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Lake Superior at Grand Marais, Minnesota. Photo by author.

I am thrilled to be teaching at the Grand Marais Art Colony for the third year in a row. I am even more thrilled to combine my two passions — memoir and yoga — for this year’s workshop.

For me, physical activity is a necessary component of writing. I seem to have a time limit for screen time — after an hour or two of writing, I get restless and it’s like I can’t think any more. I have to get up and move around. The physical activity helps recharge my brain and gives me necessary “thinking” time.

Yoga is not only a recharging activity, but also a charging activity! Yoga can actually stimulate creativity by working with certain energy centers in the body. You hear a lot about mind-body connection; yoga is an activity where you can see that in action.

Here’s how the weekend class will break down:

Friday, Sept. 28: 4:00-6:00
Introductions, talk about writing goals for the weekend, and a short yoga practice.

Saturday, Sept. 29:
9-9:45 a.m.: Morning yoga practice
10 a.m. – noon: Guided memoir instruction
Noon-3 p.m.: Lunch and writing time on your own
3:15-4 p.m.: Afternoon yoga practice
Optional dinner together

Sunday, Sept. 30:
9-10 a.m.: Morning yoga practice
10 a.m. – noon: Guided memoir instruction
Noon-3 p.m.: Lunch and writing time on your own (optional lunch together to talk about writing progress)
3:15-4 p.m.: Afternoon yoga practice

No yoga experience is necessary! The yoga classes are all-levels, with modifications offered for both beginners and more experienced students. Please bring a yoga mat if you have one.

For the morning yoga practice, if you want to eat beforehand I suggest eating something light by at least 7 a.m., with plan for a light snack after the practice. Trust me — it’s no fun to practice yoga when you are ravenously hungry, and it’s also no fun if you’ve eaten a little bit too much 🙂

The morning guided writing instruction will offer a combination of handouts, discussion, writing exercises geared toward memoir, and sharing of work.

I left the afternoons as independent writing time. When I’ve taught memoir workshops before, I’ve noticed it can get intense with taking in a lot of information and it can be frustrating not having the time right then to do your own writing. I think between the yoga and the writing instruction, some creativity is going to bubble up and I want you to be able to take advantage of that.

Is there really any better place in the world than fall on the North Shore? Give yourself this gift of time to focus on the writing that’s so important to you. You have a story to tell — let’s hear it! There’s still time to register — you can do so here. Please contact me if you have any questions.

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Photo credit: Deborah Monacelli, Zen Photography by Deborah.

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