I’ve kept journals since I was ten years old and as proof, I have about forty of them all stashed in an old barrack box in my basement. When I pick them up, turn them over in my hand, I immediate an overwhelmed by the emotions I felt when I wrote on the page and it all comes back to me. Those journals are part of who I am and they have allowed me to work through my issues from adolescence to adulthood.
Through the creation of my journals, I learned to sort out my own problems, identify issues in my life, set goals and communicate my feelings to others, all mighty feats considering how hard it can be to express ourselves these days. And in a world that seems to consistently demand instant information access online, and where we have learned that typing speed tends to be a little more efficient than pen to paper, the actual process of writing by hand can be so moving and cathartic that you’ll quickly find your private moments with your journal to be your favourite time of day.
But to take it one step further, many people now keep yoga journals, where they write about the intentions of their practice, the details of what they completed that day and further yoga goals. Kind of like an exercise journal but with more emotional depth. Yogi’s would also be encouraged to write about their feelings before and after practice, which helps us to put tangible value to the benefits of yoga and also helps us to get into deeper touch with ourselves.
Some of us may find that we need to schedule this time into our day whereas others will be able to pick up a pen and write whenever the mood strikes them. But no matter the method you choose, simply writing about your day and your yoga practice will serve to heighten your awareness of your body. I also find a yoga journal to be an excellent method to note moves that don’t work for me as well as those I particularly excelled at. Sometimes, the simple act of celebrating your successes is enough to move you forward.
So I encourage everyone to go out and find their own journal. Make it. Buy it. Staple a bunch of loose-leaf sheets of paper together. Whatever your journal style, just call it your own and spill your feelings onto the page. You’ll be shocked by how much better you feel afterwards.