Writing & Yoga: The Match of a Lifetime
In both writing and yoga, we look for the seemingly opposite. We look for openness and courage. Softness and strength. Boundaries and possibilities. We look for flexibility and rootedness, all in the same breath. It’s this willingness for wild calm, a tolerance for crazy wisdom that can transform exercise into yoga and scribbling into writing.
A writer can form the strongest paragraphs and best dialogues, but if she is not willing to touch what is most alive in herself, her writing will be lifeless. A yogi can move through a series of asana flawlessly, but without soulfulness and strength, it’s nothing more (and nothing less) than a workout. To avoid merely flopping limbs around in a Lululemon legging or creating proper sentences, the writer-yogi, the wrogi, must be willing to drop down. She or he needs to shed the aversion to sweat, earth, darkness and moist. Because it’s exactly in those swamps, the tropical rainforests in our minds and hearts where life thrives. Our life, to be precise.
Both writing and yoga can take you there. When combined, they strengthen each other. When your writing becomes dull, the pulsating sensation of a contracted butt cheek will cut through your conceptual mind. When your yoga practice switches to automatic gear, writing will provide vision. Together, they create an awareness of this one great, unimaginably short and mysterious life that can’t help but turn into gratitude.
In the first week of October, we will be doing this dropping down together at Huzur Vadisi, a beautiful retreat centre situated in the region of southwest Turkey known as Lycia. Here you can spend an entire week doing as much yoga and writing as you prefer. Beginners to both writing and yoga are perfectly welcome. Your yoga practice, twice a day, will be in the heartful guidance of Hilary Brown, who might just be the best yoga teacher in Holland -and also my teacher. I will offer guided writing practice and exercises, group exchange and meditation. In the afternoon and evenings, there is plenty time for play, relaxing, walking, reading and writing. Together we create an environment where we can drop down our bodies, our minds, our lives, each in our own way and pace.
Isn’t this a wonderful opportunity? For more information about this retreat of a lifetime, visit the website.
Hope to meet you there,
Geertje Couwenbergh is a cultural anthropologist, writer, yogi and Buddhist practitioner. She writes and teaches workshops internationally and is the creator of WROGA, a combination of writing, yoga and meditation. She is the author of three books, among which ZIN: Lust for Life Through Writing, and HARTCORE that inspire her contribution to this retreat. www.PotentialBuddha.com