Writing from the Chakras 2013


Writing from the Chakras

An Online Writing Workshop

June 1 – July 31, 2013

with Minal Hajratwala

Are you ready to jumpstart your writing and discover new, exciting sources to fuel your creativity? Writing from the Chakras is a body-based writing system that leads to fast, energized, powerful, breakthrough writing. In this 9-week online course, we will tap into the seven levels of human experience that make up rich, versatile writing. Whether you want to write ancestral memory or science fiction … a high-impact fight scene for your action movie screenplay (root chakra! survival!) … or a moment of epiphany in your subtle and elegant short story (crown chakra all the way!) … this workshop will offer a plethora of tools and play to make your writing come alive. Fun creativity exercises, tools for engaging mind/body/soul in our writing, and work that heals trauma and busts through blocks: Join the journey. Isn’t it time to get in touch with the most powerful possibilities in your creative work?

(image by Izolda Trakhtenberg)

This online workshop is suitable for all levels of writers, from beginning to experienced, and you can join from anywhere in the solar system. You will have the opportunity to share work and receive feedback in a supportive, vibrant, temporary community. The focus is on generating new work and developing robust creative skills in order to free your writing to take a great leap forward.

All genres and genders are welcome.

Fee: $425 US.

Dates: We start June 1 and finish July 31, 2013.

Registration: Pay $425 by PayPal to hajratwala {at} gmail {dot} com to reserve your space.

Questions? Please scroll down for Frequently Asked Questions, or email me.

Delphi: Interview with Minal Hajratwala about Writing from the Chakras

About the Instructor

Minal Hajratwala is the author of Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), which has been called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by the Washington Post. The book won a Pen USA Award, an Asian American Writers Workshop Award, a Lambda Literary Award, a California Book Award (Silver, Nonfiction), and was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Prize. She spent seven years researching and writing the book, traveling the world to interview more than seventy-five members of her extended family.

She is also the editor of Out! Stories From the New Queer India (Queer Ink, 2013), a groundbreaking anthology of contemporary LGBT literature since the decriminalization of homosexuality in India.

Ms. Hajratwala spent 2010-11 as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in India researching a novel, while also writing poems about the unicorns of the ancient Indus Valley. Her creative work has received recognition and support from the Sundance Institute, the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, the SerpentSource Foundation, and the Hedgebrook writing retreat for women, where she has served on the Alumnae Leadership Council. Her one-woman show, “Avatars: Gods for a New Millennium,” was commissioned by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for World AIDS Day in 1999.

As a writing coach, Ms. Hajratwala believes language is magical, and she loves helping individuals and organizations access the power to express themselves in words.  She has taught writing workshops nationally and internationally at universities, community organizations, and online, including as a 2012 memoir faculty member at the Voices of Our Nations Arts summer program for writers of color on the University of California-Berkeley campus. She is the creatrix of Blueprint Your Book, an intensive and inspiring six-lesson program for manuscript development; and Writing from the Chakras, a body-based system that leads to fast, energized, powerful breakthroughs by tapping the seven levels of human experience that make up rich, versatile writing.

As a journalist, she worked at the San Jose Mercury News from 1992 to 2000 as an editor, reporter, and the newspaper’s first reader representative (ombudsperson). She is a graduate of Stanford University and held a fellowship in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in 2000-01.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How do I sign up for Writing from the Chakras?


The quickest way:

Via PayPal.com, submit a payment of $425 to hajratwala {at} gmail {dot} com. You can use Paypal funds or a credit card. You’ll get a confirmation from PayPal immediately, and a welcome email from me within 72 hours.

If you’ve never used PayPal, don’t worry. It’s easy and takes about 5 minutes. Grab your credit or debit card, then just follow these simple steps:

• Go to www.paypal.com

• Click on “Send Payment” and then “Send Payment Online.”

• In the TO box, type “hajratwala@gmail.com” (no quotes).

• In the FROM box, type your email address.

• In the AMOUNT box, type $425.

• Where it says “Send payment for,” choose “Services.” (This means that you won’t be charged any shipping fees.)

• Click “Continue.”

• Enter your credit/debit card info and follow the directions to create your account and finish. That’s it!

If you prefer to mail a check:

Send a check for $425 to:

Minal Hajratwala

847 East Angela St.

Pleasanton CA 94566

Please drop me an email *after* you have put the check in the mail.  I will consider that your registration date and start sending you materials, so that we don’t have to wait for the snail mail to arrive.

Or send your owl / passenger pigeon / unicorn. Please do not pay in leprechaun money, though.

Payment is due in full before your first class, unless… scroll to the bottom of this FAQ.

Q. I understand that it’s online; is there any kind of group interaction? Are there specific days/times when we must sign on?

A. You can take this course from anywhere if you have access to your email once a week. There are no required times to sign on. Interaction with the group includes virtual workshopping and optional live sessions (see the syllabus below).

All of the weekly homework (or, as I like to call it, home play!) will be on your own time.  You will receive a weekly lesson with writing prompts and a weekly schedule for giving and receiving feedback from your peers, as well as from me.

Q. Is yoga a requirement?

A. No. We’ll explore a cornucopia of ways to tune into the energies of the physical/metaphysical body. Some of those might be about things to try in the context of your own physical practice — whether that’s yoga or dance, reiki, skateboarding, walking the dog, ec. All of the ‘assignments’ are optional so if it doesn’t work for you, choose something else; you’ll get plenty of choices each week.

