So how does a yoga story start?
INSPIRATION. This is always the beginning. If you are inspired, enthusiastic about an interest or admire someone/ something – then you can achieve great things.
Inspiration stimulates IMAGINATION, and EVERYONE has one of these, some just need a little kick start.
Like any journey though, there have been many wrong turns, stops and starts. The Jungle Story was one of the first stories I had ever written, and I have learnt not only what works well but also what not to do next time!
Now when I write yoga stories, the theme comes first – this tends to be my inspiration. Next I will consider yoga postures that fit well within this theme i.e. Fish, Whale, Octopus etc, for Deep Blue.
Then I will consider an important message that I would like to convey – in The Jungle Story it was simply appreciating and noticing the beauty of the world around us.
After this, I will formulate a rough sequence from my themed postures in my mind, that complement each other and include a variety of stretches such as back bends, forward bends, balances etc.
Finally, I will begin to write, allowing myself lots of flexibility for anything to happen in the story…something a little silly normally happens, as this makes me smile – and normally my Little Yogis too.
The direction the story takes, depends upon the postures. For example, standing postures such as Tree and Eagle flow very well together but Tree and Whale do not as it requires movement from standing to laying.
FLOW is very important in yoga to allow safe and easy movement from one posture to the next, and to allow the mind to stay focused and centered. Therefore, I place postures together in order of flow: standing, sitting, forward bends etc.
The whole story really starts to come together mid way – this is where I begin to include an important message that I think will be beneficial to consider; this topic will normally form the focus for the meditation at the end of the story.
Then, I will try the story out in my yoga classes! From there I can see how the story is received…kids being very honest! I can also see if the story flows well; I always re write sections and change a few postures around. Sometimes my Little Yogis give me ideas or do something completely different which I think works even better.
Then I go and drink tea with Anita…again, and we talk around the story. I send her the stickyman postures so she understands the asanas and then she is free to create wonderful art.
You can read more about the painting process HERE
As Anita paints, we take finished images and upload them into Photoshop to tweak – no too much – and add the text, playing around with fonts.
I make the Yoga Stickymen as Anita continues to paint and then I add them to the pages.
Once all the pages are completed, we make the front and back cover, write the Introduction and Blurb and put all the Stickymen together in a sequence at the back of the of book.
For The Jungle Story we really did do ALL the jobs – we were writers, artists, graphic guys, publishers…everyone!
Until we met MAGIC MIKE, who happens to have wands for fingers. So many times we printed our book and then had to go back to the drawing board because something went wrong; so Magic Mike, being just a little more qualified, helped to unblur a few blurry bits and create a little ‘pazazz’ to our Stickymen.
What have we learnt from this adventure so far?!…
- To persevere.
- To know that anything is possible when you are inspired.
- To accept help.
- To make work play by doing what you love and making friends!