Life invites us to create meaning in narratives: in voice and gesture, with hearts investing in the powers of memory and imagination. Join Susanna Harwood Rubin for this amazing opportunity to further your skills and develop a richer practice of yoga. A remarkable opportunity to work with a gifted, accomplished teacher in the company of great souls and worthwhile conversation.
– Douglas Brooks, founder Rajanaka Yoga
WRITING YOUR PRACTICE
Writing Your Practice offers a practical application of yoga philosophy to the practice of writing. If you are looking for an opportunity to creatively connect your life on and off of the mat, Writing Your Practice offers a structured step-by-step immersion into the heart of your self-expression.
Every Writing Your Practice session will nurture and inspire your writing through storytelling, yoga philosophy, writing exercises, and discussion. Each week presents a particular philosophical concept or key deity in the Tantric tradition, unlocking your voice and giving voice to your creativity. All are welcomed-novice writers, seasoned bloggers, occasional journalers, and closet poets. Bring your inquisitiveness, your notebook or computer, and your willingness to dive into the heart of your self-expression. This is the yoga of writing.
Writing Your Practice is a 10 Week Immersive writing experience in 3 Sections:
ESTABLISH YOUR PRACTICE (Weeks 1-4)
focuses on establishing a regular writing practice, cracks open writers block, offers a variety of writing techniques, and plunges you your true subject matter.
REFINE YOUR FOCUS (Weeks 5-7) centers around refinement and your individual focus-how to become clear in your communications and move forward with confidence in your own writing.
OWN YOUR VOICE (Weeks 8-10) explores the effects of your writing-how to balance your inner expression with the world around you, from owning the effects of your writing to finding new ways of getting it out there.
WHY YOGA PHILOSOPHY AND MYTH?
· Yoga means to yoke, to connect. By diving into your self-expression you connect more deeply with your authentic self and consequently with those around you.
· Myth matters. Myths and stories tell us about our common experiences, revealing great truths and insights into who we are as human beings. These insights will cultivate and expand your writing.
· Everything you write reveals how you look at the world. By exploring the connections between your yoga and your writing, you gain a greater consciousness of your own ways of thinking and being, enriching your self-expression.
WRITING YOUR PRACTICE IS FOR YOU IF:
· You want to create a regular writing practice.
· Your writing is rusty and needs a tune-up.
· You are a seasoned writer who wants to expand your ideas, inspirations, and points of reference.
· You are a writer or blogger who wishes to link your yoga practice more deeply to your writing practice.
· You need to write regularly but want to refine your skills and find ease in the process.
· You are a novice writer who wants to know where and how to begin.
· You are curious and want to experiment with words and writing.
· You want to give voice to your thoughts and ideas about your practice.
· You want to get your writing out there.
· You are a teacher who wants to incorporate myths and philosophy into your teaching practice
· You are a student curious to learn more about the myths and philosophy touched upon in class
REGISTRATION FOR THE FALL 2012 WYP IS NOW CLOSED!
Week 1 – Finding your Voice The elephant-headed Ganesha sits at the threshold, representing transformation and new beginnings. Choosing to write is stepping through a doorway into a deeper place inside your self. Finding Your Voice will guide you into this place, where you will investigate your proclivities, your passions, and the individual qualities that make you you! Here, you will begin to find your voice.
Week 2 – Creating Your Practice In order to grow as a writer, you must continually create and self-edit. But how do you sustain it? Shiva’s ongoing process of Creation, Maintenance, and Dissolution shows that in order to grow, we must establish a foundational practice. Creating Your Practice will help you to design a firm weekly practice for yourself and to strategize how to balance your creative output with your editorial eye. In the words of Sri Pattabhi Jois, “Practice, and all will come.”
Week 3 – Just Write! Kali is primal and uncensored, the ferocious embrace of every possibility. Before you narrow your subject matter and refine your prose, you have to open the floodgates. Just Write! will teach you techniques for getting unstuck, overcoming your fear of the blank page or opening sentence, and letting it flow with wild creativity and without judgment.
Week 4 – Accessing Your Potential Hanuman is a shape-shifting yogi whose devotion is unwavering. He shows that regardless of what you put out into the world, it is an expression of what you care about and who you are. In Accessing Your Potential, you will dive into your center to investigate your own gifts, uncovering what you want to write about, and expressing it unwaveringly.
Week 5 – Refining Your Practice Shri means abundance, but also refinement. Once your words are flowing, it’s time to look more closely at your writing style. Through expanding your ability to create precise descriptions, and gathering vocabulary, Refining Your Practice will show you how to tone your prose and expand your descriptive abilities. With more linguistic and stylistic choices, you will become more deliberate in your use of words.
