Mental Yoga for Writers

I have recently been to Billabong Retreat and attended an inspiring workshop on the philosophy behind the Yoga Practice. They are called the Yamas and Niyamas and I realised that they can actually be applied to anything, broad or specific. 

I’m thinking of them for me as a writer…

Yamas

Ahimsa (non-harming) 

I vow to be kind to myself and others, and my characters, even when the evil or misguided ones, I understand their path. I enjoy the journey and do not pressure myself, remembering that pressure is different from commitment.

Satya (truthfulness) 

Honesty in thoughts, words and actions is always in my mind. I accept each of my days’ reality and surrender to my limits. I am authentic in my expression. Before talking I ask myself: Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary? Does it improve on Silence?

Asteya (non-stealing) 

I respect possessions, time and energy; mine and others. I do not invade space or ideas, I don’t rob people of their peace or fulfilment. I don’t rob myself of the present time. I am present, I live the journey.

Aparigraha (Non-attachment/non-possessiveness) 

I am enough, I have enough, I do enough, I let all forms of energy draining thoughts go. I appreciate what I have, what I am. I let go of outcomes and expectations. And I remember that rejection is divine protection.

Brahmacharya (maintenance of vitality/previously seen as chastity) 

I listen to my boundaries and desires, and preserve and respect mine and others’ energies.

Yoga Practices for the Niyamas

Tapas (purification through discipline) 

I am disciplined and “I am stronger than myself” (Clarice Lispector).

Santosha (contentment)

I am incredibly grateful and peaceful.

Saucha (purity)

I organise my writing space, I observe cleanliness of mind, body, energy and surroundings.

Svadhyaya (self-study)

I understand, observe, respect upon and develop my writing.

Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to a higher power)

I surrender and trust my creativity and the inspiration that comes from outside of me.

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