My Dance With the Inner Critic, Writing and Yoga

Mar 25, 2017 | Being a writer | 0 comments

A person standing holding a blank poster in front of her.

Tabla Rasa

The Writer’s Inner Critic

I’ve been thinking about what to write on ‘Yoga Suits Her’ this week and come up blank. In fact, in the last month I’ve skipped my weekly posting twice. Another of the weeks, my friend Angelika did a lovely guest post on The Beauty of Yoga Practice for me.

My Inner Critic has been wagging her finger at me. ‘Slack,’ she says.

A new post is like a blank Word document or a fresh sheet of paper – a tabla rasa. It’s a page that can be exciting for its clean spaciousness. When I am unblocked, what you the reader will get from me represents a happy co-incidence of interesting ideas and great writing technique.

In such felicitous circumstances, I hope that my written pages will give you something of value.

Sometimes, though, my ideas soar like an eagle far overhead, bewitching but out of reach. Other times, my technique feels as uninspired and flat as a calm sea for the board rider.

The Way Through

Over time I’ve learned the way through is to plunge ahead. With any luck, I can outrun the Inner Critic, silence the yama yama and put some stuff down that interests you and me. Not necessarily perfect, but the best of the moment.

Come to think of it, I’ve learned this technique in yoga practice. There are plenty of times when I’ve lost my practising momentum or mojo. Then I know that it is time for simply taking action without resistance. Of striking a pose and of being, as B.K.S. Iyengar has said, ‘in repose’.

From time to time, you too may have trouble silencing the babble of your own Inner Critic. When this happens, I suggest you take a complete break and collect yourself.

You could do chair savasana: Lie down on your back in front of a chair. Place your lower legs on the chair, a cushion under your head and cover your eyes with a soft cloth or eye pillow. Stay 10 minutes. (A fringe benefit: this position also helps with low back ache.)

Yoga pose showing a man lying down with his legs on a chair.

Chair Savasana


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