How yoga impacts storytelling.
by Todd Foley
I am a passionate advocate for yoga. Not just for the physical benefits, but also for how it promotes mental and emotional wellness. I practice it because I have a very busy mind that constantly looks back and looks forward; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it gains too much momentum, it becomes exhausting.
Yoga helps calm my ever-busy mind, reels me back from dwelling on the past and makes future worries seem a just bit more off in the distance. I can take inventory of what’s around me, express gratitude and refocus my perspective. And when I’m there in that present moment, I can listen.
Listening does wonder for the soul, but it also helps me approach storytelling with a reader’s perspective. What does the reader want to hear? Why should anyone care about what I have to say?
I may think that I have an inspiring story to share, but a story needs an audience. Sometimes the audience knows what they want; sometimes they don’t know until they hear it. But a storyteller can’t know what an audience wants until they learn who their audience is. This takes patience, humility and, yes, the ability to listen. There’s the old marketing mantra that goes something like this: “Don’t tell me about your grass seed. Ask me about my lawn.”
With this mindset, the yoga approach helps me turn writing from a self-serving medium into an act of serving others by learning what is wanted and then attempting to meet that need. This is far from a foolproof formula, and it often takes multiple drafts to achieve this, but hey, it’s called “practice” for a reason. 🙂
In what ways is your writing influenced by hobbies or activities?