In support of The Blog

Dearest Readers and Fellow Bloggers,

I need your help.

We are in the first week of Yoga Teacher Training at It’s All Yoga. Uh-mazing group of women stepping up to the unknown frontier of this practice.

One of their assignments is: start a blog where you will chronicle the journey of training for the next 5 months.

Upon discussion of this assignment on our first day some very valid resistance came up:

I’m not comfortable putting very private and personal information on the internet for all the world to see.

I hear ya.

When I first started blogging, a year ago exactly, it was very awkward to write things that felt like they belong in a diary.

And yet, I kept doing it. There was something powerful about baring it. Stating it out loud (well, technically in writing). Making a public declaration.

As a very private person, I actually found myself sharing more on this blog than I would otherwise.

Some days it helped me vent and work through frustration. Other days it helped me realign perspective by seeing something in a new light.

Admittedly, there may be things that do belong in your diary and not online for the world to see. Part of the process of blogging might be to sift through what’s appropriate and comfortable for you.

Pro-blogger tips aside (be of benefit, tell a story, how to build readership, etc.), since this assignment is for a specific purpose (to be an outlet and narrative account of yoga teacher training) I am hoping you can help me explore the benefits of expressing oneself in this medium.

Here’s what I have so far after in-class discussion and post-script reflection:

  • Can be like free therapy (sounding board, hearing yourself out loud, talking/writing through options)
  • A place to receive support and online hugs… sometimes from people you’ve never met, who care about you
  • Powerful to offer experiences, thoughts, vulnerabilities and insights publicly
  • Perhaps more inclined to share in writing; feels somewhat anonymous (in fact, can be completely anonymous)
  • A forum to watch your own progress and transformation
  • Inspiration for others who likely struggle with the same things in practice or life
  • Allows you to reach more people with your message
  • Strengthen skills of organizing and writing thoughts about your life experience
  • Could uncover hidden talents or interests and morph into a new life phase/path

Here’s what I ask of you: If you blog, why? What does it give you or do for you that writing in a journal (or not writing at all) wouldn’t?

If you read blogs (in particular, this blog), why? What do you get from reading other people’s experiences and thoughts? Does it benefit you in some way? How?

It is a good practice in any area of life to check in periodically: Why do I do this? Is it still working? Does something about it need to change?

The resistance and question of why a blog has been helpful for my personal investigation.

With no intent of convincing someone to do something they are viscerally opposed to, I hope to offer these benefits to the teacher trainee group in support of blogging.

Will you help?

***

p.s. I already know of and truly do understand the valid reason for not wanting to blog, so please kindly focus on the positives.

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17 Responses to “In support of The Blog”


  1. 1 Emma July 26, 2010 at 1:40 am

    forces me to write something every single day. otherwise, i wouldn’t. therefore, forces me to think creatively, and “outside of the box.”

    to ask myself: how can i say something valid/genuine, true (to me), and useful?

  2. 2 Kelley July 26, 2010 at 1:44 am

    um, well, this one is a thinker for sure. it makes me question WHY i do read the blogs i read regularly and i am quiet sure i’m going to 86 one or two based on this reflecting. to answer your question, i read YOUR blog because I connect with you and we seem to be on the same paths in life some (most) of the time. i especially like reading your blog when our lives intersect at something i am going through too and you have found a way to share your thoughts and feelings in a way that makes me feel normal and encourages me to think, feel, change, be more or less, etc…..i also aspire to be more like you and that kind of makes me feel weird to write out here for all to see. i’m not, per-se, a michelle wannabe but would it be so bad if i modeled some of the best of what i see around me?

  3. 3 Kelly July 26, 2010 at 3:35 am

    I want to feel connected to people beyond those I meet by chance. Blogging is the best way to do that. It’s brought me clients and it’s connected me to some of my favorite people in the world. Plus, there are ways to talk about personal experiences without revealing private details. The first step is just writing for myself in a notebook, not for anyone else. Then I get to decide, ‘How much of this would I be OK with someone else reading?’ Even when I don’t publish something, I’m always glad I wrote it down. The process of noticing my feelings is a lot like yoga. Sometimes all I have to do is remove a few details and I can publish something personal without totally embarrassing myself. (Maybe one day I’ll be okay with totally embarrassing myself!)

  4. 4 Amy --- Just A Titch July 26, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I get asked why I blog all the time. There is something so…weird…about meeting people who have read my blog, or writing things that are private and having others respond. I’ve always been a writer in a journal, literally since age 7. I love writing online because I get to meet people who have been through similar things, or who are learning from my journey. It’s given purpose to things I thought were hopeless (i.e. writing about depression, my weight, being a young divorcee) because people learn and relate to it. Best of all, I get to read the stories of others and become friends.

    One of the reasons I come back to your blog, besides the fact that the writing is great and I adore you, is that I really love seeing my yoga teacher “off the mat.”

    I would encourage students to blog just for their community first, until they feel more comfortable. I love going back to my old blog/journals and reading about my first days of teaching—to see how I’ve grown, to remember how it felt and to see my transformation.

    • 5 Bob July 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      As part of last year’s teacher training, I wrote this: http://parichayavastha.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/why-do-i-blog/

      As I look now at what I wrote then, I can honestly say that I stand by every single word. The experience of sharing helps to break down the barriers of separateness and helps us to understand that the difficulties we face are not ours alone, but are shared.

      I continue to blog, though less frequently. It is part of my yoga. It is part of my giving.

      My warmest wishes for all the new teacher trainees.

  5. 6 blogasana July 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    i have chills reading these comments. wow. thank you.

