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Writing, Yoga and Healing
by Donna Davidge



Editor's Note from Barbara Lazarony: Donna shares her personal connection of the healing practices of yoga and writing. What are your healing practices? Would would it be like to see your both writing and another activity as healing?

Do you remember what you wanted to be or do between the ages of seven and twelve? I’ve heard that you should be doing that ‘thing’ now in your life.

When my parents moved out of their home of fifty years, my mother gave me a few treasures she had discovered while sorting. One was a poem I wrote when I was twelve titled “Why?” It asked the questions of life like why do babies cry and why do people die? Another thing my mother shared was a list, also written long ago in my hand, of ten things that I did not like and wanted to change.

Little did I know then, that I was beginning to heal myself, which had innocently begun by self-reflection through writing. Moreover, when I became involved in yoga almost 3 decades ago, some part of me was still searching for answers to my childhood questions. What I ultimately discovered was that I was seeking healing through both my yoga practice and through writing.

What is it about yoga and writing that help heal us? 

Journaling boosts the immune system. Some self-help / healing techniques recommend writing a little every day. Writing helps us connect to our feelings and other aspects of who we are that may not show up in our everyday lives. It allows us to use our imagination, to create fiction, or to recreate something which has happened in our lives, has impacted and affected us, has helped make us who we are.

Yoga too is a way to help find answers to our questions. A sincere yoga practice is an amazing metaphor for our lives. We can watch how we react to other humans, our surroundings, and ourselves. We can use yoga as a tool for greater awareness as we combine it with our writing. For me, my yoga practice led me back to writing. Even though I had done some journaling on my life adventures-living in Europe, traveling in Nepal or Guatemala; I had forgotten that as a child I had loved to write short stories and poems; it was not until my mother handed me those few things that she had kept that I realized I had always liked to write. When Inner Tapestry contacted me to write bi-monthly articles for them in 2000, I became a writer again.

How remarkable it is to look back at a piece of your writing and see what you wrote about and how you wrote about it. Our mind is constantly shifting and changing. I have found that to grab a thought is a precious thing, it is like waking from a dream and thinking you will remember it, but you don’t. 

In yoga we use tools to focus the mind, to clear the mind and to cleanse the body with the affirmation of asana (poses). We use our whole system and it can become something new, like a blank page written on for the first time. 

Writing and yoga can work together to make us heal the issues and wounds of life and to maybe even take ourselves a little less seriously as we gain insights from both, I know it has for me!


Have a comment or question? Visit our Writing & Poetry Therapy Forum to start or join a conversation.



About the Author

Donna Amrita Davidge
owns and operates www.sewallhouse.com a small personalized yoga retreat in Maine, since 1997, and also maintains a teaching practice inNew York City in the winter months. Teaching yoga since 1985, she is 500 Hour E-RYT with Yoga Alliance as well as a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor with 3HO. Donna (Amrita) has two dvds for home practice and has written articles for Fityoga, Medical Tourism and is the yoga columnist for Inner Tapestry, a New England publication. Sewall House has been featured in Instyle, Travel & Leisure, Yoga Journal, Shape and other publications.





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