Blogging: Yoga Style

yogaA working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Before my yoga classes I accept the invitation to set an intention for practice, away from worldly distractions and toward my goal of concentrating and remaining in the now moment.  An intention is a short powerful statement that affirms you have set a goal and intend to achieve it and I’ve been applying that to my blogging as well as to my yoga.

In Sanskrit, the word for intention is Sankalpa, and it’s a representation of a desire or positive thought that you want to manifest, a promise you make to yourself. — Setting Your Intention

Eckhart Tolle TV, “Spiritual Awakening in Daily Life”

The now moment is not what happens; it’s the space in which now happens.

.

A goal is directed towards a future outcome.

An intention (Sankalpa) is more a reminder about the present moment.

Setting intention, at least according to Buddhist teachings, is quite different than goal making. It is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are “being” in the present moment. Your attention is on the ever-present “now” in the constantly changing flow of life. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values. — The Heart’s Intention

Distractions abound

This mind map explores managing your space, clearing other distractions and doing one thing at a time. Click the link in the caption to view the image at full size.

Multitasking and Mediocrity

Juggling phone calls, e-mail, instant messages and computer work makes you less effective and productive. The more multitasking you do the more mediocre the results are. So I’m trying to break the multitasking habit by scheduling blocks of uninterrupted time to work in, setting my intention, then carrying through and getting the work done.

Do your best and forget the rest!

Abhyasa and Vairagya are Yoga principles aimed at becoming purposeful and letting go of attachment to the results. Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility. Vairagya - non-attachment ie. focus is the essential companion. Combine the two principles to learn how to let go of the many attachments and focus on the now moment so you accomplish what you aim to do each day. Apply them to your blogging and you will be blogging yoga style.

Setting your blogging intention

You don’t have to practice Yoga to benefit from using the principles of setting your intention, persistent effort, non-attachment (focus) to achieve effective blogging time management. You can set your intention (Sankalpa) and combine Abhyasa and Vairagya principles with the Tips for Organized Blogging and the tools I suggest in 6 Simple Tips for New Bloggers.

  1. Write down your blogging goals for the following day every evening. Be brief and clear.
  2. Create a shortlist of 3 -4 major tasks for the day.
  3. Create a minor project list for tasks you may or may not have time to undertake.
  4. Exactly what do you want your blogging experience to look and feel like tomorrow? Set your intention. Write it down. Be brief and clear.
  5. When you begin in the morning refresh your intention, get rid of all distractions and focus on each task.
  6. From time to time throughout the day check in with yourself to discover if you on course. If you aren’t make an immediate adjustment by refreshing your intention.

 

Setting your intention to try blogging yoga style may be the change you need to make to become a more productive blogger.

Staying the course

I’m not allowing distraction or interruptions in the month of April. I’m focusing on my business, contracted work and getting my gardening started. My hubby is focused both on our business and on resuming our green home renovation project. That’s why my publishing on both blogs has decreased and been moved towards the middle to end of the week. It’s also why I have spent less time social networking. Next month my work load will be lighter so I’ll be able to resume bi-weekly publishing.

References:

46 thoughts on “Blogging: Yoga Style

  1. Pingback: Doing Less, Producing More, Feeling Great | this time - this space

  2. I really appreciate any and all help you continue to provide. I was just about running late for my son’s martial arts class when I piped in on the forum Conrad invited me into today, and on the way to the gym it hit me that I might’ve sounded off with the “I obviously belong here…” I just meant a congenial “looks like I belong here” after a smile emoticon I put up that didn’t go through. Anyway, the point is I love the kindness and camaraderie in blogosphere and would never put up a comment anywhere that’s less than positive. Btw, I love this post, esp for the yoga I long to be able to pick up again. You put a lot of thought into it. I pour my soul into my writing and I appreciate substance when I see it elsewhere.

  3. Pingback: Better Blogging: Learn from the experts | one cool site

  4. Ha ha ha hi, Timethief. I thought I’d tried your patience enough not to meet like this. Thanks for the like on my strawberry post. What a rich site you have here. I’m a huge yoga fan. Have been toying with a yoga post, yet to take full shape in my head. I like the connection you make between blogging (which often will translate into writing) and yoga, in their crossroads of intention. If you happen to be able to drop in again, my current series on the writing process covers some ground in grammar and style. Am a grammar nazi. Xx Diana

    • Hi there,
      I’m glad you liked the connection I made re: setting your intent and refreshing it when required. I wouldn’t get much done if I didn’t do that. Best wishes with your blog.

  5. Pingback: How to Focus in the Age of Distractions | heartflow2013

  6. I very much liked your relation between Yoga and Blogging.

    The thing I always liked about yoga is that it is not goal oriented like many other versions of exercise, for instance most forms of exercise are counted in times or laps, and the goal is to decrease the time or increase the laps each time, or possibly to beat another opponent, whereas the reward of yoga is simply the increased peace of mind and body that the yoga naturally brings, the only goal is inevitably accomplishment by the proper approach of the yoga in itself. This is an interesting way to approach blogging, as therefore the reward of blogging simply becomes the blogging itself.

