Breathe in Yoga & Exhale the Muse… Writing and Yoga are soul mates. Yoga reveals insights; Writing is the recorder. Yoga balances the rhythms of breath; Writing surfs breath through oceans of language. Yoga taps the unconscious mind; Writing transcribes the wisdom of the unconscious. Writing requires work; Yoga is the assistant. Writing is an offering to the world; Yoga eases the offering’s sacrifice. Writing is a solo act; Yoga provides community.
Visit my yoga website Ashram of Arts
“Your Sanctuary of Shakti Healing & Life-Transforming Yogic Arts”
“It was totally heaven to take an out-of-doors yoga class with Stephanie at our novelists’ conference [the Historical Novel Society Conference in St. Petersburg, FL]. At 7:00 am it was still cool in Florida, and the gentle stretches were accompanied by the rustle of leaves and the chirping of birds. Stephanie is a gentle, inspired, gracious teacher. I felt utterly blessed!” ~Stephanie Cowell author of Claude & Camille, Marrying Mozart, The Players: A Novel of Young Shakespeare, Nicolas Cooke
“‘Yoga for Writers’ was a great way to start the day! Stephanie led us through stretches I’m sure were designed to open up shoulders and backs that have been hunched over keyboards for too long. It was lovely to breathe deeply and take the time to get in touch with the present moment before the demands of a busy conference…Thanks for a great session.” ~ Deborah Swift author of A Divided Inheritance, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lady
“I’ve dabbled in yoga for many years, but never connected it to my writing practice before. I signed up for this workshop hoping to work through a bit of writer’s block on my novel. We met on the labyrinth at Fairhaven Park, a perfect setting for outdoor yoga. After an hour of poses targeting our hips, back, neck and shoulders, opening ourselves to creativity and culminating in Tibetan meditation, we sat down to write. Stephanie guided us through writing prompts focusing our attention on the natural world. The yoga gave my writing an awareness of my physical surroundings that I sometimes neglect. We returned to our mats for a few more vinyasas before a final writing exercise to bring it all together. I was quite surprised to find that the stream of consciousness observations from the earlier prompts fit perfectly into my novel, and I wrote a short scene that I didn’t even know my story needed. I intend to use the poses I learned from Stephanie in my future yoga and writing practice, and I hope to work with her again.” ~Kari Neumeyer author of the dog memoir, Bark and Lunge: The Isis Story, and novel-in-progress, Fight Like a Lady
“This three hour workshop was dense with knowledge–both mystical and practical–utilizing the ancient principles of mind and body–focused around ‘how to build a better, more complete writer.’ The instructor, Stephanie Renee dos Santos, demonstrated a confidence and understanding of the journey through the means and methods of how she facilitated the yoga and supported the writing. Each individual felt valued no matter their level of experience or ‘expertise.’ Binding our work with Tibetan Yoga and sensory writing was a heartfelt conviction and compassion. Having taken heaps of writing workshops and yoga classes–along with my MFA in Creative Writing, my only wish was that this workshop was longer, and that I would’ve been able to attend the second day.” ~J.R. Gill writer and teacher www.jdawgsrunningblog.wordpress.com
1. Who are the Writing & Yoga Workshops designed for? The yoga classes at the workshops are for anyone who writes: novelist, poet, blogger, memoirist, non-fiction, journal writing, journalist, essayist, screen writers, playwrights, anyone who writes or wants to write.
2. What if I am new to yoga? Or an advanced yogini? Yoga for beginners and the seasoned, flow yoga to yoga therapy, each workshop is designed to meet the needs of everyone, making adjustments to poses as needed for you. Yoga is union which can be reached in multiple ways.
3. What areas of the body do the yoga exercises focus on? The hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck. The hip and lower back region often becomes locked when sitting in a chair for long periods of time. Typing all day and holding one’s body in a position of intent concentration in front of the computer, many people develop pain, soreness, and rigidity in the shoulder and scapula region. We will work to open all afore-mentioned regions to generate blood circulation and to ease tension. Yoga works wonders!
4. How can yoga assist my writing?
- Developing a regular yoga practice helps reinforce discipline to write regularly.
- Yoga requires focus of concentration to enter, hold, and exit poses, as you develop this inner faculty it naturally is applied to writing projects.
- Yoga develops “staying power” to write-through difficult passages and obstacles all writers meet along the way when creating and structuring works.
- Inspiration and ideas spring or trickle forth when we are in a state of calm, through yoga one learns how to access this state.
- You will learn how to set intentions/goals for your writing through the practice of guided meditation called Yoga Nidra.
5. What other benefits may I experience from a workshop? General ease in the body and mind, self-awareness, along with renewed energy. Community and support of a group of writers: feedback, sharing of the writing process and techniques, learning more about the writing craft. Come practice yoga in the USA and Brazil!
6. How has a regular yoga practice helped me with my writing? After freelance writing, publishing short fiction works, and six years of work on my first novel, going through all the hurdles to get the book ready to pursue representation I can say that my hips are open — I can Samba dance easily! My lower back is pain-free, along with my shoulders and neck. I don’t feel burned out, but ready for the next phases of the novel: representation and publication.