Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Journey from the Center to the Page by Jeff Davis
Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing by Jeff Davis didn’t have me too excited. I thought it was just another of those opportunities to merge two ideas—in this case yoga and writing—into an excuse for publication. After all, get enough writers who also practice yoga and maybe you’d have enough readers to justify the publication. Yes, my expectations were pretty low. So I was pleasantly surprised when I started the book and soon found myself charmed by the lessons that Davis shares. I don’t know why I was surprised. When I think back on the books on writing which have excited me most they have almost always had a spiritual quality infusing the practical. And after the first section, this book becomes very practical as Davis explains how the compassion and discipline of yoga can be reflected in how an author creates characters or revises writing. This is not, however, intensive yogic teaching nor is it a fluffy approach to yoga. When Davis describes in detail why certain asanas can help the writing practice, from approaching the writing with the same attention to your intention as you do your yoga practice, he draws on decades of experience, both as a yogi and as a teacher. He is, after all, a writing coach and leads workshops, so he shares how he has used what he describes in the book not only in his own writing but in helping others and their creativity. This book is a keeper and ranks as high up in my estimation as Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.