The year has begun with me, like for many of us, with setting goals and making some changes to how I live my personal and professional life. One of the most significant changes for me that I have made is returning to regular yoga practice and lessons. Today was day one of a five day early morning intensive to get this goal and my practice hot wired into my regular routine.
My mine is refreshed from the end of year break and my body is slowly coming back into a relaxed state. I’m back into riding my bike, practicing mindfulness, and now with yoga I’ll be able to stretch the muscles and align my mind even more. This morning reminded me of a few important factors that I had forgotten in amongst the hustle of the bustle of life.
The mind is a powerful tool to get through pain. Now in the context of yoga, poses do remind us of the pain in the body. For me my tight shoulders and hamstrings scream when I move into many of the poses. But persistence and flexibility within each pose, aligned to breathing releases the tension. The mind can wander however in owning the pain, refocusing and being present, small and progressive steps allow for improvement.
This reminds me of writing.
We can put it off. Procrastination comes to mind here. Finding the flow of the writing difficult, even not knowing where to begin, or worrying about the correct words appearing on the page. Like yoga, regular practice, and establishing a regular routine with writing are key for flow, flexibility and progression to occur.
In yoga class this morning I was reminded of taking small steps with each pose. Setting my body up right, tuning into any tight muscles and supporting myself with props (such as a block or blanket) to allow for me to participate but also build my strength and skills in the pose. Like yoga, approaching writing and how one begins the process is important. Scaffolding the process is central, as to preparing for writing. I ask the questions:
What is my overall writing plan?
How do I break this down into parts that are achievable?
What is my time line?
How will I achieve this time line?
Where in the diary will I allow for this time to be placed to support action?
Is my data ready to write up? Have I analysed this?
What literature do I need to think about?
What theoretical approach am I taking?
Who is the audience?
What is my word limit?
What rewards will I give myself for meeting my time line?
How do I create mindfulness in order to achieve this writing?
I wonder, what do you do o set up your regular routines with writing?