A few days ago, I had an amazing experience leading a workshop on Yoga and Journal Writing at the very first San Diego Yoga Festival. My intention in doing this was to help others yoke the practice of journaling and yoga.
Why? What’s the purpose of bringing your journal onto your yoga mat?
Self study. Being inquisitive about ourselves in a non-judgmental, non-critical way is part of our growth process. The self-discovery process is about peeling back the layers to reveal who we truly are, what our purpose is, what we want to become.
Finding our inner voice. The voice of our inner teacher, intuition, wants to be heard. When we open up and develop our intuition, we become more clear. We begin to trust our instincts and become more connected.
Connecting with Spirituality. As we connect with ourselves more deeply, we connect back to something greater than ourselves; God, The Universe, Mother Earth.
The yoga practice opens us up. We are challenged and stretched physically, mentally and emotionally. When we’re on our mats, we bring all of our baggage, patterns and conditioning with us. Our practice is a reflection of how we live our lives. Bringing our journal with us to our practice gives us a space to explore our inner worlds. It’s a place to reflect on our experiences. With the awareness that our yoga and journaling practice brings us, we begin to notice more. With awareness, comes insight. Through insight comes a shift. What do we want to shift? Are there any stuck ways of thinking and being that we want to shift out of?
Self-inquiry is at the heart of the yoga and journaling practice. It’s about asking yourself those deep soul questions. This is one of the prompts that I shared with the yogis at my recent workshop.
When I’m truly present, I feel _____________ (fill in the blank).
What do I miss out on when I’m not fully present or self-aware?
When you begin to write your answers to these questions, remind yourself to let go of judgement and criticism. Practice kindness and compassion.
Try out this simple way to get started with your yoga and journaling practice.
Come to your yoga mat and take a few deep breaths.
Open up to a blank page. Ask yourself, your higher self, your true self the following questions:
What brings me to my mat today? What is my intention for today’s practice? Where do I want to direct my attention and energy? What expectations have I brought onto my mat with me today? Do these expectations serve me? Can I set them aside for this practice?
Begin to take small steps like these to go deeper inward and find a deeper connection with yourself. Practice self-care and self-love on and off your mat. Remind yourself to have love and compassion for yourself and others. Remember that we are all a work in progress.
Stay tuned for more Yoga and Journaling Workshops.