Yoga and Poetry with Lindsey O’Neill
We first met writer and yoga teacher Lindsey O’Neill when she subbed a yoga class we were in, and we’ve been seeking out her classes ever since. (Find her at Exhale and Beacon Hill Yoga.) She is a thoughtful and nurturing teacher, as well as a talented poet. Lindsey is leading a yoga and poetry workshop in October — below she shares the details and some tips for tapping into your creativity this fall.
Both yoga and writing are a practice, a salve and an exploration. A way to connect us more deeply to ourselves, make sense of our human experiences and, in sharing our own voice and journey, connect us more directly to others by way of our shared humanity.
Our life experiences are part of our visceral fabric, so our creative self-expression is already part of who we are. In connecting to our bodies, we are able to feel our way through this inner creative landscape, using embodied intuition to discover what wants to be expressed. The breath can keep us rooted in the present. Our inner knowing and intuition can connect us to our Muse, and support us in letting him or her lead.
It’s also a mercurial lesson I have learned over and over again: that the better care we take of our bodies, the more easily our writing, creativity, and life can flow.
My own process began as yoga followed by 2o-30 minutes of free-writing, which felt like a form of poetry, starting from an embodied place of feeling centered, and writing from a place of curiosity and exploration. This allows us to use the “Self as Witness” muscle (as I call it), that observational larger Self that yoga and mindfulness practices help us discover. From this place, we can begin to see all of our human experiences — sacred, mundane, and even profane — as honorable and sacred, and not have to confine or deny any of our emotions or expression of them. I think yoga and creative self-expression can both be containers and vehicles for developing and exploring this with freedom while we give BodySoul a voice.
We can connect to, and deepen our appreciation of our own humanity as we move on the mat and the page, and then carry that understanding with us as we move through a world that is both beautiful and, at times, overwhelming.
Both yoga and writing can create the space for us to slow down, connect in, navigate change (especially as we transition now from summer into fall), and support us in honoring the way that the body is a repository for emotion and experience. Mindful movement and creative self-expression can be vehicles for transformation, and allow us to embrace a sense of wholeness, fullness, and sensuality by embracing all of who we are. And that itself feels really beautiful.
Here are a few ideas for tapping into your own innate creativity this fall:
1) Set an intention to notice as many sensory experiences as you can when you step out of the house each morning. Let the body notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. This walking meditation practice can allow you to stay connected inward alongside a busy, bustling city.
2) Begin a short journaling practice. Set aside 10-20 minutes a few mornings or evenings a week to free-write without censoring. Try to incorporate in as many senses as possible. Another way to work with this is to allow the words to choose you. Pull a few random pages out of a magazine and circle words that jump out at you. Compile them together to create a poem.
3) Begin and end your day with one thing you are grateful for. Take a few breaths with your eyes closed to breathe in the sense of expansion that you experience as gratitude. Allow this to become part of your daily self-care practice.
4) Outwardly express. Take time to schedule a manicure or pedicure and choose a color that will fill you with that same sense of expansion, beauty, & joy each time you notice it throughout the day. A nice reminder of the way lovely little things & self-connection can also open us into a sense of being connected to something larger.
YOGA & POETRY WORKSHOP THIS OCTOBER
Come explore how yoga & poetry can be part of your creative wellness practice in our Yoga&Poetry workshop on Sunday, October 16 from 1:30-3:30pm at Beacon Hill Yoga. We’ll write, create, connect & experience the way our own unique creative voice is our poetry. This could be a great way to jumpstart your personal creative practice this fall.
FOR MORE INFO & TO REGISTER:
Thanks for sharing, Lindsey! Find out more about Lindsey here.
Image Credit: Lindsey O’Neill