6 Ways yoga and creativity work can bring more inspiring vitality to your life.
By Jill Badonsky, MEd | Posted 5/15/08 | Updated 1/2/21
"Yoga helps us to see that there is actually more to a day that we realize " —Mariel Hemmingway
Embrace an inspiration; set free an expression and in between, let the flow be effortless. Inhale, exhale, flow and release; test the edge. Explore stretching beyond your limitations, let go of the struggle.
The above pertains both to the creative process and to the practice of yoga. In the Body Blissmas quest for creative wellness for spirit, mind and body, yoga is a powerful conduit for deepening our creative experience. And creative thought can in turn enrich our yoga practice or any practice concerning reverence for the body.
In the relaxing flow of gentle stretches, the mind connects to myriad messages found in our body, released in relaxation, discovered when the mind is tuned to the present. And in the flow of creativity, we become present to our timelessness, we experience bliss, the exhale of our soul is the expression of gifts. Practice creates excellence and flexibility both in the body and in thinking.
Yoga and creativity are both about expansion and stretch. Courage in the creative process takes us past the edge of our limitations. Beyond that edge are possibilities we reach only when we trust in our ability to expand and be unattached to the results. Breathe in a feeling of courage, breathe out and move past your perceived limits. In yoga, the breath-in lifts us, when we exhale we extend into a new territory. Try pairing the movement with the intention
At the beginning of your yoga practice, ask a small question. Do not expect an immediate answer but know that the inner massage, the twists and the stretches, the experience of mindfulness in your yoga practice will create the optimal conditions for effortless, intuitive wisdom.
Examples of questions: What can I release? (As you ask this, feel in your body a sensation of release); How can I think differently about this idea? (As you ask this, twist your body and parallel the twist with your ability to shift a thought into a different perspective).
My favorite yoga poses are the twists. Twisting an existing concept to a new one is also a favorite creative concept. I twisted the nine Greek muses into nine modern day muses; Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year into Body Blissmas and a Happy New Rear, and my book The Muse Is In: An Owner's Guide for Your Creativity is a twist on the Old Farmer's Almanac, it's an Awe-manac. What concept can you twist into something new?
Often we pay more attention to the discomfort in our bodies, our creative process, and our lives than to the bliss. When you are in a yoga pose, focus on what feels good about it. In every pose, there's a place of relaxation, see if you can find it. Train the mind to detect delight not negativity. What are you enjoying about the creative process? What is working? What can you give yourself credit for? And if those questions are hard for you, open just 5% to their answers.
Small time slots of practice both in your creative pursuit and in yoga are better than no practice because you think you have to have an hour of time or attend a class. 5 to 15 minutes of yoga can transform and lead automatically to more. Five to fifteen minutes of writing or art does not trigger the fear response that leads to procrastination. What can you do in just 5 minutes of time for your yoga or creative practice today. Believe me, it WILL make a difference.
The key is practice for both yoga and creativity without concern for perfection. Practice just naturally turns into excellence but if we think too much at the beginning of either yoga or creativity, neither may happen.
If you do take a yoga class, remember all instructors are different and there are a variety of yoga styles. If you do not resonate with one, try another one, or just do some simple stretches combined with breathing on your own.
©2008 Jill Badonsky. All rights reserved.