If The Yoga Doesn't Kill Me, the Writing WillDecember 14, 2009
I think there's a real connection between yoga and writing for me. Yes, I love them both, but more than that, I love having done them.
Sure, yoga is amazing. In the middle of a pose, I get it. I feel exactly right. I'm flying. Everything feels fixed and good and strong.
But then other times, I'm upside-down in plow position, looking at my belly which is falling down toward me in an alarming direction, struggling to breathe, thinking I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE IT, I THINK I WILL DIE NOW.
And writing is the same. I sit at my desk and every once in a while, I fly. The words flow and I look up and an hour has gone by, and the words I've written are brilliant, every single one a sparkling gem.
But really, most often it goes like this: Peck, peck, peck. CAN I LOOK AT TWITTER YET? Rearrange this, would he really say that? Are you serious, I wrote that? HEAD TO DESK. Start over with that. Move that to there. Oh, that's nice. I like that bit quite a lot. Nice job, you. You can have some more coffee, then. Yes, Twitter now.
The great thing, though, is being done. The wonderful thing is walking the dogs after having written for four hours. The best thing is a nap after yoga.
You know what I would like, though? This: I have found that yoga is the one thing during which I can't think of anything else. It has a lot to do with my wonderful teacher, Alice Joanou at Loka Yoga in Oakland, who I think might be trying to kill us all (in a good way), but when I'm practicing with her, I can't do anything else but listen to my breath and my body. My brain shuts up for 90 minutes. Okay, for 80 minutes, because there are some quiet minutes during which we're just breathing, and my brain tries to chatter, and I try to shut it up and breathe. But for those other 80, that yoga-motion is the best method for quieting the monkey-mind I've ever found.
Oh, my point: I would like if someday I could move this practice to my writing. If I could sit down at my desk to write and find that kind of focus and energy and bring it there, also. The two FEEL so linked that I can imagine it's possible.
I'm gonna keep trying anyway.
* Your reward for sitting through this rather New-Age-y post is an even stranger question: Has anyone ever had this happen to them? Twice now, in yoga, at the very beginning, during the breathing portion, where we're just sitting and breathing, I've had it happen that when my eyes are closed, I'm completely convinced that my head is turned to the right, looking over my right shoulder. It happened again today. I open my eyes and confirm I'm still sitting with my head straight forward. As soon as I close them, my center of balance says that my head is looking over my shoulder. It's devastating to my balance and very confusing. It goes away quickly, and the rest of my class is normal. Anyone? I asked Alice and she'd never heard of anything like it.
** Edited to add: Caroline pointed out that this is called proprioception. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it says this: "Proprioception is occasionally impaired spontaneously, especially when one is tired. One's body may appear too large or too small, or parts of the body may appear distorted in size. Similar effects can sometimes occur during epilepsy or migraine auras." Well, heck! I'm on seizure medication for my migraines, and I've never had this happen before I went on this stuff. I kinda thought it might be a side effect of the Topomax, but that makes me think that's what it is for sure. Either that or there's something behind me.