel through each hour. The other has a sneaky way of making everything more interesting—pushing me to look a little deeper at the seemingly mundane. And now, after 15 years of public writing which evolved into a genre I refer to as “yoga journalism,” I’ve summarized a couple key reasons why writing your yoga works. 1. Self-Empowerment Promotes Self-Reliance We do yoga to help ourselves heal, to empower ourselves to feel better, and, perhaps, to experience our best selves! Empowerment is achieved by encouraging self-reliance and providing education, discipline, and learning opportunities on the mat. You are empowered to try, to therefore make mistakes and still be fully accepted. Your interests are met with enthusiasm; the importance and joy of hard work are recognized and encouraged. Failure is treated lightly, while curiosity and integrity are held in high regard. So what does empowerment feel like? Physically, to me, this feeling of self-reliance has to do a lot with our foundation and core strength. For instance, in downward facing dog your hands are as important as your feet because the foundation is about growing your heart and feeling your strength. Making ourselves stronger always has a lot to do with self-reliance. No one is doing the poses for you. Writing can also make you stronger, and aid in self-reflection. Writing about where you feel strength in your life can remind you of how far you’ve come. Journaling about a time where you felt courageous can also promote self-empowerment. What did you learn from that experience that influences your life today? The same benefits of Yogasana exist in writing. Writing, like yoga, teaches us to be self-reliant. You write for yourself, and each sentence where we validate ourselves means that we are no longer being disempowered by waiting for or needing the validation of others. Photo Courtesy of Silvia Mordini 2. Action Promotes Presence in Our Stillness Yoga gives us a way to tap into the present moment of stability. The poses help us quiet the fluctuations of our minds into more gentle wave patterns. Writing our yoga is made more accessible by the clarity we gain from the physical practice of poses and meditation. Yoga also helps us tap into our creative potential. By practicing with regularity we can feel the transformation made in our bodies. Just like yoga, journaling is a form of creative expression that gives us deep insight into our own self-observations and learning. When we combine the physical practice and the writing practice we activate an even greater transformation. Yoga stretches our mind muscle and teaches us how to connect with ourselves and accept the sense things make or make sense of things. Journaling gives us insight into our held patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings that may have kept us from experiencing our full potentiality or seeing things clearly. When we can’t make sense of things we restrict ourselves from uniting with our own true nature, joy! Experience for yourself the power inherent in the union of both yoga and writing. Why You Should Write Your Yoga My intention behind this was to get into the habit of writing. To use the same discipline I use towards my yoga asana. And, as a result, see progress. And I have. I know you will too. Try my past, present, and future journaling exercise below to start writing your yoga. Past, Present, Future Journaling Exercise Embrace each of these three stages of time, writing what comes to your heart, as well as your pose inspiration for each one: Exercise One: Past Exercise Two: Present Exercise Three: Future Love yourself, love your day, and love your life! — Silvia Mordini is a writer and happiness coach. For 20 years her expert passion has inspired people to connect to their joyful potential. Born in Ecuador, proud of her Italian heritage, Silvia developed a sense of global citizenship early on. In young adulthood she was ran over by a car—a life-changing accident that led her to discover the “alchemy” of yoga to heal and transform. A serial “yogapreneur,” Silvia has owned two yoga studios, founded international Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training School, and Alchemy Tours where she guides retreats worldwide. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.