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A Reflection on the Relationship between Yoga and Knitting

Artwork by Alannah Cavanagh

Artwork by Alannah Cavanagh

I’ve been knitting and practicing yoga now for several years and the more I do of both, the more I want to do of both. Yoga is known for its healing and holistic, life enhancing properties, but knitting? That is not so obvious until you begin to experience, over time, its own unsung, holistic qualities.

Knitting is calming and relaxing. The rhythmic nature of the knits and purls coming off the needles as you practice can be almost hypnotic. Most knitters agree that knitting is like a form of meditation.  It also has a grounding quality, much like you can feel during and after a really good yoga practice.

Knitting also requires concentration. One cannot hold onto one’s ‘story’ and knit. You have to stay present and focus on your stitches. To allow yourself to be swept away with thoughts and emotions is to guarantee a mistake somewhere in your project- your moving fingers are bound to start doing something you are not expecting. Even, regular breathing helps with the evenness of the stitches.

Knitting helps develop patience. It can be frustrating at first when you are trying to learn to knit and then to master other techniques. But going back and sitting down with it, ripping out and starting over to achieve a result you want in a project is necessary. It’s also rewarding, like when after doing a hundred bow poses suddenly one day you reach back, and there are your feet to grab! It all then seems worth it and you don’t get as mad when you ‘don’t get’ a technique

Both practices help keep me humble and keep me real. No matter what I do I feel good at the end of either activity.  Even if it means I had to decide to pull back- taking out my knitting and starting all over or taking a step back in my practice to strengthen my core before trying to grab by foot in Half Moon pose- it’s for my own good, my health.

There is something very grounding and nurturing in knitting and yoga practices, a strength and a tenderness that is inherent in both things.  I read recently another article that knitting aligns well with the Yamas and the Niyamas of the Yoga Sutras.

It’s so interesting… and makes me want to learn more and share more about both knitting and yoga. To that extent, I have become a yoga teacher and immersed myself in the yoga world. I have recently also taken the dip into the knitting world: This Sunday, January 6th, 10am-12pm,  I start teaching Beginner Knitting at my favorite knit shop, Ewe Knit!   (located at 585 Markham Street in Mirvish Village, ph.416-530-4848) Looking forward to seeing you on the mat…or on the needles.

– Written by Scott Fech

4 responses »

  1. This is just wonderful!! What an interesting contrast between yoga and knitting, you have inspired me to pick up my grandmothers sewing needles she left behind:)

  2. Loree Lawrence

    This is so lovely Scottie, and you’re such a wonderful teacher, those lucky beginner knitters!

  3. Great post. Do you know about the Men’s Knitting Retreats? You might enjoy them and they might enjoy a bit of a yoga workshop at the retreat

  4. i wholeheartedly agree


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