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?
You’ve just done your warm up, and you’ve flopped to the floor for the remaining sequence of Bikram postures. But you wanna know the best bit?
Savasana is the most understood – and underrated – pose in the Bikram series, hell, I’d even say of any yoga type.
Otherwise known as Corpse Pose, because (you guessed it) you’re lying dead still, it’s also dead effective when it comes to recouping energy for the rest of class.
The challenge, in fact, is actually stopping and surrendering to the stillness.
Yet that is the power of this pose.
That is also the power of the ‘pause’ when writing your book.
As coach and speaker Oscar Trimboli puts it in his upcoming book Deep Listening: How to Make an Impact Beyond Words: ‘You need silence, space and time to tune in … You need to clear the clutter in your mind.’
This is sound advice to us writers.
Like Savasana, the best bit about writing is when you stop to take it all in.
Your best work is done when you relax, reflect, release any tension and reset your intention (Hot Tip 3).
This doesn’t mean you have to bang out a paragraph then hit the deck for two minutes to look face-up at the ceiling. It can be as simple as going for a walk after you’ve completed a section, or changing what you’re working on while your chapter is with your editor for review.
The beauty of having an editor is that while you’re enjoying a well-deserved break, you can rest assured that your book isn’t just sitting idly; it’s actually progressing – without you having to write a word.
Lots of authors want to (and do) write a book in 48 hours or block out a whole 12 months – but most of my clients say that this is totally unrealistic for them.
In fact, the time that you are busy running your practice, delivering workshops, and speaking at keynotes, is actually valuable time to think and gain perspective.
It's like time working in the business versus time working on the business.
‘When you’re working with your clients, you’ve actually got a live audience to test your content on,’ adds author Janine Garner. ‘Use this time to revisit what you’ve written and tighten up your IP.’
So here’s the reality check.
Just like pausing in between poses, time away from your writing gives you clarity, new insight and resets your focus.
It’s near impossible to write when you’ve been buried in the content for hours, days or weeks. So embrace time away from your content to pause, relax and breathe.
As your teacher says during Savasana at the end of class:
Relax. Breathe … Enjoy the benefits.