(If you happen to be in San Francisco, Oakland, or Chicago, bonus news: I’ve taught Writing from the Chakras with yoga instructors who teach regularly in those cities. In case you’re looking for a yoga class to complement our chakra work, I’d be delighted to refer you to a teacher who is familiar with the concepts we’ll explore here. Again, not a requirement at all, just a bonus!)

Q. Can I get a sneak preview of the syllabus? How much time should I allot?

A. The assignments are flexible and each week, you’ll be given a choice of things to do. You’ll probably want to allot at least 2 hours a week, perhaps in 30-minute segments. If you got excited and did everything on the list, you might spend up to 4 hours a week — or even more, if you decide to write write write!

Our Syllabus

Week 1: Intro plus the Root Chakra

Week 2: The Sexy Chakra

Week 3: The Power Chakra

Week 4: The Heart Chakra

Week 5: Floating Chakra exercise / Integration

Week 6: The Throat Chakra

Week 7: The Third Eye

Week 8: The Crown

Week 9: Integration, Final Workshopping, & Celebration

In addition to the written materials and virtual workshopping, I’ll host three optional live sessions as follows:

(1) Building a Strong Foundation: Writing from the Lower 3 Chakras. Your questions about fight scenes, sex scenes, power struggles, ancestor work, our deepest dramas.  Week of June 10-15.

(2) Manifesting in the World: Writing from Heart, Throat, Hands.  Are you saying what you really want to say? Dive in, unblock, and get to the truth of the matter. Week of July 1-6.

(3) Connecting to Source: Writing from the Third Eye and Crown; Integrating the Energy Spine. Vision and transcendence, writing that flies off the page and into the ether, the future, alternate universes and beyond. Week of July 15-20.

Exact times will be based on a survey of availability and interest of those who enroll, and will be scheduled so that everyone who wants to participate can come to at least one session. The format will be Q&A and shared freewriting, and content will be entirely student-guided. We’ll use Google+ hangout or an equivalent.

In order to create a safe space where participants can share concerns and work in progress, the live sessions will not be recorded or disseminated; however, you may ask other students to share notes on the sessions.

Q. How will the online course work? What technology do I need?

A. At the beginning of the course, I’ll send you a syllabus and welcome document that will include technical details, logins, etc.

The tech basics you will need are:

• An email address.

• A computer with access to email once a week.

Optional tech:

• A gmail address for accessing the full features of google groups.

• A computer with audio or video capability to dial into the optional live sessions.

Q. Can I take one session at a time? What if I’m going to be away part of the time?

A. Each lesson will build on the previous ones. We’ll be sharing work and creating a temporary community. So, in order to keep it safe for everyone and manageable for me, there will be no drop-ins.

If you are going to be away for some of this time, don’t worry. This is a self-paced class, so you can always catch up on the exercises you’ve missed. Or you can just skip them and go back later, after the class finishes.

Q. I just saw this and it’s already past June 1! Can I still join and catch up?

A. Before June 5, yes. You’ll have a little catching up to do but it should be fine. After June 5, please email me.

Q. What level of anonymity will there be?

A.You’ll post your own writing and give feedback using whatever email address you choose. It’s absolutely fine with me if you want to use a pseudonym or create an alter ego for the purpose of this workshop. Our group agreements will include not discussing or sharing anyone’s work outside the workshop.

Q. How many students do you expect or will you cap?

A. I’m really not sure, right now I’m open! If it gets too big or unwieldy, I’ll probably split it into two smaller “sections” rather than close it off. Since I don’t know when I’ll have the time to teach this way again, I’m reluctant to say no to anyone who’s ready and willing to move into this work now.

Q. Is there any provision for people with financial hardship?

A.Yes. Times are tough, right? Instead of paying the full registration fee up front, if you need to, you can make payments on the following schedule:

$150 due May 31 or before your first class

$150 due June 20

$125 due July 10

Please note that when you sign up, you are committing to the whole course, so this is NOT a way to “try out” the class and hedge your bets! I trust you to honor your commitment. You can pay via PayPal or, if you prefer, you can mail 3 checks to me, postdated, and I will cash them on the appropriate dates.

If you are based in India AND have limited finances, you can apply for a special reduced rate of 11,000 rupees, which is about half the US student rate.

Q. Are you accepting international students?

A.Yes. Please contact me at hajratwala {at} gmail {dot} com for payment options if you cannot access PayPal or if you have a question about currency conversion. Thanks!

Q. My question is not answered here.

A.No problem. Ask me at hajratwala {at} gmail {dot} com .

2 thoughts on “Writing from the Chakras 2013

  1. Even if you are not serious about writing, Minal has a beautiful way of connecting with you as a person and enabling you to be your best, by working through energy blocks. I was doubtful at first but I feel it is time very well spent. A very genuine soul who can translate her own writing experience into usable terms and inspire others to connect with their inner creative expression. Highly recommended.

  2. I took Writing from the Chakras in 2011 and found it very useful. I had a block before the course and had been neglicting my writing for a while and the course helped me rekindle my writing. One of the pieces I wrote as an excercise during the course later got published.

    Minal is an experienced coach, accomplished author, and a kind and wonderful human being. During the course, you get individual attention from her and will also recieve feedback from awesome writers in your writing group. I don’t think you could ask for more.

    PS: One last thing, self-discipline is crucial to get the most out of this course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *