Yoga and Creativity
Yoga and creativity are inextricably linked. Yoga practitioners worldwide can attest that their daily practice serves their creativity well. So how are yoga and creativity connected? After all, one is a physical and mental discipline, and the latter a manifestation of innovative thoughts and ideas. But what seems like the ultimate mismatch, is in fact deeply entangled. Both can lead to a newfound enlightenment. Creativity needn’t necessarily be painting, sculpting or writing a novel, one can be an artist in the smallest of his or her endeavors from doing chores to planning out an afternoon. People are creative when the things they do are executed with passion, imagination, a sense of humour or a new approach.
What can yoga do for creativity?
To access the deep seated creativity within us, yoga can influence one’s body and chakras, mind, ego and focus.
Body and chakras
Yoga increases bodily and spatial awareness. Pranayama and other breathing techniques pump oxygen into the body and increase renal and cerebral blood flow, causing the organs to function better. This energised circulation as well as the inner massage from the asanas cleanses and rids the body of toxins and stimulates creativity.
The first and the sixth chakra are strongly linked to creativity. Stimulating Muladhara, the root chakra which grounds us, gives us the confidence to express ourselves. The sixth chakra, Ajna or the ‘third eye’ is associated with intuition connecting the mind and psyche, to unleash the subconscious creativity within us. The second chakra Svadhishthana is often referred to as the source of sexual and creative energy.
Yoga also creates mental awareness. The meditative aspect of yoga helps eliminate unnecessary thoughts cluttering the mind, freeing up valuable imagination real estate. When the mind is clear, ideas will flow easily and freely. The best inspiration comes from a calm mind that is free of constant distraction.
Breathing techniques are also known for their effect on banishing negativity. A mind free of dark thoughts breeds clever ideas without playing devil’s advocate and dismissing what may be constructive or worthwhile ideas.
Yoga practice also makes one mindful and subject to meta thinking (thinking about thinking) when in the process of creating. The importance of this is that one is constantly made aware of the background, possibilities and limitations of their new work.
We’re all well aware that ego (consciousness of the separate personal self) hinders innovation. Yoga can help you surrender your ego and give into the creative process. One things that severely hinders the creative process is the need to control it. Drop the ego and immediately one is less defensive, more open minded and more creative.
Yoga also increases focus, which can benefit your expression of creativity. This enhanced focus is the reason many people practice yoga early in the morning to feel more centered and productive during the day. Yoga will calm you and aid you in concentrating on what matters and shifts the focus to your art.
The key to using yoga to unearth your creativity is to practice regularly and train your body, mind and spirit. That said, even short bursts of yoga around fifteen minutes before you embark on any creative pursuit will help.
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