    I enjoyed your task map, it reminded me that I should write another blog post sometime soon, which I greatly enjoy doing, and stop being so distracted by the many other things going on in my life.

    • Wow! pbscott
      How good it is to see you commenting here. It’s been so long since we connected and I’m so glad you liked this post.

      Distraction abounds and it’s not easy to avoid being drawn away form what we are doing when we blog. The electronic age is one that seduces us into mutitaksing and incorrectly assuming we are get more done and doing it better when the reverse is the truth.

      We like the same thing about Yoga. It’s non-competitive and it stretches our minds as well as our bodies. Setting an intention and staying the course helps me stay in the moment and do the best I can in everything I do. I consciously do that in my offline life but when it comes to my online life I found that my yoga mindset was with me when I blogged. Once I made that observation I realized slow blogging is the way to go for me. You are so right about the Yoga approach to blogging it renders reward of blogging as the blogging itself. In fact I’ll be blogging on the benefits of slow blogging in the future.

      Thank you for commenting. May you be well and happy.

  7. I really enjoy the mindmap. It’s funny, I find myself practicing a lot of those techniques while blogging, and I wonder whether the act of blogging has instilled those habits in me, or if I already had those habits that has help me keep on blogging. A bit of the chicken and the egg scenario it seems.

    • When I first viewed the infographic at full size I cringed. I’m a visual person and studying the graphic close up sent me right back to my university paper writing and thesis writing days. I did a written breakdown of where I thought I had compromised ie. where my writing habits, techniques and style had become sloppy due to being distracted which comes with the territory of multitasking. That breakdown convinced me that the drift I was making towards slow blogging ie. blogging yoga style was the right approach for me. You have excellent informative writing skills and you are an accomplished essay writer. Those skills were gained in the arena of higher education and it’s so good to find blogs like yours in the blogging mix as I strongly prefer to read essays on topics that matter to me, as opposed to reading 250 to 500 word thrown together posts on trendy topics that don’t hold my interest. Blogs full of the latter abound in the blogosphere. It’s blogs like yours with informative, thoughtful and well written essays that are more difficult to find.

      • Thanks for the kind words, TT. You’re probably more in the know on this stuff than I am, but I just read that WordPress has been focusing on nurturing more thoughtful and substantive content (with the introduction of the longform tags and weekly focus on longer pieces). I find that trend away from the “express yourself in 140 characters!” encouraging in an age of soundbites and distraction.

  8. Great points you’ve made. At a glance of your mind map image I quickly reminded myself what I am struggling with, and must fix in order to achieve the goal I am seeking. Again, thank you for your knowledge and experiences.

  9. I found your blog post title eye-catching…it’s like blogging in thoughtful way that has purpose. I don’t have specific goals for my blogging, except that I publish an original post at least once a month with some photos to support the content. And oh yea, the intention is write on the best I’ve seen, experienced in a sharing manner with my readers.

    I don’t place a psychological burden and waste time of readers on minutiae of cycle training moments and other hr. by hr. type narrative of my body’s response to cycling. The reader is not learning anything special about this trivia.

    My intent is treat the reader’s time spent on my blog post, as precious. So that tiny moment of opportunity with reader, means I must write with words that draw them in, engage them to read a few paragraphs or look at my photos, read my captions.

      • Thank you for the blog compliment. Find a yoga class near to where you live and try it. I prefer Iyengar yoga clases due to the use of props like blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters to assist the student in attaining ideal alignment, even if the body is not yet open enough to assume the pose without them.

    • Hi Jean,
      You are an essay writer who is able to use visuals so well in your posts. Maybe you don’t realize it but you are a slow blogger and I appreicate the result of your thoughtful and creative approach to blogging. The angles you take on the topics you blog on are not mainstream. The are “on the ground” as bicycle riders don’t watch scenes going by them as those in vehicles do; bicyclists are part of the scene. What you don’t blog on ie. the minutae of cycling training is what brings me back because , as you know I don’t bicycle as a mode of transportation. I ride an exercise bike on my deck but that’s not the same at all. As I said before, your photos are excellent and your informative captions glue us readers to your text, That’s not necessarily easy to do in this age where distraction prevails. I love reading your posts and commend you on having such unique and enjoyable blog.

  10. I set sankalpas for my yoga practice – off the mat as well as on. Reading this, I realised I had set a sankalpa for *writing* my blog, but not for blogging in general…i.e. I will now be setting a sankalpa for myself about setting aside a specific amount of time for responding to comments, reading others’ blogs and commenting. Because at the moment, I often sit down thinking I will do those things for 20 minutes or so, and before I know it an hour or more has passed…

  11. Great post. With the blur of information input that all this technology has blessed us with, this advice has never been more relevant. That lovely space where creativity actually happens becomes an island of sanity. Gotta love Eckhart Tolle.

