Our Balance Writing with Yoga program in 2022 was a completely magical and productive time for all involved. We will be offering this program again for 2024. Our longstanding hosts at Reflections Inn in North Central Idaho have retired, so we are trying out a new location this year, and we are very excited by the possibilities that lie ahead. For more about our new hosts for fall 2024, click here.

Yoga evolved thousands of years ago as a means to support the body for long periods of sitting in meditation and prayer. Yoga improves flexibility, blood flow, strength, focus, and feelings of wellbeing. It makes sense, then, that yoga should work equally as well to support us in our writing efforts, which in itself can impact the body in the same way that meditation does.

Which is why we reintroduce the writer to the phenomenon of working by hand in pencil. Engaging the full neurology of the hand by holding a writing tool is also proven to have the same affect on the physiology of the body and brain as meditation.

We purchase our pencils from a small company that grows trees specifically for pencil production. They smell like the old cedar pencils many of us remember from childhood and are produced in the U.S. from sustainable incense cedar grown in the U.S. We love the fact that our attendees can be seen walking around with fistfuls of pencils and notebooks in arm.

Engaging in small motor activities while activating the olfactory sense reminds 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 shown that with pencil in hand, we are no longer working at the surface, as is the case with typing on a keyboard, but we gain quick 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.

We hope you will join us.