Writing can be a good practice for cultivating change, and Henriette Anne Klauser’s books discuss experiences as well as techniques. In With Pen in Hand: The Healing Power of Writing, Klauser interviews people who have used writing to process loss and divorce and to chart new jobs and ways of being. Could be a good read for transition times – it’s encouraging to hear how other people go through struggles, and to get extra motivation for starting a new practice like writing. Many parallels between yoga and writing, and combining the two can make for great tapas!
Lessons for Yogis:
1) Studies have shown that the practice of journal writing – facing what’s going on and writing it down – can reduce anxiety and depression, and improve performance at school or the job-hunt. Like yoga, it’s about being present, mindful, and accepting.
2) “Writing allows you to integrate, at your own pace.” As we process grief or trauma, we need to heal on our own time frame. “That is exactly the role of writing. Writing supports you in staying in the midst of it until it shifts.”
3) Writing about strong feelings improves mental and bodily health. So, create your own writing sadhana. Write before you roll out your yoga mat, or write afterwards about what came up during your yoga practice. Write when strong feelings arise, instead of doing something to mute them. It can be valuable to look back at over time, or just to record in the moment.
I’d suggest getting this one at the library – it’s a quick read and you may not reference many parts of it more than once – but it’s available on the kindle if you’d like, and Klauser has several other books on writing, too.