How Spinning is Like Yoga

Judith MacKenzie

Judith MacKenzie

It’s almost Labor Day, and we’re getting excited for Spinzilla spinner registration to open (September 1!). Spinzilla was conceived when two spinning professionals sat together and wished for more time just to enjoy the pleasure of spinning yarn. Set aside a whole week to make yarn–whether you think of it as a competition (go Team Spin Off!), an opportunity to challenge your skills, or just permission to do what you like. Dedicate some time in early October to a daily spinning practice.

For some of us, spinning has the same benefits as yoga or meditation: It’s an opportunity to quiet the mind. It’s connects us to the earth and to our ancestors. It’s an exercise in both challenge and acceptance. It involves coordinating our bodies and minds. It can benefit from collaboration with a skilled teacher.

One of my favorite writers and speakers about spinning is Judith MacKenzie. As I get ready for Spinzilla, I often have Judith’s voice in my ear, whether I’m thinking of a practical subject such as how to spin a particular yarn or something more holistic such as imagining what the world was like before commercial wool mills. The delight she takes in spinning is infectious.

I remember her once commenting on a spindle I held and saying, “I often do my daily spinning practice on a spindle like that one.” When I was thinking about spinning practice, I asked for her thoughts on the matter.

“I do have a regular spinning practice, one that started when I was a young mom in a busy world. I spin a yarn that has special meaning for me.  Yarn for a friend, for a new child’s slippers, for a marriage gift. Yarn to knit socks for a beloved’s feet and, sometimes, even for my own two feet. Best, when I can, in the early morning, as the world and I wake up, with my cat and a cup of coffee. Spinning, centering, restorative.”

-Anne Merrow

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