Yoga, meditation, walking, lingering near water, near stone, near trees.

All these things create space for creativity to emerge. I’d like to say that each day before I start writing I practice yoga and meditation and go for a walk somewhere beautiful and sit down full of ideas and enthusiasm ready to find a way to share this magic through my words. But the truth is, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes my yoga is a couple of quick sun salutations, sometimes my walk is just as far as the nearest patch of green, sometimes my meditation is watching my breath for a few seconds before I get up. And sometimes, just sometimes, I reach for the coffee and writing chocolates and get started without even rolling out my mat.

And to be honest, on those days, perhaps it’s harder to get started, perhaps it takes longer to get into gear, but somehow the writing happens anyway. Because something similar happens when I write, when I allow the words to emerge without forcing them too hard in a particular direction, when they start forming their own patterns, discovering their own meanings.

So, yes, although I’m a yoga teacher, I’m not a perfect yoga person, not by a long way. My writer friend, Daphne, described herself at one time – and probably still does – as a ‘Reluctant Yogi’ and if she hadn’t coined the phrase perhaps I would have done. Is there such a thing as a natural yogi? Or is it always hard work to do the things which are good for you?

And what’s the connection between writing and yoga? I was a writer before I discovered yoga, so I’ve seen the differences yoga has brought to my writing. Yoga works on two levels, the body and the mind. Yoga teaches you how to ground yourself, how to sit well, how to breathe well. Yoga stretches unlock the body, helping to counterbalance the physical strain of writing. And for these things I am grateful, but yoga also creates space, brings balance and a level of dispassion, increases awareness and helps me to occupy the stillness and solitude which is part of a writer’s life.