I was struggling to write the story of my year in yoga and how it transformed me, when Lisa crossed my path. Her Bring Your Book to Life program offered me the structure and guidance to finally pull my manuscript together. Thinking I had a good handle on yoga and my daily practice, I had no idea how much Lisa’s program would challenge me to employ all that I’d learned.
Completing the 1st draft of my manuscript was like completing a challenge pose in yoga, a particularly daunting, advanced, intimidating, uncomfortable pose. Like a challenge pose, it’s completion gave me a new perspective, a honed practice, a great sense of accomplishment and the courage, confidence and poise to expand my practice further.
I challenge you to tackle your challenge pose, and offer 5 common insights I found from yoga and Bring Your Book to Life:
1. Set an intention. What do you wish to accomplish? Your intention sets the tone for your practice. Just like stepping on my mat, if my intention is unclear, my practice may follow suit. Lisa helped me get crystal clear on my intention for my book, it’s message, audience and form and encouraged me to commit it to paper and revisit it daily. Once you set a clear intention, hold it, for the duration of the practice.
2. Commit. Back yourself and the Universe backs you as well. Waffle on a commitment and finding support and success can prove challenging. I don’t sort of, kind of go into a head stand, thinking maybe it’ll happen on it’s own. I commit to headstand, to learn the foundation of the pose, the structure and progress, facilitated by a knowledgable teacher. Of course spontaneous successes arise, most stem from a committed practice. I committed to Lisa’s program, financially, physically – through my time commitment, emotionally by letting those close to me know what I planned to accomplish, and whole-heartedly as a gift to myself.
3. Show up. Practice is called practice for a reason and a daily practice yields deeper results than an occasional one. Every day I step on my mat my body is different. Some days I am sore and stiff in places, my thoughts may be busy, scattered or day-dreamy, my mood may be frustrated, happy or impatient. One thing is certain; if I step on my mat and show up for myself and my practice, I will feel better when I step off my mat. Lisa’s program encouraged me to show up every day, moving one step closer to my goal no matter how much resistance or how many excuses surfaced.
4. Breathe. Intention set, commitment made, showing up daily; everything is in place to support you, all you can do is breathe. This is key. If I hold my breath as I try to force myself into the posture, I’m met with substantially more resistance than if I place my attention on my breath and relax into the practice. I step on my mat, not looking at the end game, not intimidated by how far I need to progress in a relatively short period of time, but by taking a long, slow, deep breath and seeing where the day’s practice takes me. Each time resistance came during Lisa’s program, it met with another deep breath and another. I’d like to say resistance disappeared but it did not. What disappeared were my excuses to not step onto my mat and continue my practice each day.
5. Trust. It’s a biggie. If trusting the Universe is too woo-woo for you than trust yourself, trust your determination and tenacity, trust you have value to add to the world and trust in your ability to choose the right coach for the job. The Universe may have handed me Lisa but I researched her well and ensured I was choosing the best teacher for this particular practice. I trusted myself to show up every day and I trusted Lisa’s program to help me learn the proper form as she nudged me into position. I paid less and less attention to the inner critic who often rants as I write and chose instead to trust my practice.
Like stepping onto my mat, every day I write I learn something about myself. I may fall out of some poses and soar into others. Some days may feel like I’ve never set foot on a mat while others feel as if I was born to be there. Tears may fall, laughter may explode, poetry may happen but one thing is certain, I am always grateful I showed up for myself. With Lisa’s help I completed a particularly intimidating challenge pose and built a strong foundation in the process. May you rise to your own challenge pose, meet and complete it with guts and grace.
Stephanie Hrehirchuk is a life-long wellness enthusiast with 15 years of experience in personal training, nutrition and wellness. She currently owns atONE Holistic Living, in Alberta, Canada, and provides group and private yoga, meditation, alternative healing and holistic coaching. Her background includes fitness, nutrition, yoga, meditation, herbology, ayurveda and flower essences. Stephanie is a writer, master level reiki practitioner, wife and mother of two young children.
Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.