Book: The Journey from the Center to the Page

jeff_davisThis book is so cool!!! Jeff Davis combines his background in writing and yoga into a thorough book joining the two practices, The Journey from the Center to the Page.  This would be an especially relevant read for story-writers – and all artists – but could be helpful for anyone interested in the applications of yogic philosophies into any endeavor of self-expression.  Or any new habit.  Lots of short chapters, each taking a challenge from writing and blending it with some yoga poses, pranayama, and philosophy.  He explains many concepts of yoga very well, and I think that readers new to yoga would find it to be a great introduction.  Nice chapter towards the end for folks who already have a yoga practice and want to better integrate it with writing!

Lessons for Yogis:

1) Sometimes we allow our perception of time to be an obstacle, which yoga can help us reframe: “One way or another, as a writer, you have to make your peace with time, to stop fighting it, and to avoid bemoaning its apparent scarcity…  To transform our conditioned habits of how we live in time, some of us need jolts to startle our whole being – mind, spirit, body.” An important component of making time for a new habit, is Tapas: A writing practice, like any practice, requires discipline.”

2) This one could be particularly helpful in transition times, as well as in creative endeavors: we can face our fears and see what its has to teach us.  In this way, writing can be a form of tapas in itself: “Writing won’t rid you of your fears.  It can give you, though, ways to work with them… Sometimes, the best advice I can offer students about fear of writing is simple: Write.  Drive into it.  Fear is usually not a brick wall as much as a large mound of snow.”

3) Standing poses are good for concentration and presence.  Back bends stimulate beta brain wave activity.  Leg lifts can increase blood oxygen.  There are so many ways we can tailor a yoga practice for what we’re working on – and so many ways that a well-balanced class meets many of our needs.

There’s a couple versions of this book available (2005 & 2008) and there are usually used paperbacks available pretty inexpensively.  Maybe you’ll stumble on a copy at a used bookstore or your library!  I want to spend a lot more time with my copy, but I’d be happy to lend it a friend, too!

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