Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Writing Begins with Yoga

I wake at dawn as soft light penetrates through the window blinds mere feet from my bed. Though the idea of staying cozy beneath the sheets is tempting my bladder and my brain have other ideas. The bladder, well that needs no explanation. When she calls I must answer and once I'm up my brain kicks in and going back to sleep is a lost and foggy idea.

As I brush my teeth and wash sandy sleep from my eyes, ideas begin to tumble along neural pathways and lodge themselves in wormy gray matter. Even if I'm sleepy, and crawling back into bed with my snoring husband is inviting, I push myself to my writing room. These precious silent minutes alone are perfect for a writer. What chances I get once my husband is awake will have to be carved out of the daily grind, or other adventures we take in our new home in Southern California. There is so much to explore and of course shopping, laundry and cleaning are additional critters pushing away delicate hours I could spend constructing poems or revising the new short stories mounting up in my notebook. Then there is the novel outline I've been sculpting for too long.

So I go to my room and gently close the white door, effectively blocking out the rest of my life. I walk to the window and as gray light turns golden I begin to stretch. I have found that yoga is a way to center myself before I get to my desk. It revs up the pathways in my brain and lets my muscles know they better wake up.

After stretching each muscle group and opening up my chest and hips with delicate asanas and deep breathing I go into sun salutation, a nice flow of yoga poses that both calm and alert my mind and body.

Now I am ready to sit at my desk, awake and focused. I begin with morning pages as per Julia Cameron and "The Artists' Way." This not only lets me vent any concerns and get the minutiae out onto the page, it also helps me focus my writing goals for the day, week, month, year. Now I know where I am headed and I have a trail of deadlines to follow to get to the end. Morning pages also allow me to write about my diet and fitness goals. You can't sit in a chair all day and not get up and move. I have to have a plan to keep my body healthy and strong so I can accomplish all these writing projects.

Beginning the day with yoga helps bring focus and flexibility to my body and to my writing.

I will add some candlelight and watch the pages and stories mount up as the light gentle flickers and scents the room with vanilla.