    • Hi there Bob,
      I’m happy to hear you are with me in this. If I didn’t set my intention and keep resetting it I wouldn’t get much accomplished at all.

  12. After reading the first couple of paragraphs and listening to the Eckhart Tolle video (he’s such a pleasure to listen to), the mind map was like a screaming banshee tearing through my eyes

    :-)

    • Hi there,
      Welcome to my blog and I do apologize for the delay in responding. I work and find it hard to keep up with replying to comments. I’m so happy to know you were engaged by what I shared. I hope it benefits you.

  13. Oh dear, sounds like I’m not working nearly hard enough on my blogging. On the other hand, we hermits don’t have a lot of other responsibilities.

    BTW, love that photo in your header!

      • Enjoy the nice days while you can. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a younger woman was being a good girl and getting my work done before playing. Well, playtime never came. The worst was when I spent a beautiful weekend stripping wallpaper, only to have it pour on the day I was going to go hiking. I never did that again. Now the work waits. And it’s getting nice here rapidly. . . .

      • This blog basically follows the process of a short story or novel: I have a bunch of ideas in draft, clippings of stuff on file. Ideas sort and simmer while walking the dog and fall into a sequence in my head. Throw down words and phrases. Then go back and write around those. Cut and paste to get thoughts lined up right. Lots of reading and rewriting (try for precise words and thoughts – and ones that fit topic/theme/mood) More reading and rewriting. Cut, cut, cut extra stuff even if it’s funny – may move to a draft for later use. locate pix and modify them as needed. think of captions, insert into post. Cut and move lines around again. Cut, cut, cut. Read/ rewrite to make it cleaner. Check working title and rewrite to fit current piece. Check ending to make sure it circles around and ties it up. Read again, tweaking here and there. And still after publishing, there’s always something I would do differently…but another day and another post. Want it to be free flowing and casual – but well crafted.

        • Wow! That sounds familiar. lol :D Even after publishing I edit and then when I think everything is just right I notice something that ought to be cut or corrected.

          • It never fails – once the copies are shipped out….and always nice when someone drops you a note telling you about an error they spotted – and they are sure you would want to correct that….I know! I know already. (soothing thoughts…do the best you can and move on….soothing thoughts…laughter helps a lot)

          • Laughter! Let me share this with you. After a lifetime of functioning with excellent vision, a high IQ and dyslexia that was barely detectable I suffered a head injury. Since then I have become visually challenged and my dyslexia became detectable. It’s been a humbling experience as I cannot always see the errors I make. What I dreaded most was the possibility of brain damage and loss of IQ. Thank goodness that was not the case.

            Since that accident I have learned how prideful I was my whole life long. Every day I learn another lesson in humility. I have wonderful bloggers who will correct my errors in comments when asked and I even have some that do that without being asked. My dry as melba toast sense of humor now allows me to cackle when I make errors and have to edit on my blog posts and in comments on my blogs. I’m gradually becoming less prideful as false pride became a barrier to my commenting at all.

          • Only someone who has it can identify – it used to be called “you could do better if you only try” instead of Dyslexia. A committee member told me I had it when I was in college – my version is pretty much in the same spot of a word over 5 letters. And I have an auditory disconnect. I read by outlines of words not by letters or phonics – and I read in phrases and chunks…do not ask me to spell – especially in spelling bees. It freaks people out that I taught English, then did editing and research writing. I know when something isn’t spelled right because it looks wrong – but I don’t know why…even if using a dictionary, it may take 3-5 times trying to transfer the knowledge correctly to the word and fix it. (I know there must be a God because someone invented calculators and computers – I used to say that all the time.) People do not understand the difficulty and stress of simply writing ordinary words. You might as well laugh – I think it gets the brain to see man things more creatively – and besides, spelling errors by others don’t bother me – it’s the message that’s important. Don”t get discouraged – you get to play with your brain differently now – how many people get to do that? Always an adventure! Thanks for chatting

          • I hear you loud and clearly too. My mother was dyslexic and she was a teacher. All of us kids learned how to cope and correct our own errors early on. It must have been really annoying to be told you weren’t trying hard enough. I can spell very well but my app doesn’t catch the differences between you and your or beteen your and you’re and I frequently appear to be ill educated simply because I cannot see the errors. It’s the message that’s importanmt but I find that glaring spelling and grammar errors are offputting.

          • It seemed more common then to tell kids “everyone has problems – figure out a way around it and get moving” Spell check isn’t very good – sometimes I have to just use a different word if the first one looks wrong and I can’t seem to fix it. Stress level/deadline seems to make jumping letter worse. It’s annoying, but even on my worst days, I’m better than some of the kids in schools now with the poor instruction level/lack of concern about being correct these days.

            But it is annoying for sure to see an error a bit later when you could have sworn it was all perfect earlier!

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