in depth


Off the Mat, On the Page

The Possibilities of Journaling

The process of writing, like the process of asanas, lets you connect with an invisible source of energy that supports your efforts. Your journal, like your yoga mat, is a tool of self-awareness you can use in your practice to help open yourself to the possibilities in your life. I have found that journaling, like yoga, helps me to find the light within that illuminates the path that I am meant to follow.

A few years ago, my yoga teacher, Rita Knorr, handed me a blank journal as a gift. “See where it will take you,” she said. You might also like to use a journal to explore the possibilities of your life. Just open it now and begin.

An empty page can sometimes be intimidating. “What should I write?” you might ask. But try to remember that writing in your journal isn’t about what you should do. It’s about discovering who you truly are, deep down, and what you want to do. It’s an exploration of you in relationship to yourself, through the journey of your yoga practice.

Use your journal the way you might use a secret box. You can place anything that you want—hopes, fears, dreams, desires—in the box. Explore your emotions or thoughts without worrying about what anyone will say. You don’t have to share what you write with anyone unless you choose to do so. Only you have the power to open the box.

To start, make a list of the things that you love about your yoga practice. Why did you start practicing? What keeps you returning to the mat? Who or what inspires you to practice?

Once you’ve made a list, turn to a blank page and write for 10 minutes about what your yoga practice helps you discover about yourself. Can you see in Mountain Pose how your sturdy resolution might help you reach for what you want? Can you use the balance you experience in Tree Pose to find the balance you might need to navigate a new job or a new relationship in your life?

Each time you open your journal, you open yourself to the possibility of discovering something you didn’t know before you began writing. What will you learn about yourself today?

Bruce Black
Writer, Editor, Teacher, Yogi
Writing Yoga with Bruce Black
Author, Writing Yoga: A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal (Rodmell Press)

Recommended: Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice by Charlotte Bell


gaelwriter commented on 03-Apr-2012 02:41 PM4 out of 5 stars

Nice article, Bruce--very thoughtful and inspirational. Much as I found your excellent book, "Writing Yoga."

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