Wherein my guest, a yoga instructor and writer, answers three questions and shares one (sometimes more than one) pose that yogis and writers will find informative, intriguing, and entertaining.
Which came first, your yoga or your writing?
Are you primarily Hatha, Bhakti, Karma, or other?
Primarily Hatha. I practice Vinyasa and Yin. However, I feel all the yogic paths feed each other. Teaching yoga, for me, is a Karma practice, a dedicated action for my community. Prayer and mindfulness are my Bhakti practice, a path of spiritual devotion to the Divine (in my heritage – God).
Choose one of the 8 Limbs and tell us how to use it to improve our writing.
Each of the 8 limbs provides a wealth of insight and direction for a writing practice. For the sake of this question, I’ll focus on aparigraha. Aparigraha is one of the yamas, the guidelines for how to interact with ourselves, others, and the world around us. The Sanskrit word has many translations: non-greed, non-grasping, non-attachment, simplicity. Even this one yama can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.
For writers, aparigraha can guide the intention of our practice. What is motivating us to arrive at the page? Are we grasping something? Acknowledgment? Praise? Proof that we are worth something? Or are we writing for the joy of writing, the necessity of it, the practice itself? We practice aparigraha when we follow Krishna’s advice, focusing our attention on the action of writing, not the result of the action.
Writers can also benefit from letting go of attachment. This happens on the page and off. Sometimes we become attached to a paragraph, sentence, or idea that does not serve our piece. Instead of anxiously holding onto those precious darlings, how might our work grow if we let them go? What might we free ourselves to discover?
Sometimes, too, when our words are finally out in the world, we panic, wanting to take them back, to keep control over them. This is also a good time to let go. To trust that the words are no longer ours.
If you had to limit your practice to a single asana, which one would you choose?
My chest tightens at the thought of limiting my practice to a single asana! I suppose I would choose mandukasana – frog pose. As emotions and fears store up in my hips, this pose lets them go. Frog opens up the body at the same time as it allows protected introversion, face bowed toward the mat.
About Anna Adami
Anna is a writer and yoga teacher committed to creating a compassionate and ecologically vibrant world. She lives in the Cross Timbers and Prairies ecoregion of North Texas, south of Cooper Creek.
Anna holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is certified as a Yoga Teacher (IYT-200) with Inspire Yoga. Currently, she is writing a book of personal essays about waterways.
You can find her work here and connect with her here.
Connect through her website: http://annaadami.com/ or Instagram: aadami_writing
Anna will be leading Yoga for Writers, a generative 6 week writers workshop starting February 20, 2023. For more information or to register, go to: https://writingworkshops.com/products/yoga-for-writers-body-mind-generative-6-week-zoom-workshop
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