Week 6 – Expanding Your Voice The most skillful writers plumb their own depths to draw upon a wide range of mental and emotional states. The Rasas show us that in art as in life, we have access to all of these flavors of experience, although we tend to favor some over others. In Expanding Your Voice, you will learn to access different aspects of your voice, from the comic to the peaceful, from revulsion to the ecstatic, recognizing that they are not always that far apart.
Week 7 – Setting Goals In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells the great warrior Arjuna that he must step up and do what needs to be done – to engage on the field of life. Similarly, as a writer you need to own your sense of purpose, pinpointing what you want to express in a particular piece of writing, and insuring that your details compel it forward. In Setting Goals, you will learn to be decisive in your self-expression as well as in your editing so that your ideas glitter with precision.
Week 8 – Connecting Deeply To write powerfully, you need to show something rather than tell about it. Vac is the vibratory power of speech, pulsing with evocation. In Connecting Deeply, you will deepen your awareness of how particular words resonate, learn how to juxtapose words and phrases to create different effects, and develop compelling ways of expressing the vibratory creative impulse within yourself so that your words carry power.
Week 9 – The Beauty of Conversation Writing helps us to know ourselves better, creating an inner dialogue that enables us to converse more powerfully with the world. Writing creates a field in which our internal and external worlds continually echo each other, enabling our unique, singular selves and our rich, diverse selves to enter into conversation. In The Beauty of Conversation, we will explore Subrahmanya, Ganesha’s brother, whose prismatic nature serves as a counterpoint to Ganesha’s solidity, owning our diversity and creating connections within it.
Week 10 – Making it heard – Getting It Out There There are few things as satisfying for a writer as seeing your writing published and read. This involves balancing day-to-day practicalities with the often-unpredictable creative impulse. In Making it heard – Getting It Out There, you will deepen your understanding of the concepts of Karma (action) and Lila (serendipity, chance) that get your writing out into the world. From Blogging and using Social Media to enlisting your friends, you will create a strategy that will expand your writing practice and your audience in ways that serve you.
Some unsolicited feedback found on Facebook recently:
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About Susanna Harwood Rubin:
Susanna is passionately committed to finding beauty in everyday life. Combining her life as a yoga teacher, visual artist, and writer, her teaching offers an experience of creativity, intensity and grace. She has spent over a decade in close study with Dr. Douglas Brooks, one of the great living scholars of Hindu Tantrism. She travels regularly with him to South India to deepen her studies of Rajanaka Tantra, and is filled with gratitude to have him as a friend and teacher. Her spiritual home is the great Nataraja Temple of Chidambaram.
Susanna is a widely exhibited artist with work in many public and private collections as well as a published author who wrote and lectured for many years for MoMA, including co-writing the book Looking at Matisse and Picasso.
She currently writes for Elephant Journal and Origin Magazine. Susanna teaches Writing Your Practice through the Yoga Teacher Telesummit, and delights in bringing the yoga off of the mat and into other creative forms. She has been profiled by the Today Show, FIT YOGA magazine, YogaCityNYC, Yoga Radio, and ClaudiaChan.com. Susanna is based at NYC’s Virayoga. susannaharwoodrubin.com tweet @om_susanna
I’m someone who always thought about writing and dabbled in it a bit, but my life didn’t unfold in a way that created space for it. So I most definitely consider myself a fledgling writer. I recently connected with the desire again, and this time, it wouldn’t let me go. I couldn’t get excited about the local poetry or creative writing courses the University, but when I saw Susanna’s course using deities and other yogi concepts as context for our writing, I was on board and excited. The themes really did give a deeper understanding for our writing exercises, and for me, stimulated my thinking in a playful and intriguing way. The writing exercises were revealing for me. They were great tools for flushing out my voice and bringing life to my writing. I loved listening to Susanna’s discourse on each topic and she clearly has a deep knowledge of yoga philosophy and segued it so beautifully into our writing exercises. She was encouraging, supportive and clear.The facebook page was a great forum for reading each other’s work. At first I was intimidated by it, but then it was and still is inspiring for me. One of my goals was to create a blog and this page was what did it for me. I put my timid voice out there and found supportive and kind feedback.
The other great thing is that there were, as far as I could tell, very accomplished writers as well as those of us just starting out. The course really worked for me, and judging from our facebook posts it worked for the seasoned writers as well. — Bea D.