Writing + Yoga Event with Ashley Coleman & Mary Lou

Photo Credit: Kathryn Serrano

Photo Credit: Kathryn Serrano


I was fortunate enough to attend Writing + Yoga on behalf of SpokenBlackGirl.com. Considering the mentally and emotionally taxing world we are currently living in, I actively search for any source of relief, and as an avid lover of both restorative writing and yoga, I was beyond excited to be able to attend.

The Yoga Collective is located on the 6th floor of a small building in Chelsea. I walked into a room that radiated of love and healing. The participants included groups of best friends who’d decided to attend together, writing workshop veterans, and newbies like me. The studio was large enough to be comfortable, yet intimate enough to not feel overwhelmed by the space.

We began the session by writing our answers to prompts led by writing coach and author, Ashley Coleman (@WriteLaughDream). The questions were fired off back to back, so we would have to answer frankly without spending too much time overthinking our answers. I found myself being more honest on paper than I had been with myself in quite some time. An emphasis was placed on how much time we all devote to healing others while only distracting ourselves, mainly with social media, and a collective eye-opening feeling captivated the room.

Photo Credit: Kathryn Serrano Mary Lou (left), Ashley Coleman (right)

Photo Credit: Kathryn Serrano

Mary Lou (left), Ashley Coleman (right)

As someone who works in a digitally based career, I truly felt in this the base of my heart. Our yoga instructor, Mary Lou (@MaryPrettyLou), made the suggestion that when we felt the urge to pick up and scroll through our phones out of habit, that we picked up a notebook and write instead. She even mentioned that we should check any tensions we hold in bodies throughout the day. For example, I’ve noticed how tense my shoulders are by around noon on a typical day, and I have to make the conscious decision to talk and relax and just breathe.

The guided writing was immediately followed by around an hour and a half of probably the most relaxing yoga session I've ever attend. Mary Lou guided us through poses and self-reflections. Several of us admitted to feeling as if we were floating at some points. It was so incredible to feel relaxed to point of forgetting the outside world, even if only for a couple of hours. It was empowering to experience this with a room full of women who were simultaneously at their most powerful and vulnerable.
 

Photo Credit: Kathryn Serrano

Photo Credit: Kathryn Serrano

Lastly, Ashley wrapped up the event by asking those who were willing to share what we'd written at the beginning. Although we were baring our souls to complete strangers, it felt like we were in a safe space. I absolutely look forward to attending similar events in the future. There are times that I find myself feeling so isolated in my fears and anxieties.This experience provided an outlet to share this part of myself and reminded me just how much writing could be used to heal.

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Amora Miller

 

"When in doubt, write it out."

Amora is a Texas native attempting to navigate post-graduate life in New York. Hobbies include overspending at Trader Joe's, hitting the snooze button one too many times, and scribbling down random thoughts on whatever is available.

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