The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jan 29, 2013

Inside Lip Service Institute & Dharma Yoga Studio's yoga/writing retreat

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

By Andrea Askowitz, Lip Service

Last Saturday Lip Service Institute, the teaching arm of Lip Service, teamed up with Dharma Yoga Studio for our first one-day yoga/writing retreat.  It was awesome!  Yoga has a magical affect on the mind.  The body, sure, but especially the mind. The ten participants were leery at first.  Well, I shouldn’t speak for all of them. I know for sure that my wife, Victoria was scared.  She loves yoga, but writing intimidates her.  She was very, very afraid.

We started with two questions:  Who are you and why are you here?  I asked everyone to write and I gave them three minutes.  Then I asked them to read what they wrote.  Victoria read, “This is hard.”  Her voice was angry.  She told me later she was pissed because she thought yoga would come first.

Yoga came minutes later, taught by the best teacher in Miami, Vanessa Michel.  We had a butt-kicking hour of downward dogs and cobras set to music like Ice Ice Baby and Hallelujah.  Then the writing flowed.  We did three, five-minute exercises and here’s some of what came out of different students:

  • “I followed a boy, found a man.”
  • “She was the most annoying girl…Next summer, I tried again.”
  • “Breasts fascinate me, mostly because I don’t understand the fascination.  Fun bags. Sacks of fat.”
  • “She’s getting great sex while I’m not getting any.”
  • “I’m a planetary rain man.”
Once Victoria got warmed up, she wrote:  “I can’t stand bad cooking.  Last week my wife cooked shrimp without deveining it first.  Everyone was eating shrimp poo.” Maybe Victoria was still a little angry at the end, but she told me she wants to do it again, so I think we will.  Check  Click on Lip Service Institute to find out when.

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