Liz’s Picks: Yoga for Writers

Writer Self-Care- (1)

Before my concussion, I had two schools of thought regarding yoga. One: it was this hippy dippy trend that involved a lot of stretching and flexibility I didn’t have. Two: it was way too hardcore for me to ever get into–and this stemmed from my first experience with yoga. My Man was doing P90X workouts, and he invited me to do the yoga one. For someone with zero experience, it was totally brutal and nearly killed my interest in yoga completely.

Post-concussion (syndrome, ha), I’ve come to really appreciate the awesomeness that is yoga. Not only has it made me calmer and more patient, but it genuinely helps with my physical and emotional pain. Back when I couldn’t walk more than 20 minutes without feeling like death, I started doing little baby yoga sessions. They were tough at first, but so is every new hobby.

Once I got the hang of the routines, I realized I actually looked forward to doing them! They’ve been awesome for my brain injury recovery, but they are also great for us writers.

We writers are a sedentary folk. We sit our butts down in office chairs (or whatever) and spend hours in front of the computer. We don’t consider how typing affects our wrists, shoulders, and neck. And it’s going to catch up with us. I’ve experienced some of that pain already, and it isn’t fun.

So, if you can, why not try to fit at least one short yoga session in a day? I’ve taken all my favourite moves and turned them into a 10 minute practice I do daily. It stretches out my back, my arms, wrists, neck… If I want to write for the rest of my life, I need to take care of the mechanisms that allow me to do it.

Therefore, I thought I should share some of my favourite short beginner videos that are all super applicable to writers. Give it a try. I promise your body will thank you.

(All of my shared videos here are from the wonderful and supportive YOGA WITH ADRIENE channel on Youtube. It’s free. Adriene is amazing — her mantra is do what feels good, not do the moves perfectly or I’ll judge you. I love it. And I needed that when I first started. If you don’t feel like looking through all the videos below, here’s a link to her Yoga for Healing playlist — shout out to all my chronic pain/illness/injury folks, it’s a super helpful list.)

I did this bad boy as a warm-up for a few months before every writing session. I don’t think I needed to do it quite that much, but it might be good for a once daily kind of thing. I now just warm up with a two 20-second stretches on each arm before every session, plus my daily yoga routine.

Here’s a longer video for those of you already with wrist pain. Warning: it feels awful when you are having a bad pain day, so maybe do it on a day you’re feeling okayish.

Because sitting all day with shitty posture doesn’t make your lower back feel GOOD.

I basically got my 10-minute daily sequence from this one. I’ve added more moves to it since memorizing it, and I highly recommend it if you only have a little bit of time to do yoga.

Having a brain injury that didn’t heal in a month made me super anxious about a lot of things for a long time. And that’s okay. Here’s a video that helped.

Get off social media and FOCUS.

When I was feeling too terrible to much of anything, I could always do this bad boy. Five minutes isn’t much, but I still felt accomplished doing it.

Because all of our posture sucks when you sit and write for hours a day.

Give your back some love. It does a lot for you.

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