Tag Archives: writer

Yoga Break 4 Writers: Got Distracted? Refocus and Center

Did you get distracted? Hit a mental brick wall? Lost your train of thought? Ate too much Thanksgiving Turkey? No problem. Yoga’s balancing poses help you to focus, center, and be aware. When I get distracted or lose my train of thought, I do Tree Pose. It takes a lot of focus and concentration to complete Tree Pose, so after you’ve gotten in the pose, use that focus to finish writing.

You can use the desk to balance you, if necessary. Tree Pose is good for refocusing and centering your mind. When you are writing/working, there are often distractions or your mind might start to wander. Just stand up and do Tree Pose, making sure that you tailbone is tucked in, your shoulders are down & back, your abdominal muscles are engaged, and your gaze is focused on a non-moving object.

Stand up straight in proper posture, which means that all parts of your body are engaged. You are the trunk of the tree, strong and powerful. Tucking your tailbone in, tightening your buttocks, pressing your shoulders down and back, and raising your knees helps you to balance better. You can place your foot at your ankle, below your knee on your shin, or above your knee on your thigh. Just do not place your foot on your knee. After you get your foot positioned, turn your knee outward, which means that your inner thigh is turned straight ahead and your knee is pointing to the side. Lift your neck and head.

Concentrate, inhale through your nose, and bring your palms together in prayer position at heart level. Balance. When you feel balanced, you can raise your palms above your head. You can stop here or you can keep going and widen your arms above your head. Now, you are the tree branches and leaves, soaring, steady, and strong. As you inhale, imagine yourself breathing in light, energy, positivity, and power.

When you are ready to exit Tree Pose, bring your hands into prayer position, exhale, and bring your hands down to prayer position at heart level. As you exhale, expel all toxins, frustrations, mental blocks, and self-deprecating thoughts. Place your foot back on the floor, and raise the other leg.

Namaste and Happy Writing,
Trina

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. The Leisure Living Blog, its contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.

© 2009 KaTrina Love
www.leisurelivingblog.com

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Yoga Break 4 Writers: Give Your Neck a Break

Leaning towards the computer screen, consistently looking down as we type on a laptop, and tensing up as we type can all cause neck pain. Here are some poses we can do right at our desk, frequently during the hour to keep our necks limber and reduce neck strain.

Deep, Calming Breathing

Still your mind and think only about your breathing. You want to stretch, awaken, and alleviate stress and the pain. Breathe in and out through your nose (not your mouth). Take a deep breath in: slowly fill the chest with air, imagining that you are pulling in joy, love, peace, and light. Deeply and completely exhale the breath: you will actually use your abdominal muscles to push the breath out, imagining that you are expelling all toxins, stress, and tension. Keep taking those breaths until you feel yourself relax.

Neck Rolls

After about three to five minutes, add head movements to your breathing:

When you inhale, lift your face to the ceiling, and when you are ready to exhale, slowly put your chin to chest. Do this movement 3 times each way for a total of 6. Don’t rush.

 

On your last exhale, with your chin to your chest,  roll your head around until your right ear is above your red shoulders (make sure your shoulders are down and not hunched up near your ear). You will feel a stretch in your neck and as your neck is stretching, extend your left hand out to your side with your fingers tinted on the mat. Take a couple of deep breaths, and then roll your head to the left side, so that your left ear is over your left shoulder. Note: As you roll your head from side to side, roll it in the front of your body with your chin to your chest. This movement is an exhale. You can alternate back and forth from each side.

When you are ready, do an entire slow neck roll, matching your breathing to your movement. Inhale when your face and head are up and exhale when your face and head are down.

Yoga Break for Writers: 6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Overworked Arms

Writers produce by sitting at a desk all day, writing, reading, squinting, and leaning our neck towards the screen. Sitting all day like this can give us tight hips, tense shoulders, and neck irritation. Here are some Yoga poses that I do at my desk to loosen and stretch myself. If you do these poses about once an hour or once every two-to-three hours, you’ll find that your body is not so tense and stiff, which enables you to sit longer and write more.

Anyone who sits at a desk all day performing repetitive motions with their arms can do these easy exercises.

 Relieve Overworked Arms

Position #1: Sit at the edge of your chair, lift your arms over your head, effectively stretching the inside100_2792 of the shoulder. Clasp your fingers together, lift your arms straight up. Keep your shoulders down and back. Lift up out of your waist. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Extend through the palms, and deepen your breath. Remain in this pose breathing deeply for at least five slow, deep breaths. Slowly release and put hands back on knees.

