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  • Writer's pictureChristie A. Cruise, PhD

Meditation and the Art of Mindful Journaling

by Tashiana Cheeks


Have you ever felt the urge to capture the fleeting clarity you experience during your yoga or meditation sessions? Mindful journaling is a powerful practice that allows you to do just that. Even if you have some knowledge of mindfulness and yoga, incorporating mindful journaling can deepen your self-awareness and enhance your overall well-being. In this blog post, I will share how I connect mindful journaling with my yoga and meditation practice and provide tips on how you can start your mindful journaling journey.

 

What is Mindful Journaling?

Mindful journaling is the practice of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and observations to promote mindfulness and presence. Unlike traditional journaling, which may focus on recounting events, mindful journaling encourages you to reflect on your inner experiences and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself. The benefits of mindful journaling include increased self-awareness, reduced stress, and enhanced creativity.


For me, mindful journaling has been a transformative tool. I started by simply noting my thoughts after my yoga practice. What began as a few lines about how my body felt evolved into deep reflections on my mental state and emotions. This practice has allowed me to track my physical and psychological progress and has become an integral part of my self-care routine.


The Connection to Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation promote mindfulness, presence, and self-reflection, which align perfectly with mindful journaling. Integrating mindful journaling with your yoga and meditation practice can create a holistic routine that supports your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.


My journey with yoga began when I received a gym membership as a gift, which offered yoga classes. The teacher, a hatha yoga practitioner for over 30 years, initially left me in awe of her flexibility. This sparked my interest, and I soon enrolled in a yoga teacher training program to deepen my practice. Then, my love for yoga and its many benefits blossomed.


After my yoga sessions, I sit quietly with my journal for a few minutes. I reflect on how my body feels, thoughts that surfaced during the practice, and any emotions. This process helps me understand how different poses affect my body and mind and reinforces the mindfulness I cultivate on the mat.


During meditation, I sometimes experience profound insights or moments of clarity. Writing these down immediately afterward helps solidify these experiences and allows me to revisit them later. This practice has deepened my meditation experience and helped me integrate its benefits into my daily life.


How to Start a Mindful Journaling Practice

Starting a mindful journaling practice doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are some tips to help you get started:


Set Aside Time: Dedicate a specific time each day for journaling. It could be in the morning, after your yoga practice, or before bed. Consistency is critical to developing a sustainable practice.

Find a Quiet Space: Choose a quiet and comfortable space to write without distractions. Creating a peaceful environment can help you focus and tune into your inner world.

Use Prompts: If unsure where to start, use prompts to guide your writing. Some prompts could be:

•            "What am I grateful for today?"

•            "How did my body feel during my yoga practice?"

•            "What emotions surfaced during my meditation?"

Be Consistent: Like any practice, consistency is critical. Aim to journal regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. The more you practice, the more natural it will become.

Be Patient: Mindful journaling is a journey. Be patient with yourself and allow your practice to evolve. There is no right or wrong way to journal; the goal is to cultivate mindfulness and self-awareness.


When I first started, I found it challenging to write consistently. Some days, I didn't feel I had anything significant to note. However, I soon realized that writing about small observations, like how a particular pose felt or a moment of peace during meditation, was valuable. Over time, these small entries built a richer understanding of my practice and my inner self.


Personal Experience and Tips

Since incorporating mindful journaling into my routine, I have noticed a significant improvement in my self-awareness and overall well-being. After my yoga and meditation sessions, I take a few moments to reflect and write down my thoughts. This practice has helped me identify patterns in my emotions and thoughts and provided valuable insights into my personal growth.


One tip I’ve found helpful is not judging what I write. Allowing myself to freely express my thoughts without fear of criticism has made my journaling practice more meaningful and impactful. I’ve also found that using prompts can be incredibly helpful, especially when I feel stuck or uninspired. Prompts provide a starting point and can help unlock more profound reflections.


I also noticed that journaling helped clear the mental fog on days when my mind felt cluttered. For example, after a particularly stressful day, a short meditation and writing about my experience brought me a sense of calm and clarity that I hadn't expected.


Additionally, I encourage you to consider stream-of-consciousness journaling as part of your mindfulness practice. This technique involves writing continuously without worrying about grammar or structure, allowing your thoughts and emotions to flow freely onto the paper. Keeping a shredder nearby can be a liberating way to release those thoughts and feelings, symbolically letting go of what no longer serves you.



Conclusion

Mindful journaling is a simple yet powerful practice that can deepen your connection to yourself and enhance your yoga and meditation practice. Setting aside time to reflect and write allows you to cultivate a greater sense of mindfulness, presence, and self-awareness. I encourage you to start your mindful journaling journey today and discover the benefits for yourself. Remember, the key is to be consistent, patient, and open to whatever arises during your practice.


Integrating mindful journaling with yoga and meditation creates a holistic routine that supports your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Start small, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the journey of self-discovery and growth.


 

Tashiana Cheeks, MPH, E-RYT, is a health and wellness professional passionate about improving health access and policies for marginalized communities. A global citizen who relishes cultural experiences, she leverages her expertise in strategic partnerships, marketing, and public health outreach. Her practice fosters mental, physical, and spiritual balance through coaching, breathwork, non-toxic body care products, and home organizing. With over 15 years of experience, Tashiana is a registered yoga instructor and life coach who founded Balance and Evolve in 2013. She specializes in helping clients achieve personal goals, reduce stress, and enhance well-being.


Want to reach Tashiana? Follow her on IG @tashiana_balanceandevolve

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