By Sarah Nelsen
I would like to welcome Sarah Nelsen back to my blog for the Part 2 of a 3 Part Series: Yoga for Writers. Sarah is an amazing person with a heart to help people. She is a multi-certified yoga instructor who went as far as moving away from her friends and family for a year and a half to pursue an international credential in another country. Yes, she is that serious about her craft. So, enjoy Yoga for Writers—Refresh.
These modules can be done in any order, but If you missed one of them, here are the links:
Part 1: Yoga for Writers—Rest
Part 2: Yoga for Writers—Refresh (This post. Keep reading or bookmark for later.)
Part 3: Yoga for Writers—Release
Read on to see the importance of breaks or just skip to the short video tutorial and get to it.
Working at a Desk is Hard on Your Body
Scenario: You’ve been busy all day, you just got the kids to bed. Now, you have two hours all to yourself to write, but you’re feeling a bit sleepy. You’re thinking maybe you should brew a cup of coffee or tea, but you need to be up early in the morning and you don’t want it to ruin your sleep. I’ve got a yoga practice for you! This practice is just 10 minutes long, (shorter if you skip over the intro,) and will have you feeling refreshed and energized and ready to write! This practice would be great anytime you need a pick-me-up. Yoga for Writers—Refresh.
Maybe the question should be: why refresh without caffeine? Friends, I love caffeine in all its forms and I am NOT here to suggest you give it up. But, I’ll share a couple of things I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older.
First, the more of it I drink, the more I want/need to drink. Maybe this is just me, but I can start with one cup of black tea on Monday and by Friday I need two cups of coffee and 4 cups of tea to get the same kick. Which is a problem and this leads me to my second point.
Second, I’m growing more sensitive to the residual effects of caffeine as I age. While I may need to drink more caffeine to get the same kick, by the time bedtime rolls around, I am tired and wired and when I do fall asleep, it isn’t restful. Perhaps you would consider trading that late afternoon/early evening hit of caffeine with a refreshing yoga practice that can be done in the time it would take to brew a cuppa!
Yoga for Writers—Refresh | Video Tutorial
If you’re curious about why we do what we do in the video, read on. If you don’t care about the why and just want the practice, that’s fine too!
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHZvq-vGyWY
Stand & Wiggle
We start by wiggling our bodies and stomping our feet a few times. This helps to relax the muscles and get the energy flowing. It can also help release stress and anxiety (which is why your dog gives a good shake after barking at the mail carrier).
Windmills & Hip Circles
Windmills release your spine with a gentle twist and hip circles help release your hips. Both moves are helping to release muscle tension while also continuing the flow of energy throughout your body and supplying your brain cells with an oxygen boost.
Yawning stretches and releases the jaw muscles, a place many of us unknowingly hold tension. In addition, you get a good stretch for your lungs, an oxygen boost, an increase in your heart rate, and the potential for an increase in focused attention.
Side bends are another way to unkink the tension in your upper back and create more space in your lungs for a deep breath.
Warrior One with Lion’s Breath
Everything we did up until this point prepared us for Warrior 1, a shape that stretches your hip flexors, the backs of your legs, your hips, shoulders and chest, all at once! Oh, and it challenges your balance. In addition to all that stretching, Warrior 1 is a backbend, which according to yoga, means it’s also energizing.
There is so much to focus on in this shape that it is almost impossible to do while also worrying and stressing. If your confidence is running low, this is a great shape to do to feel your power. When we add lion’s breath to it, you also stretch your jaw and tongue and release emotions that are not serving you (like a lack of confidence, fear, and stress.)
Standing with Hands on Body
We finish by taking a breath or two while resting your hands on your body and pausing. It is helpful to take a pause after your practice and notice the effects. The memory of how you feel after you practice will help you next time you’re trying to decide between that evening hit of caffeine and a refreshing yoga practice.
Need Inspiration After You Clear Your Head?
The best-selling Prompt Me Series is here to help with photo prompts, story starters, fill-in-the-blanks, reference, and so much more. There’s even room to write in the book. Ban writer’s block and get writing.
Sarah Nelsen is a book lover and former librarian, as well as an IAYT-certified yoga therapist, and a certified yoga teacher. She specializes in working with people who think they are too busy, too “out of shape,” or in too much pain to do yoga.
Sarah says, “I love creating moments of ease in people’s lives. We are all so busy and so hard on ourselves and it is vital that we make time for true rest and moments of joy. I believe the future of humankind depends on it.”
Find out more about Sarah at: sarahnelsenyoga.com
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