Writing from the Chakras

chakra-meditation-spiral“Whatever just happened, it was perfect.”

I love my yoga teacher Skeeter Barker because she’s always coming up with this kind of amazing statement. She usually says it just after we’ve done something extra-difficult or extra-weird, involving the left foot up in the air while the right arm is tucked under the something-something, and I’m sure I’ve done it terribly wrong…

until Skeeter, with her sweet British accent, says something like, “Now lift up the corners of your thighs, and the outer ribs, oh, and don’t forget to lift up the corners of your mouth, too.”  Then I find I’m actually smiling as I challenge my body to do something that it has never, in its 38 years, attempted to do before.

This is how I feel about writing, too.

I struggled a lot with writers’ block in the process of writing my book Leaving India; so many critical voices and doubts crowded in that it took me literally years to find my way.  That struggle taught me how to loosen up, allow mistakes, allow everything.  Now I know that a good writing session is just another kind of yoga:  I feel myself open up, I let the energies flow through me, and I try not to get attached to any specific posture or product.

So I’m super excited to be co-teaching a workshop, called Writing from the Chakras, with Skeeter. She’ll guide the asanas, I’ll guide the writing games, and you’ll be there with us, right? (1:30pm-4pm Saturday May 15, San Francisco; register here.)

And whatever happens, between you and your chakras and your notebook and the rest of us and our chakras and our notebooks … don’t worry.  It’ll be just perfect.


A Spiral Community Workshop
Saturday, May 15
1:30 – 4pm
with Minal Hajratwala & Skeeter Barker

This fun, relaxed 2.5 hour workshop is designed to open up the chakras through yoga asana and breath, leading to an unleashing of your creativity onto paper. No previous yoga or writing experience necessary. We will be exploring yoga asana as a method for developing a body-based approach to writing, and using writing exercises as another kind of expression. Creative writing doesn’t have to be any more complicated than breathing, so if you can breathe from your core, then you can also write from your core, revealing your truth and creativity. We will be exploring and looking into the specific energies of each chakra through asana, and discover what kind of writing comes from each one.

n589476453_1027565_1757Skeeter has been teaching for five lovely years. She has studied with Katchie Ananda, Noah Maze and has done trainings with John Friend, Desiree Rumbaugh and Jim Bernaert. Skeeter very much enjoys the emotional evolution that comes from the practice of Anusara yoga. She honors the peaceful warrior nature that is uniquely revealed in each of us, through this journey called yoga. Skeeter’s purpose is to create a safe space for all students to arrive on their mat, practice the beautiful art of unfoldment and connect to true authentic self. She welcomes you to your mat, however you find yourself there.

4857_1176080125291_1326727716_463235_2202076_sMinal 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 California Book Award (Silver, Nonfiction) and is currently shortlisted for the Saroyan International Writing Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. A former journalist, 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 a poet and performer whose own creative processes have benefited greatly from yoga, meditation, and somatic practices. In 2010 she will be moving to India for nine months as a Fulbright Senior Scholar.

Fee: $20
Location: Yoga Kula, 3030A 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Register online at
www.yogakula.com or by calling (415) 934-0000

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