I was doing some yoga with my sister’s Girl Guides on Friday and when we got to Warrior Pose (my favourite!) I said something about sinking into the pose and a bunch of thoughts clicked together for me.
When I do yoga properly – and by that I mean a focused practice instead of using yoga poses to stretch after a workout – I tap into a sort of stillness in my brain. That stillness means I can ‘sink’ into my poses like sliding into a tub of warm water, total absorbed in that feeling of being exactly where I want to be. That feeling seems to come from outside – like everything is aligning – and inside – as my muscles sort themselves into poses.
The same thing can happen when I meditate, after a certain point in my cycle of breathing I find my shoulders dropping away from my ears, and my breath takes on its own rhythm. It sounds weird to describe it, but it seems to pour in from the world around and, meanwhile, it’s almost as if I am breathing out my meditation as much as I am experiencing it inside my head. I almost expect people around me to end up meditating by proximity – like a contact zen 😉
And my writing can bring me there too, but I don’t usually realize it WHILE I’m writing. It’s afterwards, when I come out of my writing reverie, that I realize I was in that place of stillness. I think if I was conscious of the stillness while I was writing, it would ruin it somehow. For the record, I can shift myself *back* into it once I am out, but I lose my perception of the stillness while I am there. My writing also seems to come from somewhere else, even while it bubbles up inside my brain.
One of the purposes of yoga poses was/is to prepare the body to sit for long periods in meditation. I think of yoga (and meditation) as bringing me the focus I need for writing, preparing me to stand for long periods while I write and helping me to have the patience to work through a story until it becomes clear.
Obviously there is a connection between all of these things, my writing, my yoga and my meditation, and it only makes sense for three focused types of activities to bring me a similar feeling. I guess I hadn’t realized that it was a physical and mental feeling until I said that phrase ‘sink into it’ on Friday. I do ‘sink’ into all three things, and I look forward to that sinking before I do either one.
It just took that word for me to realize how similar that inside-outside, in-the-zone, tapping-into-something-else, feeling was in all three cases.
Sinking in – I totally recommend it.