Tag Archives: yoga retreat

Writing Yoga Retreat 2014 Registration is Open!

yoga-positions_b4syex5vrkYou guys, I’m giddy with excitement! Seriously. I just spun around the room, smiling and laughing… Maybe I’m losing my marbles or maybe I’m really, really psyched for the 2014 Writing Yoga Retreat! Last year was such an amazing experience that my buddy Stefanie Lipsey and I decided to do it again. Here, here, and here are what some of the participants thought of last year’s retreat.

But, “What is Writing Yoga?” you might ask. Well, this is lifted straight from Stefanie’s blog, and gives you the story of how Writing Yoga was created: “Writing Yoga® began in 2007 while I was working toward my MFA in Creative Writing at Queens College. It was during my rigorous MFA program when I realized just how helpful my yoga practice was to my “writing practice.” Daily meditations and asanas helped me move through my days as a wife, mother, teacher, librarian and student more fluidly. Not that every day was perfect, but I can’t imagine how I would have survived without yoga. Writing Yoga® continues to grow and change.”

Stefanie  offers workshops, coaching and free weekly writing prompts, and together we offer the Writing Yoga Retreat each summer. And as she says on her website, “All offerings use the principles of yoga including balance, flexibility, and intention to inspire the creative process.”

We expect the retreat, which is capped at only 15 participants, to fill up quickly. Admission is based on your commitment to writing, not where you are on your journey (i.e. newbies to published professionals). There’s a discounted rate if you apply & pay before December 31st. Don’t miss this opportunity! Last year we had participants from Colorado, Michigan, and Ohio (as well as New York, of course) who were all at different stages of their writing journey. It. Was. Fabulous.

So if you’re interested, or have questions, please get in touch soon.

Namaste and all that jazz,

Linda

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Writing and Yoga Retreat: Yes, You Do Wish You Had Been There

yoga-positions_b4syex5vrkMy colleague Stefanie Lipsey and I had dreamed of putting on a writing and Yoga retreat for many years. This past weekend was the manifestation of that dream as we  hosted the Writing Yoga®Retreat at The Glen Cove Mansion, and it was absolutely magical. Over the weekend I may have joked around a bit about my tumultuous relationship with doing Yoga (especially the early morning classes, which I invariably skipped). But I think it was apparent to the participants how much the planning and creation of the weekend, as well as the writing exercises that we did, and the “where we were standing” for the weekend, were all based in Yoga practice.

We asked the participants to look within, to look for balance, to stretch themselves, to trust themselves, to go places they might not have thought to go (or even places they just might not have been willing to go). We asked them to do this in their writing and in their Yoga practice. Even if some people didn’t go to the Yoga classes, physically putting their bodies on the mats, they absolutely had the experience of participating in a Writing Yoga® weekend.

Yoga is the cultivation of your mind using a succession of steps such as meditation and contemplation and we certainly all did that this past weekend. Yoga is really a generic term for the physical, mental and spiritual practices one may undertake towards attaining a state of permanent peace. As writers, I think it sometimes feels as if we’ll never really attain permanent peace. Maybe as creators of fictional realities and characters and worlds we don’t even want to attain permanent peace! But I think that by looking at our writing through the lens of Yoga, which is what Writing Yoga® is, that we can get a little bit closer to that peace. One of the Yoga sutras (or aphorisms) define Yoga as “the stilling of the changing states of the mind.” I just love that. I experienced moments of that this weekend, in relation to my own writing as well as in running the retreat.

Our intention was to have the weekend be a nurturing and safe place for the participants in regard to their writing; in relation to doing or not doing the physical Yoga; in their exploration of voice, character and setting; and in the sharing of their work. I’m pretty sure we manifested that intention, and Stefanie and I very much look forward to doing it again next summer! And yes, I believe the air was quite full of fairy dust for three days!

Make sure to stop by Stefanie’s Writing Yoga® blog, a place for ideas and inspiration about writing and yoga, and starting this fall you can also stop by her Soundcliff Writing Spa page, a writing and creativity community where free writing inspiration is delivered weekly.

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Lit Agent Fairy Dust: The Path to Making Dreams Come True

spinaltap_2430544bWith the Writing and Yoga Retreat just two weeks away, I’ve been so ridiculously busy that my head is spinning. It’s so tempting to say “literally spinning” but can you imagine if it was literally spinning?! Someone call Dial-an-Exorcist, please! But you get what I mean, right? My usual ADD way of mucking through life — oh wait! there’s something shiny over there! — has been amped up to 11.

One might ask oneself why a literary agent who is already quite busy working with her amazing clients, who has already  done a round of Spring writing conferences, and is already scheduled to go to conferences in August, September,  October and November, why that (insane? masochistic? just plain stupid?) person would decide to create a writing retreat from scratch and host it in July…. Why?!

imgresWell, it’s kind of like this: I’m in the business of making dreams come true. Now stop rolling your eyes. Stop shaking your head. Stop saying, “Well, how come you’re not making my dream come true, wench?!” The funny thing about making dreams come true is that it starts at home. That is to say, every time I make my own dreams come true I get a little bit more sparkly fairy dust to sprinkle around for other people. For years my friend, the extraordinary poet (novelist, yogi, librarian, writing insructor) Stefanie Lipsey, and I had been talking about how awesome it would be to lead a retreat for writers that would encompass some of the cool things from the cool work we’ve done in various aspects of our lives.

yoga_silhouette_vector_collectionOf course that would include yoga. I mean, Stefanie is one of those really bendy, flexible, chillaxed yogini people (well, compared to me, anyway) and I do my little yoga practice once or twice a week. For like the past 15+ years. So yeah, we wanted to include yoga in our writing retreat. But besides the twice daily opportunity to do yoga at the retreat, what’s been really cool is to be building our curriculum, the workshops themselves, the planned interstitial moments, the small touches, all with an eye on yoga. So if one goes with the assumption that yoga is the physical, mental and spiritual practices and disciplines one would engage in to attain peace, for the weekend we’re going to apply that to our writing.

How, you may ask, does this have anything to do with making my or anyone else’s dreams come true? Well, for me I’ll be facilitating and creating a small community of writers for three days, building a separate little world for just a moment where we are all focused on our works in progress. We’ll be conjuring magic and stretching ourselves physically, intellectually and creatively as we put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards). And I fully expect to get as much out of this as I put in, both energetically and creatively (I already am!). So there’s going to be a LOT of sparkly fairy dust flying around!

fairydust800We still have a few spaces left for last minute registrations. If you’re interested, but still have questions or are worried that you’re not “right” for this retreat, just shoot me and Stefanie an email so we can address any of your questions or concerns. And FYI, for local NY folks, there’s now a daytripper rate, which makes this phenomenal weekend more affordable.

 

So I’m off now, to flitter around from sparkly thing to sparkly thing, in between negotiating contracts, reading and editing manuscripts, going through queries, sending and receiving a gazillion emails and phone calls, wheeling and dealing film and television options, and doing a (teeny tiny) bit of my own writing. Oh look! A Butterfly! Chasing a Unicorn! Over a Rainbow!

 

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