Yoga and writing, two of my very favorite activities. This popular class takes places annually at The Ranch. It was taught in our beautiful Oaktree Pavilion by longtime Ranch yoga instructor, Phyllis Pilgram, and writer, Irene Borger.
We started off with yoga stretches taught by Phyllis to loosen us up, and to help us reach a state of flow in our minds to prepare for writing. After stretching for about 30 minutes, we took our places on comfy floor chairs, settled in, and got ready for writing.
It was a beautiful setting to write in. The late afternoon sunlight streamed through the large windows of the pavilion and bounced off the wooden beams, lighting the entire room perfectly. Even though it was a bit chilly outside, we were warm from our yoga stretches and had the option of covering ourselves with cozy woven Mexican blankets.
We started the writing portion by writing one word that described what we needed within the next hour of the class. Mine was “peace”. Then Irene had us write one sentence on each of the following topics:
- Something you’ve been wanting to write about.
- A moment you could never forget.
- Something from your life you want to remember.
- A moment that should not be forgotten.
Next we had ten minutes of silence to write more fully about one of these topics. But to start off the ten minutes, first we took our chosen topic/sentence and created a mind map. The purpose of a mind map is to take one idea and expand on it in the form of clusters.
Something Irene said that stuck with me is that when you are writing, you need to loosen up, and then focus in. Don’t worry about the state of your writing. Get the ideas on paper and edit them later.
As we formed our clusters, we were asked to try to relate them back to the original word that we needed to feel during class. Remember, mine was “peace”. This was a great exercise to bridge these two seemingly different topics, which helped me write more expansively during the ten minutes.
We kept our pens to the paper for the entire ten minutes of free writing. It reminded me of journal writing. My mind went to places I didn’t expect, but I just followed my thoughts with my pen. I didn’t judge, I just let it flow.
Afterwards I was amazed at how interconnected my writing was within my two topics. I was also surprised at how much my writing reflected my mind map clusters.
I loved the idea of connecting writing with yoga. They are very similar in ways I hadn’t thought of before. It’s really about clearing your mind and letting your inner consciousness flow. I’m excited to take what I learned during class into my daily life!