I started blogging in 2011 and in the heart-pounding, nerve-racking moment that I first clicked ‘publish’ I never guessed I’d still be at it three years later. But here I am and each week, my life continues in ways I find fascinating, touching, painful, mundane, and beautiful and in each of those experiences there’s a connection to yoga. Writing gives me time to practice svādhyāya, to inquire and self-reflect, and to find connections with the yoga I practice and teach. Writing continues to be a worthwhile creative pursuit and a way to bring new sensitivity and attention to the yoga that I love so much.
My yoga blog is highly personal. I experimented with writing educational and informational posts and with making my blog a big ad platform for my services, but when I went to write that stuff, the zing just wasn’t there and neither were the readers. The writing that flows through me and makes my heart race in that good, excited way, is the kind that describes meaningful moments in my personal, family, friendship or memory-life and how those moments relate to my yogic path. These are also the posts that garner the most views and some very thoughtful and touching comments by readers.
Every once in a while, I’m trying to get a better grasp on a yogic principle and I spend time developing that idea in a post, (I can do this since I’m in charge around here), but most of my blog is made up of very personal storytelling and reflections.
Here are a few guidelines that have been really helpful for me. They help me stay on track and to continue to enjoy the process.
1. This blog is supposed to be enjoyable and useful.
Numero uno is really important. I see writing as time I take each week to reflect on meaningful moments, cultivate creativity, and play with words. I don’t want it to turn into a chore (I have plenty of those already), and I don’t want my perfectionist tendencies to get in the way of the experience. So I check in every once in a while… do I still like this? So far the answer is still, Yes!
2. Be consistent.
Consistent practice, just a little time each week, adds up and starts to deliver no matter what you chose to do. I want to give writing the best chance at meeting #1’s effort at remaining enjoyable and useful, and doing it regularly is good for me. Regular posting helps your readers to stay engaged, too. They’ll look forward to your latest post.
3. Post every Thursday!
At first, the perfectionist in me really struggled with putting something out on the blogosphere that wasn’t proof-read 1,000 times. Not only did that take way too much time, but it sucked some of the life out of the writing. So, I let myself get comfortable with typos and with occasionally publishing C+ material. This has helped sooo much with quieting my inner-perfectionist, and with overall self-acceptance. I’ve got practice at seeing how the harshest critic out there really is myself and Myself can chill out. I’ve adopted the attitude of: I’ve always got another chance next week to make it great.
4. The blog is optional. I can stop anytime.
If I ever feel stuck or obligated in that annoying way, I remind myself that no one is making me do this. And if I want to, I can change the rules or stop all together.
5. Be non-harming and be honest.
This is the only writing/content guideline I’ve got, but it’s really important and it comes directly from Patañjali’s 8 limb-path. The yama, the very first limb, gives us suggestions about attitudes to cultivate when we relate to others. We are to practice be honesty (satya) while honoring the principle of non-harming (ahimsā). So I really try to tell my point of view and I do my best to be respectful of those I mention. I also work to be very honest about my experience, even the experiences that are more faltering than flattering.
Being a yoga blogger has brought so much goodness into my life, my yoga practice and my teaching. My students have a way to keep in touch and prospective clients get a sense of who I am and how I think about yoga in daily life. In addition to what I get from writing I’ve had great conversations with readers, I’ve connected with some fantastic colleagues, and I’ve made some dear friends. The yoga blog has become an important part of my personal yoga practice and is well worth the commitment.
Amanda Green is a yoga therapist, in Austin, TX. She uses the tools of yoga to help individual clients improve overall health, recover and heal specific injuries and as a means for personal transformation. Amanda blogs about motherhood, relationships, gardening, wiping the counters and anything else that ties into her yoga practice at www.amandagreenyoga.com.