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February 22 , 2011

Writing Yoga

A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal


Writer and editor Bruce Black began studying yoga five years ago, after his knees could no longer stand the stress of running. Shortly after taking his first class, he started keeping a journal to explore his experiences on the mat. Out of his journal and his devotion to Anusara Yoga has emerged a book that delves into the nexus of yoga, writing, and life.
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In Writing Yoga, Bruce begins by sharing tips he has learned along the way: the benefits of keeping a practice journal, how to select just the right blank book, writing at different times of day, how often, and more. He has organized the book, by theme, into ten chapters, each with guided writing exercises:

Opening Up
Moving Past Fear
Accepting Gifts
Paying Attention
Awakening to Connections
Trusting the Process
Just Sitting
Finding Your Balance
Learning to Breathe
Listening to Your Inner Voice

Part memoir, part writing guide, Bruce weaves excerpts from his own journal throughout. He reflects on practice as life: the excitement of walking into his first yoga class, apprehension about bending backwards, discomfort with body appearance, the yoga of family relationships, the exhilaration of coming into Headstand for the first time, deepening appreciation for his teachers, and waking up to the exquisite beauty of the world around him.

Bruce guides you in stepping onto your mat and picking up your journal with curiosity and commitment. He shows how your journal can become a good friend, a confidant, a tool to deepen your experience of asana and pranayama, and a mindfulness practice in itself.

Whether you keep a practice journal already or want to start one, let Bruce and Writing Yoga guide you. Maybe you'll write a sentence a day, maybe more. Perhaps you'll come to your journal only now and then. What matters: exhale and give it a try!
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