Time for NaNoYoga – a mini-routine perfect for the word count busting November novelists and all other writers at any time of the year. Take five minutes away from your work in progress to stretch those creative muscles.
Yoga is the perfect approach to unblock and get your creativity moving. Just a few minutes of stretching each day can ease the strain and keep the words flowing.
Our 5-minute yoga flow has been designed to help ease the pressure on all those writers doing National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo – but is perfect for all writers at any time of the year.
No need to abandon your work in progress – you don’t even need to move from your desk! There are eight exercises to be followed in sequence.
Get moving with our 5-minute NaNoYoga flow
Lift your fingers from the keyboard and place your hands in the prayer position.
Separate the hands with the palms facing upwards, then flip palms to face downwards. Repeat a few times: palms up; palms down.
Next circle your hands from the wrist making large circles clockwise, then anti-clockwise.
Finish by squeezing your fingers into a tight fist then spreading them as wide as you can. Repeat.
Turn to look across the room or gaze out of a window. Focus on the distance. Let your gaze soften – it’s not about noticing details, but relaxing your eyes.
Next for some eye exercise, keeping your head still, look straight ahead, then move your eyes within the eye socket to look left, then right. Return your eyes to the centre, then keeping your head still, look up then down. Now for the diagonal move your eyes to make an X shape.
Repeat each move again to trace the shape of the Union Jack flag with your eyes.
Sitting upright in your chair, feet flat on the floor, hands resting in your lap. Pull your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for a moment then let them relax down. Feel the tension release.
Roll your shoulders backwards in circles a few times, then forwards.
Still sitting upright, hands in lap, looking straight ahead. Turn your head to look over your right shoulder, then to look over your left shoulder.
Head facing forward, lower the right side of the head down towards your right shoulder. You should feel a slight stretch on the left side of the neck. Hold for a moment, then lower the left side towards the left shoulder stretching on the other side. Do again on both sides.
Push you chair back away from the desk. Sitting upright, with feet flat on the floor and hands resting on your knees. Breathe deeply, inhale, then on the exhale, bend your body forward curving your shoulders so your head moves towards your legs. As you inhale, sit upright, lift your head and tip it upwards to open the chest and arch the spine the other way. Exhale and curve round; inhale to extend upwards.
Move slightly forward on the seat of your chair, so you are clear of any arm rests. Feet are planted on the floor, knees apart about the width of your hips. Extend your spine and head upwards.
Twist your upper body around to the right, placing your right hand on the seat behind your bottom. Put your left hand on your right knee and look over your right shoulder to feel a nice twist of the upper body. Hold for a few breaths.
Repeat on the other side, putting your left hand behind you, your right hand on your left knee and looking over your left shoulder.
Stand up from your chair and take a step or two away from your desk. Standing firmly, with feet hip distance apart and hands on your hips, circle the hips clockwise a few times, then anti-clockwise making wide circles with your body.
8 Whole body
Still standing firmly, relax your arms so they hang loosely by your side. Breathe in then out, on the next inhale, raise your arms out to the side then up above your head.
As you begin to exhale, bend forward from the waist, with your arms hanging loosely towards your feet. Jiggle and wiggle your arms gravity relaxes your shoulders and arms. Carry on a few breaths.
On an inhale straighten your body upright, starting at the base of your spine and raising your head last. Stand straight, arms relaxed by your side. Exhale.
Finish by placing hands in prayer position in front of your body and bow to the writing muse.