This year I have had the fortune to cover the BaliSpirit Festival in Bali for Asian Itinerary. The schedule of classes at the festival was really tight so I had to be quite selective in choosing those that best suited me.
One of the classes, the “Asana based: Scripting Your Joy”, had a description that inspired me. It went like this: The class is a vinyasa flow practice that integrates the wisdom and art of writing throughout the practice. Intermittently throughout the journey, students are given writing prompts that aim to enhance their levels of self-awareness both on and off the mat. By taking both the writing and the asana practice to the mat, it creates the perfect body-mind equilibrium. Wow, I thought, and right on the first day of the festival I tried the class.
The speaker, Nadine McNeil – https://universalempress.com – is a yoga teacher , transformational coach and humanitarian. Her mission involves igniting others to create and dwell in infinite possibilities, and share the tenets of yoga within communities where it has been largely inaccessible. What an exciting concept, one that made me even more excited about the class.
This class required all attenders – and we were a lot indeed – to bring a notebook and a pen. Nadine started the class with 5 minutes of vinyasa flow as a warm up, and then asked us to write about a topic she stated for 2 minutes. I can honestly state that it was the first time I have felt so free to write without having to put much thought about the topic. After that, Nadine continued the class with the same sequence: vinyasa flows followed by writing about an unexpected topics that she would give us at the very moment we ended the yoga flow.
When the participants later got the chance to share their own writings, I found amazing pieces that people put down from their hearth. And we were all amazed to realize that, as the yoga practices evolved to body purifications and breathing exercises, so our writing became more natural, more straight from our hearts.
At the end of the class, Nadine told us that it was intended to be an experiment, and that she was so happy for the outcome. I had chance to ask her about her inspiration for this class, and she replied that the idea of a workshop that dealt with the embodiment of the words into the body came to her while she was meditating. And she was pleased to see that today’s class happened the way she had wished: as it was mainly attended by experienced practitioners, she only had to work on holding the space for each of us in the class to trust themselves and return to their joy. Using the yoga to take us out of the mind and into the body through writing.
I loved this class at the BaliSpirit Festival in Bali and felt really happy I had chose to attend. I found a new tool to improve my writing and get cured from the struggle in my putting down words as I always worry so much about how my readers may judge me. Now I know how yoga practice can help me in that too.