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Journaling + Yoga = Nirvana

Feeling up to a challenge? This one’s a potential life-changer. And there’s no better time for a rejuvenating ritual than the days leading up to the summer solstice!

21.5.800

Bindu Wiles started the 21.5.800 challenge, which is pretty simple: Do yoga 5 days a week and write 800 words every day. You can get all the details at her website. 800 words is about 4-5 pages in your journal. I’m doing this challenge, and I’d love for you to join in with me.

Just stop and think for a minute how much you could improve your life if you made space for that much self-care over the next few weeks. I’m hoping it carves a path to continue the habit infinitely, but I’ll start with 21 days for now. It’s all about microgoals.

Why Yoga and Writing?

The two daily practices reinforce one another. They both clear your mind. Making a date for daily journaling creates a reliable space to capture your dreams. What would your dreams do if they could come out to play every single day for 800 words? Yoga will then heal the stiffness that comes from sitting and writing for that length of time and get the blood flowing again. It will restore attention from your brain to your body. It’s a magical combination.

I’ve done yoga on and off for many years. I sustained a horrific back injury from a compression fracture earned while slipping on ice long ago. (I also broke my leg and dislocated my foot 180 degrees, but that has pretty much healed.) When I was in a period of acute pain, yoga was one of the activities that provided pain relief.

As with many things, when the urgency subsides, motivation often goes out with it. My last move took me away from my beloved yoga studio, and I didn’t mesh with the new studio I tried. My practice dwindled to at-home DVDs, and then to nothing. Returning to a daily yoga practice will provide me the re-connection to my body that I’m seeking.

Getting Grounded

Last night I attended my first class at Seattle Yoga Arts, and I loved it. They have a new student special with 5 classes for $25. The instructor emphasized grounding, maintaining contact with the earth, establishing a solid foundation. Over and over she reminded us to stabilize, to build our foundation.

So much of my work takes place between my ears. It’s easy to forget my body, and get totally wrapped up in my busy brain. My brain thinks it’s very important. It certainly has a bigger ego than my body, which is happy to sacrifice its well-being for the benefit of the almighty Thought Process.

I remembered last night how powerful it is to feel grounded. How important it is to work on the foundation. The image in my mind is one of a windswept field, maddening gusts threatening to fling me from the earth. But I am tied to a flag pole, grounded. No matter how hard the wind blows, my foundation is secure.

I would like to create that stability and foundation while walking through the world. Care to join me?

4 comments

  1. I love this. And the windswept field/flagpole… it reminds me of something my acupuncturist told Brent and I when it comes to the turgid goings-on of emotions. He said to picture the mind like the ocean, with all of its turbulence, etc. If you are in the middle of the ocean, you are bobbing around with all of the chaos of the mind. If you can take a break and step onto the shore (of our awareness beyond mind and emotion) for a moment and practice that, you can find peace, even within the chaotic moments. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and it’s been an awesome tool. XO

  2. What a great image – stepping onto the shore. I find even a few minutes of being able to do that throughout the day rejuvenates me and makes me ready to take on what’s next. I was thinking of you last night when I was talking about Yoga because I remember when you were trying to get me to do it and I was like, “I really hate that it’s called YOGA! Couldn’t it have a different name?!”

  3. Hahaa!! Oh yeah!

    I like this woman’s 21-5-800 commitment. I’m definitely going to attempt it. Cheers to you for diving into it and sharing it!

  4. I joined late last night after running across it on another blog. It’s right on time for what I need now. Today was day one for me! My mind has the same tendencies and my body suffers for it. I’m looking for that grounding – being untethered feels like being buffeted around in a storm.