Forty years in, I think I’m ready to take the plunge into copy editor yoga. That’s what a colleague aptly called Iyengar yoga when I described its attentiveness to detail and precision. There is a right way and a wrong way in Iyengar, just as there is in a respectable grammar manual. Sloppy writing, sloppy yoga—why bother?
It has been said to me by some writers that they have no patience for the pickiness of copyediting. They’re more interested in the creative process, they say. But grammar is the sinew and bone of writing. Without it, words are mere disgorgement.
I once had no patience for pickiness in yoga. Handstands, headstands, forearm stands—I was a thrill seeker who let her limbs fly. But for a while now, I’ve been tackling yoga’s grammar through Iyengar. And there’s a thrill as ecstatic as inverting heels over head in getting a simple pose precisely right.