Your yoga practice is both the perfect place to explore your creativity and the perfect way to prepare yourself to express yourself through other creative pursuits.
Check out these 5 yoga practices that will help you unlock your creative essence:
Set An Intention
Know that your creativity is divinely inspired
Feeling stuck or overwhelmed or too busy to focus on your creative project or musings? Get your buns down to a yoga class. Choose a faster pace vinyasa or power class if you’re looking to burn off steam or breakthrough a blockage. Choose a yin or restorative class if you’re feeling scattered, spread thin or mixed up and need to re-establish your center. Take a minute to relish in that post-yoga bliss and capitalize on the space you’ve created through your efforts.
Start everyday with an intention – a positive, present tense statement for how you want to be living. Try something like “I am creative”, “I am centered,” or “I am courageous”. Repeat this to yourself three times in the morning. Store it in your heart throughout the day. Repeat it to yourself anytime you’re wading into the waters of self-doubt. Repeat it to yourself every time you can remember. You can choose a new intention each day, or choose one to guide you through a specific time period like a project or a season.
Set boundaries with your energy. Say no to a new project, a request, an invitation – anything that will deprioritize your creative efforts or deplete your essential creative energy. The act of saying no is a self-care practice and a prescribed aspect of yoga’s 8-fold path. It’s both practicing Ahimsa (kindness to yourself), and Aparigraha (everything in moderation). Just say no yogi. Do not feel guilty. Feel proud. Because by doing this you are prioritizing your priorities and fueling your creative spirit, which is quite commendable, if I do say so myself.
Anytime you start to feel anxious or defeated or annoyed, focus on breathing. A nice breathing technique is the 3-part breath. Start by just noticing how you’re breathing. Is your breath fast or slow, shallow or deep, nourishing or utilitarian? At the beginning don’t try to change your breath, just notice it without judgement.
Now start to consciously deepen your inhales and exhales. Breath deep into the belly, expanding your diaphragm. Exhale slowly and steadily, trying to match the speed of your inhale. Focus on this deep belly breathing for 3 or 4 breaths.
Now add a second element, breathe deep into the belly and then keep inhaling, taking note of how the breath expands your ribs. Really tune in to the feeling of how the breath expands and moves your body in all directions. Do this for another 3 or 4 breaths.
Finally, add on a third element. Breathe deeply filling the belly, expanding the ribs and then keep going, filling the lungs all the way to the top, expanding up into your collar bones. Focus on a deep, steady, nourishing inhale, and en equally steady, slow, satisfying exhale. Try this 3 or 4 times. Wow, right? That right there is yoga.
Stay with me here. But that creative spirit, you know the little voice in your head that is seeking joy and colour and is always craving to create something? Well, that right there is your true self. It’s your soul, it’s God or the universe herself. And by honouring and engaging in creative pursuits – dancing, drawing, playing music, writing, telling stories, baking, wrapping gifts, whatever! – you are connecting with the divine. Hallelujah!
Yoga is one of many tools available for you to tap in and unlock your innate gifts and talents. It’s one that has resonated with me deeply. And one that I can credit for my biggest breakthroughs. Contrary to popular belief, you need not be physically flexible or look like Taylor Swift to make this a rich, rewarding practice in your life. So what are you waiting for – get out there and start breathing! And, as always, let me know how it goes.