Twists

This lesson from yoga practice is twists. Think of the words spread on the page being like your legs, lying long out in front of you. Specifically, think about having a 75-word sentence lying on the page out in front of you relaxed and ready. From this asana, you can get to all manner of twists. One of my favorites is to cross one leg over the other at the knee. In writing I’d think of this as splitting the sentence into two, as close to equally as you can get. Then, you’re going to take one of your hands and pull the knee closest to your chest even closer and take your other hand behind you to help your upper body twist. In writing, this is where you can give all manner of variations. Start, maybe by insisting that the whole thing be divided into 5-word sentences. Breathe here. Inhale. Exhale. Feel your body. Hear the new formation of the words. Notice the impact of the changes you’ve made. Now, with each breath, go deeper. Add stipulations about varying sentence length. Instruct students (or yourself) to get in a colon somewhere, a dependent clause — whatever they’re struggling with in grammar, get them to embed in one of the modifications. Always stop after each new addition. Inhale, exhale, and, just the way, in yoga, you pay attention to your whole body, pay attention to what happens in the writing. Just the way that you breathe into the tight parts of your body, work the parts of the writing that are the hardest or that you or your students resist most.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Bend your language further.

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