The Mystery of Yoga

I’ve always felt that my “day job” of teaching yoga (which actually happens in the evening) and my mystery writing career are diametrically opposed. But I’m finding a common bond between them. Last night as I was teaching my class, I heard myself describing the pose. I had to paint a picture with my words to communicate how I wanted the students to place their hands, extend their spines, rotate the ribcage, etc. I was in the pose at the time and expressing all the little nuances of sensation. That’s when it occurred to me that I do the same thing with my writing. Only instead of being inside my own body, sharing the experience, when I’m writing, I’m in the character’s body. Or head.

I’ve also noticed that my writing brain has seeped into my class planning. I have started looking at planning a class like plotting a novel. Opening, middle, end. I plant clues of what’s to come. I build the suspense. I try to have everything come together at the end of the class and make sense. For example, last night we worked on a lot of simple flowing backbends. Plus I sprinkled in a variety of shoulder openers. It all built to the climax of Camel, a rather big backbend pose. Everything I’d done earlier in class was to prepare for this.


Much like plotting a mystery. All those little things that seem unimportant in chapter two suddenly hold the key to solve the case in chapter twenty.

And in a mystery series, there is an arc from the first book to the last. At least in some cases. We get to see the protagonist grow from book one to book ten (please, God, let there be a book ten someday).

I am currently halfway through a session of nine yoga classes. We’ve been working on Camel all along and I’ve watched the students go from struggling with the prep work in week one, to being able to accomplish the pose quite nicely in last night’s class. But the session still has four weeks to go. And Camel is not the end of the arc. Camel was only the first step. I’m shooting for Wheel pose.
Those arm strengtheners that I’ve been sneaking in weren’t just for variety. And preparing the spine for big backbends wasn’t simply for Camel. I’m hoping by the end of week nine, my students will have grown in their practice just as I would hope my protagonist will have grown by book nine. Or ten.

Maybe teaching yoga and writing mysteries aren’t as different as I thought.

Comments

YogaDawg said…
This is good as regards connecting Yoga with writing. Not that I'm a writer or a Yogi:)

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