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Into the Light: Yoga and Creative Writing Retreat

Writing.ie | Magazine | News for Writers | The Big Idea
Into the Light

Sit back, relax and now… write!

Sounds crazy, right? Surely we produce our best work when we are pent up with frustration, anger or passion. We manage to squeeze more out of our tired brain when it is overstressed and overworked. Pushed into a corner we feel compelled to write, given all the time in the world we become silent and stagnated, not The Shining author we aspire to be: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

Well be prepared to have your illusions shattered.

Although it cannot be denied that pressure does make us act in ways we would otherwise habitually not, these bursts of creativity are short-lived and we are prone to burning out very quickly. They cannot be replicated with ease and place a huge amount of stress on our mind, which can ultimately hamper our creativity and predisposition to writing at all.

There are secrets to unleashing the creative flower in you, to nurture it and help it grow as a positive influence in your life. By relaxing and being open we are more at one with our thoughts. The stillness affords us clarity. With greater clarity we can achieve our goals with greater conviction and speed. Many successful writers incorporate the practice of yoga into their daily routine. The balance they find through the grounding and mindful exercises help to unblock their flow of thought and creativity.

We can worry ourselves into a stupor with such fretful anxieties about meeting deadlines, writing the perfect opening line, finding the most original storyline that has never been explored before…. and all these pressures that we place upon ourselves have the opposite effect. They hamper our process. Mindful stretching and focussing through yoga, such as vinyasa, hatha or nidra, can open up our minds. We gain a sense of self-control and serenity.

This ubiquitous calm does not render you incapable of producing innovative and interesting work, quite the opposite, it helps you tap into some of your unused resources, it helps you to see those great ideas with greater clarity.

Finding an equilibrium in your life as a writer, whether you juggle a full-time job, parenting and professional belly dancing, will help you produce some of your greatest work without the fear of being burnt out, without the risk of you ending up hating your work and being overridden with anxiety.

It sounds so easy and simple, does it not? Take 20 minutes out of your day to repose your mind through a few breathing and stretching techniques and suddenly you will find success. It is not a secret, so why don’t you try it? You will hone your skills as a writer and give freedom to your creativity. The only risk factor involved is that you may become addicted to yoga.

If you want to try out the magic of this simple formula there are many retreats on offer all around the world, but one very near to home is being hosted by Aurora Writers Retreats organised by author Noelle Harrison and yoga teacher Vanessa Rigby: “Into the Light Imbolc Yoga & Creative Writing Urban Retreat” on Saturday the 3rd of February in Edinburgh. (www.aurorawritersretreats.com)

Yoga in itself is a valuable form of self-realisation. Through specific breathing and physical exercises we are able to cleanse our minds. This cleansing and detoxification of the body and mind prepares us to be more receptive. When we are in tune with all that surrounds us, we are able to absorb more influences and take greater stock of what is around us. This enhances our ability to describe and the intensity of what we experience. Yoga takes us beyond the superficial, in much the same way as meditation deepens our awareness, of the universe and ourselves; we imbibe all the sources of inspiration around us. We then channel this power into our creative work as writers, transcending the barriers created by our worries, fears and anxieties results in a more intense version of our lives.

It is a known fact that traditional yoga is very much about control as well. So you may worry that because you cannot stand like a mighty oak on one leg for half an hour you will not be able to share in the magic of this power and therefore fail as a writer. This is simply not the case, many types of yoga, such as hatha yoga, focus on the breath using it to move the body. Your breath becomes the fuel. Through controlled breathing you can clear your mind and find stillness in your soul. After all, you do not need to be able to fold your legs behind your head to pick up a pen.

Yoga will detoxify, cleanse, re-energise and enlighten your mind. With this clarity your technique will become more disciplined and you will not fear the blank page ever again. Through greater discipline and more practice you will gain confidence. As your confidence grows, so will your work.

Take just a little time out to add this invaluable technique to your routine. You would not say no to fewer aches and pains in your body, an improved posture, becoming more observant, experiencing a higher state of consciousness, gaining mental discipline instead of having your thoughts bombard around your mind like an explosion of colliding meteorites.

Try it. Find your peace. Release your latent potential.

(c) Angelina Drake

Into the Light: Yoga and Creative Writing Retreat with Spa

Saturday 3rd February 2018, 10am-4pm, Edinburgh

Guided by Yoga teacher Vanessa Rigby and author Noelle Harrison, open up your creativity through the balancing practice of yoga and stretching writing exercises.
Our very special Imbolc Yoga & Creative Writing one-day retreat marks the transition between the darkness of winter and the budding of spring. Located at David Lloyd Gym in Newhaven in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, our urban retreat includes time for relaxation in their Celsius Spa with its hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room.
Price: £80 (10% discount for David Lloyd Members)
4 student places at £50 allocated on first come basis!
Any questions? Email: noelle.harrison5@gmail.com / Tel: 07391031652
Numbers are limited so book early to avoid disappointment!



  • A writers' retreat space, in an old world cottage, overlooking Lough Derg in North Tipperary -
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