I love journaling and I love yoga. So when my niece Sandy, a yoga instructor, asked me to participate in a trial yoga and journaling class for her upcoming studio workshop, I was delighted to do so. I have been doing yoga for over ten years and many instructors have incorporated creative ideas along with this practice but journaling was never one of them – although it makes perfect sense to combine the two.
Many times in my yoga class the instructor would say a profound statement or I myself received an inner message, a revelation which I wanted to jot down. I would remind myself to take note of these things at home, only to get too preoccupied. I’d leave the yoga studio, pick up my children from the daycare center, and arrive home to a list of unfinished household chores. By nighttime, whatever I wanted to write left my mind and like a bird flew into the sky.
When Sandy led this yoga and journaling class Tuesday afternoon, I enjoyed the moments in between the meditations and yoga movements where we had the opportunity to look within and write about certain experiences. It was a lovely, meaningful and deep way to start the day, with its positive energy spilling over into the evening and night.
As I write this, I recall an interview with Billy Hayes, who wrote a book about his life in a Turkish prison, Midnight Express. The story was later made into an award winning film by Oliver Stone. Hayes says that yoga saved his life in jail.
“Stress kills,” Hayes said in the interview. “Yoga keeps me healthy, helps me chill. Emotionally, it keeps me balanced. It saved me in jail. In prison, you have no control over anything except you; you still have yourself, your own body, so yoga gives you back that control that the prison takes away.”
Today Hayes works with James Fox on the Prison Yoga Project.
Writing has had a similar healing, growing and thriving effect on people.
“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.” Michael Leboeuf
Imagine the power of combining these two activities into our regular routine.
For more information about this workshop, visit www.sandynaimou.com