Keeping creativity nurtured and healthy can be a challenge for writers. The demands of deadlines, family and the day-to-day details of life can make it tough to come up with new and fresh ideas. Most writers who’ve been in the business a few years have learned ways to nurture and care for their muse. For some it’s reading, for others it’s gardening or sewing and for still others it’s painting. If my muse is a little too silent, I either head into the kitchen or I unroll my yoga mat. Both cooking and yoga are calming and they clear my head like nothing else.
I discovered yoga sometime around the deadline of book five or six. The demands of sitting at the computer for long hours were taking a toll on my back and sleepless nights were becoming the norm. I’d heard a few good things about yoga and decided I had nothing to lose.
Thinking back to my first yoga class makes me smile. My back, neck and hips were so tight I could barely sit comfortably on the mat. Child’s pose was uncomfortable. And mediation…well lets just say there was no quiet reflection happening. To Do Lists and worries cluttered my mind and I found myself impatient with the silence.
But I’m stubborn (not very Yoga of me) and I stuck with my practice. Now seven years later, I practice five days a week. I cannot only sit comfortably on the floor, but have become pretty good at headstands. I now love the silence of the class, and have found that “clearing the clutter” from my mind during meditation has been a gift to my creativity.
In honor of Yoga Day USA on January 24, I encourage everyone to try a couple of simple poses. Just give yourself a couple of minutes. Turn off the phone and computer, push away from the desk and take ten, slow deep breaths. If you’ve got more time to spare, shrug your shoulders, curl and uncurl your fingers and turn your head gently from side to side. And if you can find time for a full class, all the better!