In a yin and reflective writing workshop, everyone is on a personal, inward journey. The focus is on insights, not performance, which is why no yoga or writing experience is necessary—just a spirit of playful exploration.
The process is simple. We hold a gentle yin yoga pose, either reclining or seated, for five minutes, and then come out slowly. We reflect briefly, and do a timed writing of 5-10 minutes to capture our experiences. We’re like scientists conducting experiments and recording the results.
Combining poses and writing helps deepen your yoga practice. In butterfly, or sleeping swan, you learn about the powerful symbols you embody in yoga, about what they elicit in you. You catch in words those intuitive, quicksilver insights that usually vanish.
Using yoga poses as a jumping-off point helps you write from the body, enabling self-discovery and advancing creative work. The body-centred approach helps you bypass self-doubt and resistance, and relax creatively. I’ve been using these complementary practices for 30+ years now—to enlarge my understanding of yoga, for self-exploration, and as part of my writing practice—which spans journalism, creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry.
Even now, I continue to experience surprising benefits from this blend of yin yoga and reflective writing. Ultimately, the result is like the taste of honey—sublime, and also really difficult to explain unless you’ve sampled it yourself! For your amusement (I hope), here’s a poem that emerged from one of my yin & reflective writing explorations, entitled “Meditation on Stress.”
Kirsteen is a long-time yoga teacher and writer, and author of The Animal Game (2016). Due to popular demand, she’s offering a third Yin & Reflective Writing workshop on March 18, 2018 at Janati. Join her to relax, explore yoga, and feed your creative flame.