Two weekends ago I attended a fantastic yoga and writing workshop called “Body of Words”, facilitated by Julie Gladstone and Roseanne Harvey. Amongst the many gems that surfaced from their teachings and from my experience, was the idea that linking yoga poses together into a flowing joyous expression, is similar to what we do with art, linking words to form sentences, notes to create melodies or brush stokes to form an image. Flowing through a mellow sun salutation Julie guided: “Feel the flow from one pose the next like the flow of words connecting together on the page.” I began to think of each asana as a word: each unique, serving a specific purpose in its own right, yet inseparably united to the others, awaiting infinite exploration!
On my elated walk home I mulled over the mental and physical processes of creating flow, in yoga and art, and where we meet blockages. Often in my writing practice I find myself most challenged not in the struggle for new ideas, but how to link them together to create a coherent whole. Sometimes yoga can feel like this, especially when you first start to practice or do it alone: How does one pose flow to the other? Which one goes where?
Whether ideas or asanas, both require a balance between two forms of knowledge: what logically goes together and what intuitively connects. I need to know proper sentence structure, but I need to work out what words to use and where until it FEELS right. I know that back bending and forward bending are complimentary and opposite yoga poses, but it also FEELS right to move from one to the other.
To experiment with this interplay between connecting poses and connecting ideas, give yourself half an hour for this one:
1) Start with 15 minutes of really slow sun salutations. Notice how your body flows from standing forward fold to lunge to plank. PAY MOST ATTENTION TO THE MOMENTS IN BETWEEN THE POSES, the transitions from one to the other that create links. Notice how your body intuitively adjusts and helps you get there.
2) After your yoga practice, PICK UP AN OLD OR FRUSTRATING PROJECT THAT YOU HAVE PUT ASIDE. How can you look at these concepts rough ideas and forge new connections?
CAN YOU BREATH LIFE INTO IT AND GET IT FLOWING AGAIN?