I’ve done yoga for decades. I say ‘done’ but in many ways, the ‘doing’ words don’t work. While yoga can be a ‘doing’, it is also a being. A being present to my body, a being with myself, a being in flow, in rhythm, in breath. A mindbody-bodymind being.

I’ve been writing for decades too. My 17th novel, Lullaby Beach, came out last year. I don’t think writing is only a ‘doing’ either. When I’m very into the work of a book or story, whether that’s first draft or edits, it’s always there, somewhere beneath what else I’m doing, moving alongside me in my daily life.

I’m at the end of my third year of a four-year doctorate in Existential Psychotherapy. Alongside the practical work and theoretical training, I am beginning my research project into the embodied experience of being postmenopausal – ie, not the story of the symptoms or the to-HRT-or-not dilemmas (both of which seem to be the prime focus of most menopause research), but what it’s like to live postmenopause, the long and fruitful rest of our lives. This too, sits with me all the time, an embodied wondering that will (eventually) take form in the embodied writing of my thesis.

Yoga helps my writing. Yoga supports me to be writing. I’ve known this for ages and have often incorporated breath work or physical offers when I teach writing workshops. And so I chose to train to teach yoga, not to be a yoga teacher solely, but to bring yoga more centrally into my writing workshops.

Over the past couple of years I taught a yoga-for-writing workshops monthly with the support of lovely Level Six in Peckham, sadly no longer operating – for now!

People tell me the workshops work for them – in non-fiction writing as well as fiction, for academic writing and for people who have never written before. Each time the offer changes a little and I have made an effort to adjust sequences for attendees with specific physical challenges.

The yoga flows are intentionally low-key and lead into writing exercises that match the energy we’re awakening in our bodies. Just as there is no studying each others’ yoga poses, nor is there any reading out loud – it’s a workshop, a playtime, an allowing.

If this sounds like something you’d like to try, there’s an online workshop coming up:

Online on Saturday 26th November, 10-1pm – book here. The booking will then send you the link for the workshop. (Let me know if you have any trouble booking – email here.)

NB – you will be asked for your address and phone number when you sign up, this is for my insurance and will be kept confidentially, never shared.

And here’s some lovely things people have said about my workshops:

“The confidence Stella instils, not only to create stuff that’s good, but in not being fearful of creating stuff that’s not so good, is wonderful. And combining that with the bodywork was ridiculously liberating.”

Amy Beashel, author of “The Sky is Mine”

“Skilled teaching, so much generosity, wisdom, embodied practice, cutting through bullshit, encouragement and expertise-dressed-as-nurture. One of those experiences where I’ll still be mining for riches long after it’s over. If you get the chance to work with Stella and absorb this integrated work she’s forging I can highly, highly recommend it.”

Beccy Owen, songwriter/musician