This salutation is often heard at the end of yoga class. We bow to show respect for our fellow yogis and the practice itself. We share the divine light illuminating from our heart chakra, anhata, with one another as we place our hands in front of our third eye. This sharing of divine love is not so different from the act of putting pen to paper or finger to keys. We practice yoga to understand our potential to connect with ourselves, others, and divine universal truths. We write to do the same.
Yoga teaches us the value of practicing regularly. It is a physical manifestation of our ability to grow, adjust, and refine our ability to connect with our spirit, mind, and body. Writing is no different. The more space we create for ourselves to write, the stronger our writing becomes.
Last weekend, I attended a Yoga & Watercolor workshop hosted by Yoga & Hops at 8th Wonder Brewery in Houston, TX. Nicole Peralta of Instagram @artyogaplay led us through an hour-long flow. Afterward, she illustrated watercolor techniques and explained how the meditative state she reaches as a yogi is similar to the one she experiences while painting.
Watercolor is not something I personally practice, but the experience of transitioning from a group yoga practice to an artistic endeavor gave me more time for self-reflection. Often when we practice yoga, we hope to connect with our third eye chakra, ajna. “The third eye chakra acts as our direct connection to higher consciousness, ushering in amazing, soul-fulfilling jolts of creative inspiration. Think of it as the space where self-awareness, imagination and intuitive guidance meet, enabling us to focus and create something in alignment with the truth of who we are at our core” (Creative Katrina).
Aside from the third eye, your sacral chakra, svadhisthana, is truly the place where creativity (and sexuality, go figure) manifests. When you are in sync with your sacral chakra, your creative energy flows freely. There are many meditations and yoga videos on youtube to awaken your sacral chakra, so if you have never attempted to do yoga or meditate before writing, I highly suggest trying one out before your next writing session.
By first practicing yoga or meditation to connect with our chakras, we awaken our creative spirit, which is an empowering experience. Yoga, like writing, forces us to be self-reliant. No one else can balance your body in a handstand, just like no one else can write the same line of poetry as you. As we move through poses, we are growing as yogis. As we write sentences, each one we craft illustrates our ability to express ourselves. When we tap in to this creative, elusive energy, we are able to have truly transformative experiences.
One of my favorite yogis, Rachel Brathen, constantly shares her personal struggles and growth on her instagram @yoga_girl. I am currently reading her publication Yoga Girl; the book is a combination of memoir and self-help where she shares her journey to create a boho lifestyle in Aruba. I’ve found that much of her writing resonates with me, but this particular selection truly spoke to me:
“With time, you’ll notice changes within the body, the mind, and the breath. Yoga makes us strong but flexible. Yoga creates space where we once were stuck. Yoga cultivates a quiet mind and inspires concentration. Yoga allows the breath to grow deeper. Yoga is a space where, with practice, we can become more present in our day. And the deeper we go in our practice, the more natural it will be to take the yoga off the mat and into the rest of our lives (Yoga Girl, 8.)”
Yoga and writing are both practices that help us uncover truths about ourselves and the world around us. Both make us dig deeper and free us. By marrying these two practices, we are able to channel creative energy and share truth with the world around us.
The light in me honors the light in you.