Position #2: Sit at the edge of your chair, stretch your arms out in front of you parallel to the floor. They should be at shoulder100_2794 level. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Using your left hand, press the right elbow. This  movement stretches the top of the shoulders. Don’t push the arm into your face. Keep arms level with shoulder. Keep back straight and sit erect, but not stiff. Release slowly.

Position #3: Push back from the desk, but remain seated near the edge of your chair. Open legs wide with your feet planted on the100_2795 floor. Take a deep breath and exhale, hinge at the hips, placing your palms or fingertips on the floor. Keep your head a long extension of your spine. Breathe deeply.

Sit straight up, shoulders down and back, chest out & open, with hands on each knee, and breathe deeply.

Position #4:  Turn towards your desk. Straighten your arms and lay your palms on the top of the desk.100_2798 Push your chair out, but stay seated in it. Legs are wide apart, feet on the floor. Your head will be slightly lower than your shoulders. Shoulders are extended. Back is not arched or curved, keep it straight, long, and lean. This movement stretches out your stiff spine. You are also opening the hips and shoulders.

Position #5: Move your chair out of the way. Put your hands on top of the desk. Stand back and do the same movement as100_2799 Position 4, but this time you are standing. Hinge at the hips, stick your tailbone out, and your stance is the width of your hips. Spread your fingers out wide. Deepen your breathing. You’ll feel a stretch in your armpits and shoulders, similar to when you are in downward facing dog.

Position #6: Sitting in your chair, bend your arms so that your hands are in front of you. Close your arms with the elbows and100_2800 palms toward each other. Cross your right arm over your left arm, and put your left hand in your right hand. Take a couple of deep breaths and relax into the pose. Don’t force it. You should feel a good stretch in your shoulders. Take deep, slow breaths. You will feel a good stretch between the shoulder blades. Breathe. Pull the elbows down. Now start over, but this time cross your left arm over your right arm. This move is called seated Eagle.

*Disclaimer: As with any exercise regimen, consult your doctor or physician before you start. The Leisure Living Blog, its contributors, or listed resources are not responsible for any injuries.

© 2009 KaTrina Love
www.leisurelivingblog.com

Writing and Yoga

author03Writing and Yoga

It takes courage, discipline, and perseverance to write. As I write, there is a duplicitous, imaginary critic peering over my shoulder chastising me for using the wrong grammar, not rewriting immediately, and any number of other things. We are encouraged to block out that inner critic, but to no avail. That inner critic hates that I stifle it and summon it whimsically.

Yesterday, I read an article by  Jen Grisanti entitled Writing and Yoga. When I first read this article I was floored because I am a Yoga fanatic. After I thought about it, since I’ve been practicing and teaching Yoga, I haven’t fought with my inner critic. I don’t beat the critic away with a stick to concentrate. That critic is tucked away until I summon it. And I cannot pinpoint the day that I took control over my inner critic instead of my inner critic controlling me, but I know that Yoga was an accomplice.

Tree Pose

Yoga helps me in so many ways that I cannot list them all. Yoga and writing go hand-in-hand. When I practice Yoga, I focus, concentrate, and center. Yoga is a mental exercise in self and body awareness and balance. Through breathing (prayana), the body and mind connect, and this state-of-mind does not go away after my practice is complete. Sun Salutations stimulate and warm the body (among other things) and balancing poses, such as Eagle, Warrior III, and Tree Poses, help you to balance, focus, and be in the moment. Balance is very important in Yoga. For every pose (asana) there is a counter pose. If you do something on the right, you must do it on the left too. Focusing and balancing help me to grab one thought at a time, deal with it, and move on to the next thought. I reach inside of myself and literally pull my creativity out, mentally, as I am meditating after Yoga.

So when I sit down to write, my creativity is stimulated, alive, and vibrant,100_2534 (2) coaxing confidence. I can focus on one thought at a time, I’m peaceful and calm, and my mind is lucid. I accept where I am at the moment and embrace my limitations. I am patient with myself. This focusing, balance, acceptance, and patience blankets me as I sit at my keyboard and escape into my plot, allowing my characters to live and breath through my fingers.

If you are a writer, embracing Yoga can enhance your  creativity and writing as well as your mental, physical, and emotional dexterity. I would love a Yoga/Writer retreat.

Namaste & Happy Writing,
Trina

© 2009 KaTrina Love Abram

Writing and Yoga

author03When I first read this article I was floored because I am an avid writer and fanatic yogi. Yoga helps me in so many ways that it’s hard to list them all. Yoga and writing go hand-in-hand. While I’m doing my Yoga practice, I am focusing, concentrating, and centering, and this state-of-mind does not go away after my practice is complete. So when I sit down to write, my thoughts are clear, I can focus on one thought at a time, and I’m peaceful and calm. If you are a writer, embracing Yoga can only enhance your  creativity and writing. I’m going to be looking for a Yoga/Writer retreat. Jen, the author of the following article, had one last weekend.

