Oct 6, 2017

The Problem with Yoga

Don’t get me wrong - I love yoga.  It is my absolute bliss.  I want to be one of those ninety-year-olds who can downward dog like a teenager.
Because I’ve always been more of a stretchy bendy girl than a runny jumpy girl and add the quiet, the strength, the ability to give my mind a much-needed time out and it is necessary to my life.

I’ve also been doing it so long now, that it actually works. And thank goodness.
Outside of yoga my mind is a constant crazy scribble.  A jumbled mess of appointments, memories, things I should have remember but know I’ve forgotten, current books ideas, new book ideas, kids stuff and so on.

Until the moment I step into a yoga studio and for a good hour and a half all that simply goes away.  My mind goes quiet.  My breathe evens.  And I am truly in the now.

Thoughts do happen.  And that’s okay!  Normal even.  One simply learns to accept the thought then let it go.  I like to watch mine float across my mind and out of sight like clouds on a windy day.

Now, here’s the problem.  What happens when the thought that I am meant to watch blow away is a pertinent plot idea for a book?!?!? 

I had that very problem last night.  There I was, lying with my legs up a wall as I began to wind down.  My brain filled with blissful oxygen.  My muscles all warm and tingly.  Getting my yoga on.

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Then BAM!  Idea.  And not just any idea, but A Very Important Idea That Will Tie My Entire Book Together.

It was the most truly odd sensation. (In the moment I likened it to drowning, drama queen that I am.)  My mind all floaty and soft, my instincts fought for all they were worth.

Instead of choosing a gentling mantra (inner peace, patience, good health etc) I was secretly chanting the bones of my idea (“Prime Minister, University Grant, Old Lecturer”) in my head, hoping all the while my yoga instructor couldn’t tell that I was totally cheating.  It was very stressful!

The moment Namaste left my mouth I ran to my phone, frantically typing down those notes, breathing a sigh of relief when done.  Phew.  Crisis averted.   

I think I need another yoga class just to get over the last one!
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Have you ever tried yoga (if not, you really should!)  Or is running more your bag?  What about Pilates?  Soccer?  Underwater wrestling?  Rescuing wine from a bottle? What’s your favourite way to decompress?


  1. Hi Ally

    I love the thought of yoga but have never tried it and seeing as how my knees don't work that well anymore it is highly unlikely that I will sadly, in my younger days I used to ices-skate these days when my body lets me I like to walk and think or walk and listen to books and I do that when I can.

    Have Fun


  2. Ally, that was what any writer would do!

    I'm a pilates girl myself. Twice a week. Hard work but I always feel better after it. And walking. Nothing quite like that to unwind.

  3. I've done some yoga classes on and off over the years and have always enjoyed them - so bloody chilled at the end of every class! I'd love to get into it regularly.
    Sadly my decompressing is much more sednetary - book, TV, some vino with friends....

  4. I love yoga, Ally, but unfortunately there isn't a class anywhere near. I used to drive into Picton for yoga but that stopped and now I'm back to walking which is my go to place when I need to plot solve.

  5. I love, love, love my yoga class, Ally. And you're so right -- for 90 mins your mind is mostly focussed on the moment...except for those precious plot problem break throughs (where getting the ideas down asap is mandatory in my opinion). Walks on the beach and an evening glass of vino are nice de-stressors too. :-)

  6. I'm another who loves the idea of yoga and if there was a class nearby I'd definitely be there. Like Amy, I'm a sedentary destressor. Walking can work, but more often it induces me to think. Which leads to overthinking. Which leads to more stress. To de-stress I need to get out of my own head, and watching TC or reading or listening to an audiobook does that for me.

  7. I'm hopeless at yoga but we are currently staying at a resort that offers a free morning class overlooking the sea so I've done it twice. I'm still trying to get used to it as I'm more a running, jumping girl.

    And I hate it when you lose an idea. That happens to me at night - I think - I'll remember that in the morning and I never do!

  8. Great post, Ally! I've done a little yoga here and there, and I quite like it although I am horribly inflexible which makes it frustrating. So I prefer practising on my own :)