Asana & Pranayama: Outsmarting Procrastination

peter gabriel

Asanas for Getting Started

Yes, that IS Peter Gabriel in the image above. Why, you ask? Because asanas for getting started are all about turning yourself upside down and rewiring the mind, and, in the above video, Peter Gabriel does just that.

If you feel stuck and need a little momentum, one of the best things you can do is go upside down. Literally. Try doing one of the following three poses. Keep your eyes open while you’re there and, if you can, do them outside.

1. Uttanasana (forward fold). Note: if you’re outside for this one, make sure to position yourself so as not to send an unwitting message to your neighbors. ‘Nuff said.

2. Handstand against the wall…but look across the room instead of down at the ground.

3. Downward Dog (technically an inversion).

The longer we hold inversions, the more our minds slide into a new way of seeing. Sky becomes ground; earth becomes sky. When we release the pose, there’s often that crisp, clear feeling that comes from being vibrantly awake and aware. This is a brilliant way to start anything.

Back to Peter Gabriel. Those of you who know me know my almost obsessive fondness for soundtracking life. Which translates to: here’s the perfect song (and video) for looking at the world from a new perspective. Click on Peter to watch, and check out what happens about three minutes in. Talk about inversions! Rock ‘n’ roll, baby.

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Creativity Jumpstart: Outsmarting Procrastination

creativity jumpstart

Creativity Jumpstart

 

Just like going upside down helps us see the world in a new way, breaking out of the usual ways of using our brain can help us open up channels of creativity. If you’re feeling stuck or resistant to writing, try this mind-switch exercise before you start (thanks to fabulous author Jennifer Bosworth for this idea): Get a large-ish piece of scratch paper. Crumple it up. Put it down.

Now, without trying to make it perfect, draw the crumpled piece of paper, with all its creases and valleys.

When you are done, put the drawing aside and spend 15 minutes writing down the most important ideas for whatever it is you want to write. If you feel so inclined, keep writing.

 

 

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Letter from Lori: Outsmarting Procrastination

loripicWelcome to the debut issue of theYoga:edit newsletter and the launch of Yoga:edit, offering editing services for the yoga community–for yogis, by yogis. I’m so excited to start offering this editing work, which I’ve done on the side for years, as an “official” business. I’ve also been super-excited to get this newsletter up and running…and here it is!

But perhaps this sounds familiar: When I opened my laptop to start writing, I realized that I hadn’t yet responded to an important email, so I took a minute to do that. And then I was thirsty, so I got up to get some water, and…huh. My ice cube trays are almost empty. I’ll just take a sec to fill them up. Oh, and that basil in the window? Looking kind of wilted. Better water it.
Now I’m back at my computer, ready to write. But…hmm. I haven’t checked Facebook lately. Hey, someone posted an article on writing. I’ll read that first; maybe it will give me some good ideas. And…oh wait. It’s time for me to go teach.
Guess I’ll start the newsletter tomorrow.
It’s amazing all the things we can find to do when faced with starting a project, even one we want to do. It happens to everyone. This issue is dedicated to the idea of getting started, which, as we all know, can sometimes be a little daunting.
My teacher Max Strom always reminds us to add this simple phrase onto the end of any request we make of the universe: and let me enjoy the process. So whether you’re just starting out on the task of writing your first brochure or manual, or you’re a successful, published author, here is my wish for you: may the thoughts and ideas herein help you begin…and may you enjoy the process.
Much love,
Lori
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Top 5 Ways: Outsmarting Procrastination

Top 5 Ways to Get Started Writing Your…(fill in the blank)
writer's desk
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. If you find yourself needing to outsmart procrastination, here are a few things to try.

1. For two to five minutes before you start writing, find stillness. I don’t mean sit in meditation, although that’s okay too. I mean simply become physically still for two to five minutes. Thinking or not thinking are both fine. When you feel the energy shift, start writing. The calmness might lead you somewhere amazing.

2. Set a timer for 15 minutes. You can do anything for 15 minutes, right? (Well, maybe not Scorpion Pose. But you know what I mean). Then just start writing. Don’t worry about whether it’s good; just write. When the timer goes off, stop. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in focused 15-minute intervals.

  3. This is a biggie to getting going: separate the practice of writing from the practice of editing.Writing involves putting words down on paper.Editing involves making them clear. So when you’re writing, write; don’t edit! Don’t worry about whether it makes sense to anyone but you. You can (and should) come back later to revise.

4. The first sentence is often the hardest to write (it’s that getting-started thing), so start in the middle, with something that excites you. Most writers find the true beginning of their work after writing a bunch of unnecessary stuff first.

5. My personal fave: Choose something on your to-do list that you really, really, really don’t want to do. Set aside time to do that yucky thing. Then, instead of doing it, let writing be your way to procrastinate. (Seriously. If you can trick your brain, this totally works!)

However you do it, knowing you’ve started will feel wonderful. I guarantee it.

 

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