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I always love to hear how yoga helps people in their daily life. So when my student and friend Cila Warncke got in touch to ask if she could share how yoga helped her write a novel, I couldn’t wait to hear her story. This Q&A explains it all…ibiza noir

How long have you been practicing yoga? 

CW: I started doing Bikram yoga when I returned to London in 2012 after living in Ibiza for several years. At first, it was just a way to keep warm; then it became a lifeline.

What about writing?

I’ve been a professional writer of one sort or another since graduating from university. I first moved to Ibiza to write for a music website. Years later, those experiences formed a basis for my novel, Ibiza Noir. 

What is the novel about?

It’s about three people who are looking for the things we all need — love, understanding, a place to call home — and what happens when they look in the wrong places. Played out against a backdrop of sex, drugs, and thumping techno 😉

How did yoga help you write your novel?

I never thought I could write a novel. Too tedious, too hard, too complicated. Doing Bikram five or six days a week showed me I can do something that seems impossible!

I began the novel in 2013. The first draft was a lot like my first months of yoga: show up, do the work, don’t worry about the result. To tell you the truth, Paul, I heard your voice in my head a lot: “Always try the right way! Never give up!”

When I was editing the novel, I drew on the discipline of yoga. I must have read the novel a dozen times, line by line, studying every word, letter, punctuation mark. It requires serious concentration and patience. I couldn’t have done it without yoga.

What about the physical practice?

It was vital. I wrote the novel in a succession of rental flats, mostly at kitchen tables. None of my work spaces would have won any ergonomic awards. Doing yoga worked the kinks out and I’m convinced it saved me from repetitive strain injuries.

Bradley Lake, Grand Teton Natl Park

Cila practicing yoga

Can you sum up yoga’s importance to your writing in a single sentence?

It taught me to chase perfection while being profoundly content with reality.


Cila’s novel Ibiza Noir is available on Amazon

Has yoga helped your creative work? Share in the comments!