The photograph of flowers that sits at the head of my blogpost belies the actual weather outside my window. It has turned cold, the leaves have fallen, and a light sprinkle of snow hugs the edges of the fence. In Chinese medicine, this is a time to follow the natural inclination to turn inward, to study, take quiet walks and allow time for more rest. All to keep ourselves in balance as we sweep toward winter.
In yoga practice, this is a season to emphasize calming poses — forward bends and shoulder stands — and adopt a practice of restorative poses. This can be remarkably soothing, better than a massage or a nap, as it is deeply restful for the body, mind and emotions. I am fortunate that our local studio offers several restorative classes each week, but anyone can learn a basic pose, take it with additional props (bolsters, blankets and an eyebag), and rest for fifteen minutes or longer. The effect is renewed energy that is smooth and peaceful.
I don’t know if there is a season for writing. It seems all the workshops are in the summer, yet I write more in the dark months, as if my creative energy is shy of too much sunlight. I continue to follow my private writing schedule and, as often as possible, I attend a “Free Fall” writing group. A dozen or so of us meet on Friday mornings and follow W. O Mitchell’s approach to writing freely — pen to paper, no editing, no apologies — then we read aloud and marvel at what we’ve produced. The non-judgmental atmosphere suits my shy muse and has led to any number of charming short pieces.
In this season and beyond, I hope you find a practice or routine that feeds your creative energy and draws out your muse. The smooth energy from yoga poses and the kind spirits of fellow writers is the best recipe I’ve found so far to smooth a path that helps me fall away to the edges where I find the most interesting notions.