April 8, 2014

8 Ways in Which Yoga Can Aid Creativity. ~ Jessie Blackledge

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Creativity is often associated with the arts, writing, performing and needless to say “creating.”

But how often do we link creativity with yoga?

Okay, there are some who take the creative process perhaps slightly too far with “Doga” (Dog Yoga) or naked yoga (yes it is a real thing) and whilst these phenomenons are certainly using some imagination to manifest themselves, we don’t need to resort to the downright ridiculous in order to gain creativity from yoga.

Yoga helps us to cultivate inspiration through many of its benefits.

Firstly, yoga can help to clear blockages, both within the body and the mind. By focusing the mind, we can create a space which allows us to see more clearly and provides new insight.

Creativity is within all of us, even if we are one of those “Oh I’m not creative at all” peoplewhilst harbouring a jealousy-laden grudge against that girl who makes beautiful jewelry after sculpting the perfect object at her pottery class, before heading home to write a flawless poem or two.

We might not be her but we have creativity within us and yoga can help to encourage this out.

Allowing the mind to focus (through use of the breath and body), we can move towards what we want: our creative instincts.

Using visualisations activates our imagination. I never really was one for the old “you are on a beach, the sun is beating down…” I sort-of always end up thinking “well, I’m not am I? I’m at home in a freezing cold apartment.”

But, these visualisations can raise imagery from our unconscious, often images and thoughts come to our mind and we’re not sure where they came from or how they got there. This is the unconscious talking and this is a huge part of how to tap into our creativity.

Yoga teaches us many things which can aid our creativity.

Here are the first eight that came to my mind:

1) It teaches us to test boundaries, to be brave, to challenge and express ourselves.
The most creative people on the planet didn’t become that way without taking risks and trying new things. Yoga encourages this through practice.

2) Yoga teaches discipline.
A daily asana practice can only improve with discipline, as our creativity can only expand if we have self-discipline.

3) Being present.
This is a key aspect to opening up your creative insights. We need to be present whether we are writing/making/performing, just as when it is time to let go, we can easily let go of our focus in that moment, and move to a new one.

4) Yoga allows us to get out of our head and into the body/breath.
When we return to the head it is new and different, it has become renewed.

5) Yoga teaches us self-acceptance.
Overcoming perfectionism allows us to not beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve the best but to try new tactics, take new chances and risk failure without fear.

6) Yoga teaches us patience.
A daily yoga practice helps to cultivate calmness and patience, leading to a daily creative practice.

7) We learn to persist through challenges.
But also to know our limits and be comfortable with them.

8) Bite the bullet!
Follow up on opportunities and collaborations.

Not pushing ourselves into a pose if we are uncomfortable or in pain is crucial, just as it is important in life to not push ourselves beyond our limits.

At the same time, we should not stick with the same daily practice simply because it is ‘easy’ and rather make sure we are challenging ourselves, little by little.

As with many things, finding the balance between too much and too little is the key to success.

Whether our creativity is in business, hobbies, being a parent/family member/good employee/sentient being, we are all creating our lives and cultivating our expression in everything we do.

Yoga is a vital cog in the works to enable us to open up the creative insight.


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Apprentice Editor: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Pixoto / Amelia Falk

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Jessie Blackledge