Friday, March 17, 2006

What Yoga Taught Me About Writing, Part I

I'm not sure what made me take up yoga again. All I know is that in January the daily walks weren't doing it any more.

Probably didn't help that around that time, my gym shoes needed replacing, and the weather was way too cold for walking anyway, and the surgeons hadn't yet scheduled E's aneurysm clipping, which meant the offending vessel could rupture at anytime.

Nope. Probably didn't help at all.

But here's the thing. It doesn't really matter what helped or what didn't. What matters is that when late January rolled around, and the doctors finally called with a date for E's surgery, my current routine was so broken, I had to replace it. Fast.

And while I didn't know what would take its place, I couldn't afford to wait until after surgery to do something. I had to find another outlet--a healthy outlet--or risk losing myself at a time when my family needed me most.

I suppose some people would insist that the events that converged next did so by intelligent design. And maybe those people would be right.

Thanks to a chance encounter with an old friend one sunny day in January, I learned about a local health club offering free classes to prospective members. One of those classes was yoga.

Yoga, I remember thinking. I used to practice yoga. I used to bend and balance and salute the sun.

Three lifetimes ago.

Maybe that's why I was ready. Maybe one of those lifetimes--the one least broken--lifted up and asserted itself that day.

Though E's surgery was three weeks away and counting, and my body was nowhere near as light or limber as it used to be, I had to join, if only for the three-times-a-week yoga class.

Yoga did what I hoped it would do. It returned my flexibility, and increased my stamina. I survived E's surgery and recovery because of it. What I didn't expect was how it would help me with my writing.

I've yet to articulate all the hows and whys of how yoga has helped me, but I promise to do my best in coming posts. This much I know: the single greatest benefit I've gained from yoga in recent weeks is focus.

Appetite for writing: Savoring every word.

Current read: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

On deck: Valiant by Holly Black.


Kelly said...

Nice post, Kat.
I've fallen out of the exercise habit over the past 4 months. Too much work I don't want do, too much work I do, and voila! This week, though, I swear:)

Susan said...

Now those are GREAT reasons to do yoga, which I've been thinking of trying. Good post!