I like to write. I like yoga. Mix and mash and see what happens, right? Sort of. I have a lot of ideas for this blog. Two full pages of quasi-titles in my notebook that suggest stellar subject matter, ripe for the delving–and I believe it, too. In fact, I couldn’t be more excited to explore in this fashion, in these disciplines, on this very blog.
So, what’s the catch? Writing about yoga isn’t doing yoga, and writing about writing isn’t writing (per se).
These are complicated issues to address, yet I feel driven to face them. Specifically, because of time. I, and we as culture, have so little time. The weight of responsibility to work, family, education, and other commitments, plus the pressure we all experience between our real-world schedules and the maintenance of digital and online media, becomes this incredible piston-like downstroke, compressing time. Personally, I have two jobs, two ongoing freelance contracts, I’m a part-time student, I have two families (divorced parents), a boyfriend (who also has two families), and two beloved cats. I offer my sincere respect to any moms reading this, invariably shaking their heads (“she’s stressed? psshhh…”). If I’m barely able to put on my socks, why the heck am I blogging about yoga? More importantly, why should anyone read my blog about yoga?
I have a few ideas. First, inspiration. I don’t expect to inspire anyone because I have special powers; I hope to inspire because I don’t. I overbook myself constantly, I’m occasionally late on deadlines, I don’t practice yoga every single day, and I still can’t hold a handstand for more than three seconds. I cry in the car between jobs sometimes, I don’t make as much money or write as often as I would like, and I feel splintered in one hundred directions about what course of action will guide me towards a better future. If I can train to become a yoga teacher, and find few a morsels worth sharing about it, so could anyone willing to put in the effort. Seriously, you might have it way more together than I do!
Secondly, what yoga teaches us isn’t entirely physical. For the first few years of my practice, I noticed how different Yoga Class Rachel was from Rachel in Life. By contrast, Yoga Class Rachel can fall over, flat out, and recover emotionally in ten minutes, while Rachel in Life can barely recover in five days from a questionable choice of words. Yoga Class Rachel is patient, compassionate, and dare I say, joyful? I often wondered how to integrate the two personalities. It wasn’t until I started journaling about my experiences in yoga and meditation that they began to cross over into my everyday life and mental landscape. For me, journaling made those insights internally accessible; yoga wasn’t happening to me, I was participating in yoga, and I could take its ideas with me when I left class. Sharing these lessons feels like a natural evolution of this process.
Lastly, both yoga and writing happen individually, but there’s an undeniable magic about collaboration. In yoga, the collective energy is palpable, breath filling the room like an electric charge. With writing, the process of workshopping or bouncing pieces back and forth with a group or even one other person can be transformative. The internet is certainly no substitute for here-and-now people, but it doesn’t have to be a binary, either. Creating a positive web presence isn’t mutually exclusive from real relationships, and it’s unrealistic in our age to separate from the billions of people online.
Yoga on the internet will continue, along with yoga on the mat, and writing on paper and digital page. Crisis averted.