Have you ever felt stuck? Maybe it’s a physical feeling of stuck-ness, a stagnant relationship, or an issue like writer’s block that impedes your creativity. Yoga is not only a wonderful way to get your body moving, it’s also an great method for activating internal energies, such as shifting thought patterns and opening yourself to creative inspiration.
Perhaps this is why yogis and artists make such good bedfellows. Still, many artists have never tried their hand at practicing yoga and vice versa. If you’re an artist or creative professional who occasionally finds yourself ‘stuck’ or ‘blocked,’ practicing yoga may actually encourage creativity to flow more freely.
Consider this: The antidote to the dreaded writer’s block usually isn’t sitting at a computer and thinking harder about what to write. Instead, if something is blocked—we need to move it! Literally! Moving with the intention and breath inherent in yoga practice—versus pacing or wringing your hands in your office—can offer creative results that cannot be found in remaining stagnant.
An asana practice can take you out of your head and into your body—which is often exactly what is needed to get those creative juices flowing. If you’re finding yourself blocked or stuck, try this: Step onto your yoga mat and take a few deep breaths in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with eyes closed. Cultivate Ujjayi Pranayama, and as the sound of your breath builds, allow your body to direct your movements. Release concerns you may have about practicing ‘correctly’ or for a certain amount of time. If you’re not sure of where to begin, try moving through a few sun salutations, and then respond to your body’s cues in moving through additional postures or stretches.
If asana isn’t really your thing, a simple meditation practice is still available to you; some of our best ideas can arise after (or during) meditation practice. This is because meditation allows for the excessive churning of our minds to slow down, the metaphorical dust to settle. In meditation, we make room in our consciousness for valuable insight and inspiration. Check out this link for some meditation tips and techniques or try a mantra meditation to get started.
From an energetic standpoint, creativity is associated with the sacral chakra, or svadisthana chakra. This chakra, found at the lower abdomen between the belly button and the pubic bone, is often associated with sexuality and reproduction, but is also home to our mental creativity. If you’re experimenting with an asana practice for creative inspiration, activate the sacral chakra by integrating hip-opening postures like frog, cobra and seated forward folds to help tap into your creative side whatever your artistic pursuits might be. If you prefer meditation to asana, a fun practice would be to experiment with is the ushas mudra, or Venus Lock. This is a hand mudra that can be used during meditation or throughout your day to activate the second chakra and promote creativity. In this mudra, the hands are placed palms up with the fingers interlaced. (Women traditionally will place their left thumb on top, while men place their right thumb on top.) Again, intention is key here. If you invite creativity into your practice, don’t be surprised when it comes knocking.
What do you think, yogi-painters, writers, crafters, potters, musicians and more? How does yoga support your creativity?