If you want to kick start your creativity: do some yoga. The unique integration of mind, body and spirit in yoga naturally fosters a platform for creative inspiration. So much so, that yoga has been taken on by several artists including Sting, Woody Harrelson, Madonna, and Sarah McLaughlin.
There are a few reasons why this creative surge seems to occur, but perhaps one of the largest is that in yoga you learn to be present within yourself. Yoga is about self-acceptance. While you contort your body into the asanas, you will learn about your own bodies limitations and its individual wonders.
Breathe and in particular, deep oxygenating breathing is also at the foundation of yoga. When we breathe deeply, oxygen travels to the brain increases our overall energy and quite literally our brain synapses. Thoughts and connections readily occur when magical oxygen is present in our blood and brain. In addition, this deep pranayamic breathing encourages our body to relax, be present and reduces overall anxiety.
If you’re like me, anxiety is my creativity stifler. When I’m anxious, I’m unable to focus, feel overwhelmed and am generally scattered. However, by simply taking 15 minutes to practice my asanas, my world has become a lot clearer and my creativity begins to flow.
As promised, the following are a list of poses that by design will stimulate your creativity. In some of the more challenging poses, like Wild Thing and Half Moon, feel free to use props. At the end of these poses, I encourage you to put on some favourite music and dance. Close your eyes if you can and simply feel the music, move your body. Start of quickly and then slow your body down into a relaxed state, ending the series in wonderful Savasana. I hope that you enjoy this mini practice as much as I do.
Sitting in whatever pose is comfortable for you, practice Alternate Nostril Breathing. Try completing this practice with your eyes closed, focusing fully on your breathe. Continue for two-three minutes.
Twists are fantastic for stretching your body and mind. Start in staff position. This pose, opens up your chest and stimulates your mind. Take some time in this pose (1 to two minutes on each side). Breathe deeply increasing the oxygen to your brain.
Lay on your back, and go into bridge. Remember in bridge pose, your shoulders, arms, head, neck and feet remain on the floor. Use props, blankets are a great support for your neck and shoulders to assist. Inversions and back bends are excellent for stimulating creativity as it challenges your body into new positions.
This is an advanced pose. In the beginning you can use a wall or blankets for support. A true inversion, this pose will give both your brain and body lots of energy. Shoulder stand also helps relieve anxiety and mild depression. Enjoy this pose, when you find yourself wanting to fall, naturally go into plow.
One of my favourite pose, plow pose truly provides you with a new perspective. Enjoy the feel of this pose. Pay attention to the position of your shoulders, if you’re feeling any strain try bringing them closer to your ears. Breathe.
6) Downward Dog or Child’s Pose
Use these poses as a resting posture, stay in the pose as long as your body needs. Breathe.
Challenge your body and mind in Half Moon Pose. Start off in triangle pose and then move into Half Moon. Use a block or a brick to support the hand on the ground. You can also use a wall to support you in this balancing pose. Return to triangle, and complete the other side.
This pose is an interesting twist on a familiar pose, Downward Dog. Take your time practicing the pose and listen to your body. Try to lengthen your body, and relax in this new perspective. Rest in child’s pose before trying the other side.
This pose is a wonderful posture, and extremely challenging. Play with this pose. Enjoy.
9) Dance. Close your eyes and pretend you are the only individual in the room. Feel the rhythm of the music and allow your body to move in whatever way that it desires.
10)Savasana: Rest and relax. Be present in Savasana, enjoy the full benefits of this posture. Breathe.
I hope you enjoyed this mini session. Remember go at your own pace. Do as much or as little as you like. And enjoy that wonderful surge of creativity.