Writing and Yoga

By Jen Grisanti

Do these two practices mix? I believe that they do. As a Career Strategist for Writers and a Story Consultant, my belief is that the stronger you are inside and the more access you have to your story, the stronger you are on the page. Writers who do the emotional and spiritual work are often stronger in their creative endeavors. Of course, there is a stereotype that the best writers have addictions to drugs and alcohol. After 17 years of working in the entertainment business, I have found the opposite to be true. The writers I enjoyed working with the most and who showed the strongest talent on the page lived normal lives and were committed to having healthy lifestyles. Writing takes courage. Clarity is an important ingredient in being able to feel free to express yourself. If you do theexercise emotional work that is needed to process the events in your life, expression becomes more accessible and strengthens your value on the page.

What is the best way to gain clarity? Yoga is one way to do this work. Doing yoga allows you to go inside yourself and be an observer of your emotions. Just as with writing, with yoga you have your days when you’re completely on and feel like you can do anything and you have your days when your balance is all off. It reflects what life is. The beauty of yoga is that the more that you do it, the better you get. This is the same with writing. The more scripts you write, the deeper you go with your craft. As you become more self aware, your confidence grows and your connection to your emotions surfaces, giving you more to draw from in your writing.

SidePlankIn one of my favorite movies, The Lives of Others, they explore the idea of loyalty in depth. Do we owe more loyalty to our significant other or to ourself? Is our love for what we do more important than the love we feel for each other? Another movie that goes to powerful emotional levels is Frost/Nixon. The film questions how we can recover when we’ve fallen from the pedestal. How do you get success back? I applaud both movies for not just exploring the surface of life but for fleshing out and dissecting the choices that we make and the repercussions that follow. It is the willingness to explore story without fear that truly connects the audience.

I encourage writers to do yoga or any other routine that gives them the time and the means to connect with their self.

As a way to support her belief, Jen had her first Writer/Yoga Retreat and one day Storywise Seminar in Oahu August 18th – 23. Although the dates passed, you can still check out her podcasts and interviews with authors at the site http://www.jengrisanticonsultancy.com, and look under Events and Seminars.

Help for Writer’s Stress

Help for Writer’s Stress – 6 Tips to De-Stress Your Life

By Dawn Arkin

You look at yourself in the mirror and ask “Is that vein
supposed to throb like that?” In the back of your mind, you’re
pretty sure it isn’t supposed to.

Stress hits everyone at some point in their lives. But it seems to
hit writers more often. The solitary life we lead just adds to the
amount of stress. Not to mention the deadlines, projects, family
obligations, work problems, appointments, meetings, lack of
exercise
, poor diet, and everything else we have to accomplish in a
day. The list of stressful things can go on and on.

Just taking a few moments of time for you when the world is
crushing in around you isn’t the easiest thing to do. Here are some
things you can do to relax without taking too much time away from
your writing, or life.

1. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Keep in mind that the
more you promise to do, the less time you’ll have to do the things
you want to do. If you really can’t write that article this month
either see if you can push the due date to something more doable or
just say no. Don’t over book yourself.

2. Music has charms to sooth the writer’s mind, and mood. Listen to
your favorite music while writing can lift your spirits and keep
your stress levels in check. Some writers even work better with
music playing in the background, maybe you are one of them?

3. Walk and stretch at least every 20 minutes. Moving helps keep
your body flexible. By taking a short walk, even if it’s just to
the bathroom, you are giving your body a chance to increase
circulation and decrease stress.

4. Take a mini mental vacation. For just a moment or two, imagine
yourself in your most desired vacation spot. Is it lying on the
beach in the Caribbean, or riding a double-decker bus in downtown
London? Feel the sights, sounds and smells of your location. Don’t
let your work interfere with your trip for at least 5 minutes.

5. Drink water while you work. Water keeps your body hydrated,
which will help keep your mind alert and thinking. And writing.

6. Learn to laugh at the absurd. Allowing the little things in life
to frustrate and anger you just adds to your stress levels. By
learning to laugh at them instead of getting angry, you release the
frustrations bottled up inside you and allow your mind and body to
relax.

Keeping yourself stress free while writing isn’t always possible.
But helping your body relax when the levels get to be too much is.
Taking just a few minutes out of your day to lower your stress is
good for your mind, your body, and your writing!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dawn Arkin is an author on http://www.Writing.Com which is a site
for Poetry. Her portfolio can be found at
http://www.Writing.Com/authors/darkin so stop by and read for a
while.