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Tip 13: Use personal examples

Bikram Choudhury (love him or loathe him) is the world’s most infamous yoga instructor who built a wildly successful business based on just 26 yoga postures. So what can Bikram yoga teach us about writing a book?

Do you remember the first time a teacher in your class shared a personal anecdote with you to help explain their thinking or a lesson they learned from their mistake?

What affect did this have on you?

Did it help you remember what to do, what not to do – or, even, what to do next?

Even Bikram Choudhury uses metaphors and examples from his past to explain each and every pose in his sequence of 26 postures.

In Benjamin Lorr’s expose on Bikram, Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga, he reveals that the script of instructions in a Bikram class are actually based on true experiences from founder Choudhury’s life.

Linda (‘like a perfect upside-down L like Linda’, used to explain Standing Head to Knee pose) was one of Bikram’s first and favourite students.

While, ‘a Japanese ham sandwich’ (from Half Moon with Hands to Feet pose) is a reflection from the country in which Choudhury is said to have started teaching yoga.

Rumour has it that he struggled with the winter chill in Japan so introduced heaters into his class for warmth. The heat made it easier for students to bend over and touch their hands to the floor – and Bikram yoga was born.

So how can you apply this to your IP as you’re writing your book?

Use metaphors to explain and simplify your concepts.

Use case studies from clients you’ve worked with to show problems you helped solve.

Personalise your story to connect with your readers and bring your IP to life.

It’s these personal touches, the lessons you have learned, that aid in our memory of your main points or messages in your story.

It’s these personal experiences and stories that we remember long after the class is over, long after your book has been read.

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Kelly Irving

I’m an editor and writing coach with a love for deep-diving into brains and businesses. Through my one-to-one work and online program, I provide an action-by-action process that speeds up the time it takes to produce your best book, and turns overwhelm and self-doubt into momentum and excitement for writing.


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