Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. ~Author Unknown
Last night was my first time doing yoga in a month because of being sick. And man did I feel the gap between my last yoga session and this one. I was super tight and stiff while warming up. Thankfully the instructor took us through a good warm up and I loosened up, but it reminded me why it is important to practice. Obviously, being sick is a good reason to take it easy, but hopefully I will be healthy the rest of this winter and then I shall need to stick with my practice.
Yoga, like my writing, is something that I love to do, but it doesn’t always come easily to me. It takes a long time to form a life changing habit – getting to form those grooves in the neural pathways of the brain. I still haven’t recovered my writing everyday or even near everyday habit that I broke at the end of grad school. Obviously school was important to me, but I am still upset that I haven’t gotten back on the horse, so to speak. I am writing, but not every day.
I would be astounded if I could get to doing yoga every day. Right now my goal is to practice 1-2 times weekly and once I establish that routine maybe put in another session. I don’t want to jump the gun now because I am trying to re-establish the every week yoga that I’d work on in the late summer and early autumn.
It is interesting to me to see how difficult it is to form new and good habits and so damn easy for me to fall back on already established habits. It is annoying because sometimes I know these established patterns of behavior are unproductive. (I’m looking at your anxiety freak outs). But as with all things, if I want to change myself, I have to try. And so here I am going at it one week at a time with yoga and one day at a time with writing.
©K. Klein 2012
What is an intention? An intention is not a goal. A goal is something that you measure and check off when you have completed it. An intention is a conscious gesture to align your mind, heart, imagination, and body with whatever act you’re about to begin. You attach yourself to your goal’s outcomes and assess your success accordingly. You let go of an intention’s outcome and let go of notions of success altogether. Goals guide business; intentions guide soul.
~By Jeff Davis from pg. 4-5 The Journey from the Center to the Page
What am I doing yoga for? I practice yoga to calm myself. I practice yoga to sweat and unwind the knots in both my mind and my muscles. When I step on the mat I try to set an internal intention. Why am I here today? The answer usually centers on my emotional state. Often I am combating my anxiety; trying to see the world from a new perspective.
Yoga does wonderful things for allowing my brain to relax and let go. Jeff Davis brings together yoga and writing in his book, which I quoted above. I often go into writing with goals. For example, I want to finish my rewrite by October 31; I need to hit at least 75,000 words. However, I don’t think I have ever set a writing intention. I am not sure what it would be.
Reading this book has sparked the question in my mind: what do I write for? Or perhaps even: why write? The latter is easier to answer than the former. Why write: because I cannot stop. (Not for lack of trying earlier in my life). Writing allows me to be a happier person; I write to revel in the flow and the joy of writing. However, the first question, I do not know the answer too. I shall have to think and reflect on it.
Davis goes on to say:
“An intention plants a seed, a suggestion that may manifest during that writing session or may not manifest until two weeks or a year later” (p5).
At this moment, I do not know what my writing intention is or what it will be. But I certainly have some food for thought. Do you set an intention before walking on the yoga mat? Do you set an intention before a writing session?
©K. Klein 2012