  6. 7 Liv @ Choosing Beauty July 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    When I first started blogging, I did it for myself – as a healing exercise to force me to see the good in my life every day for a year. That was four years ago and I’ve kept on going. Not only did I create a life-affirming habit, but I found a new outlet for sharing my feelings and observations and discovered a whole community of like-minded friends who have supported me, learned from me, embraced me, and taught me so much about myself. When I’m away, I actually miss my blog and the sweet souls that visit me there. It’s not for everyone, but if you write from your heart it can be a really wonderful experience!

  7. 8 bachatero80 July 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I began writing my blog as a way of externalizing my inner thoughts and reflections. It gives me a place to export the thoughts and insights I am having at a given moment, and thus helps me to be in the present moment. Ironically the times when I feel the most present in the blog are the times when I can upload and release attachments about the past and the future.

    And while my blog is intensely personal, it’s also not the place to air deep dark secrets for me. I think it might be useful to remind your trainees that being aware that you have an audience really does change and influence your writing. That doesn’t mean you are dishonest, but rather, it prompts an really honest reflection about what to share or not share in a given moment. Sometimes I get that scary feeling of “maybe this is too much” which forces me to check in on my self-judgments. Other times, I get the sense that “this insight or thought is better left internal” or “I should be having this conversation/fight with the person I’m having it with, not the audience of my blog.” Mostly, it forces a greater awareness of what one says and doesn’t say.

    I read your blog because I like reading about someone else’s journey on this same path. I’m inspired by your compassion, generosity and honesty. And it helps me to be compassionate, generous and honest in my own blog and in my own life. Namaste!

  8. 9 Ken July 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Blogging, for me, has been a journey of discovery and one that I share with others. If I hadn’t shared that journey, I don’t believe I would have stayed the course.

  9. 10 Joslyn July 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I love to write. I love to read. I love to share and to learn, and I love yoga! So, I started a blog (about yoga studentship) to:

    — Find new ways to commit to my practice
    — Foster community through conversation
    — Learn from others’ experiences and insights
    — To share mine
    — Practice being myself as a writer and a student

    I would love to read about the teacher training experience. I think it’s fascinating. And if someone can share that in a way that’s interesting, entertaining, funny, and/or thoughtful — how great!

    For me, practicing yoga is intensely personal and at the same time has opened me up to an amazing community of people. I enjoy learning about yoga just as I do about other passions like food, writing, music… so I always appreciate it when someone shares their knowledge or experience.

    On a very practical level, I’m interested in teacher training and I think it would be fun (and possibly even helpful) to me in my own path.

    Of course, people should be encouraged to approach their blogs with whatever parameters feel right to them. Some of the best blogs, even when they are about personal issues, share their stories through humor, through lists, or through news stories.

    Let them know they can get creative! And not to think of it as a diary, but an outlet for sharing whatever they feel is appropriate and worthwhile with an audience of people who are truly interested in what they have to say.

    Thanks for starting a great conversation!

    All things good,

    Joslyn
    @omadhikara

  10. 11 blogasana July 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    amazing feedback. thank you each so much. and nice to make some new acquaintances!

  11. 12 Laura Johnson July 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I started reading your blog because of the shoulder videos you mentioned in class and I have continued to read because I enjoy it–I’m inspired, touched, entertained. Reading your blog can be a really fun or soothing break in the middle of work–like right now!

  12. 13 Deborah King July 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Yes, as bachatero expresses, writing externalizes my thoughts.

    I’ve been writing in an online journal for almost nine years and for me, getting my thoughts down on paper solidifies them, makes them more concrete, something I can look at instead of just letting them float by like the cloud in the sky.

    Because I’ve been doing it for so long, I’m now able to go back and read where I was many experiences ago and say … “wow. I’ve sure changed!”

    I also use a service that allows me to pick and choose who is going to read what. Huge difference than posting to all the internets.

    It’s healing. And affirming.

  13. 14 blogasana July 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    @deborah – what a great tip (livejournal)… i’m going to pass it along! thanks!!

  14. 15 Elizabeth July 30, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I like blogging because it gives me a way to meet people that I might otherwise not have met. And because I like to share the things I love with others. And because I think that sharing some of the things that feel personal reminds us and others that we’re never really alone in something.

    I like reading blogs for similar reasons. And because I learn things .. all the time.

  15. 16 LaGitane August 1, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Hi, I just found your blog through Joy of Yoga. For me, blogging is a great way to combine two of my passions – yoga and writing! I like writing for an external audience as it helps mw keep my writing focused.

    Nice to meet you!

  16. 17 tami August 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I blog because you asked me to initially. As part of YTT, I thought it would be a helpful way to process all of what I was learning and experiencing. I never thought anyone outside YTT would read it.

    As it turns out, it was one of the best parts of YTT: I discovered a whole new world – one filled with amazing people from all over the world -, I made deeper connections to the other TTs that were also blogging and it has helped me stay present more because I’ll be writing about life later. I find that I am paying closer attention to the details of my life.

    As far as journal writing goes, I don’t do it. Well, I didn’t until I started blogging. Now I keep a journal as a way to gather ideas for writing. So you’ve helped create a blogger AND a journal keeper.

    I read your blog because I want to know more about what is going on with you, how you process what is happening, for insight and sometimes a laugh or two. Plus your yoga videos kick ass.

    I read other people’s blogs for inspiration and humor. Sometimes beauty and connection. I have made some good friends through blogging and it’s opened up a world I had no idea existed before.

    Did I mention that this was one of the BEST parts of YTT?


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