Yoga for Writing

This week I wrote guest blog post for Yoga Manchester about how discovering Ashtanga transformed my relationship with my body and continues to have a positive influence on my writing…

yoga camping
Me getting my yoga on with my nieces and nephews last summer

I was always the un-sportiest of children. A bookish little girl, fond of sitting still and thinking, and deeply fearful, I now realise, of trying something I might not be good at and humiliating myself. Team sports have always been pretty much my worst nightmare. High school P.E. lessons only strengthened my belief that I was not one of those girls; I wasn’t netball skirts and football trips. The bleep test was something you endured, sweaty and red-faced and miserable, until a sufficient amount of time had passed so you could fake a stitch and go and sit on the benches with the rest of my awkward teenage ilk who had not come into their bodies yet, who had never discovered a form of exercise that made them feel good. I thought this was my fate. My body and my brain seemed to be pitted against each other. I thought it would always be that way.

As a young adult, this trend looked set to continue. It was partly laziness, but the biggest thing that held me back from taking any kind of control of my body through exercise was fear. I’ve always liked dancing, but adult dance classes left me ashamed that my limbs didn’t work the way I wanted them to, that I didn’t have the strength or the stamina to actually enjoy myself, that even five minutes of vigorous exercise would leave me maroon and out of breath, and desperately hoping that nobody else in the room would notice.

It doesn’t matter, I would reassure myself. I am not one of those people – the ones who talk about exercise as if it doesn’t constantly hurt. I am a writer, I am an intellectual. What does my body matter?

Read the full piece here: Yoga for Writing | Ashtanga Yoga Manchester

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