Our Balance Writing with Yoga program in 2022 was a completely magical and productive time for all involved. After some snafus in 2023, we intend to return in 2024 in a new location and to once again offer yoga as an accompaniment to our writing programs.
Yoga evolved thousands of years ago as a means to support the body for long periods of meditation, so it makes sense that yoga would work as well to support writing, which in itself impacts the body in the same way that meditation does if you are writing by hand. Our programs reintroduce the writer to the phenomenon of working in pencil. We purchase them from a small company that grows sustainable cedar trees specifically for pencil production. They smell like the old cedar pencils many of us remember from childhood, as they are produced in the U.S. from sustainable incense cedar. Our attendees are seen walking around with fistfuls of pencils and notebooks in arm. Engaging in small motor activities remind us at a deep level of our early engagement with language–working with pencil, crayon, clay–and we have observed over and over again the way this changes writing practice. Replicable studies of the brain have proven that with pencil in hand, we are no longer working at the surface, as is the case with typing on a keyboard, but we neurologically gain quicker access to the furthest corners of our stored experience, and the evidence is in the more nuanced and detailed use of language we see emerging from writers at our retreat programs. Life-changing and life-affirming are the words we hear most often from attendees.
Clearwater Writers for 2024 is moving to a new venue, and we are quite excited. Please check this space regularly for future announcements.