by April Clark
Yoga is a practice that invites inquiry, which can help in the creative process. By asking questions, remaining open and stating intentions, we find clarity and answers and our Dharma or purpose unfolds. Yoga can be the vehicle to pave the way, stilling the mind so that the inspiration needed to move forward in a project emerges from within. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness in the body and mind. The practice helps one to relax and manage stress and anxiety. Stress in the body can inhibit and block inspiration and creativity. When barriers are moved away from our body and mind, we benefit from our ability to focus and concentrate, releasing the creativity within. Through yoga, you access what may be suppressed and through writing, you are able to articulate your thoughts and ideas.
Pantanjali says in the Yoga Sutras, “When you are inspired by some great purpose all of your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world!” This transformation will manifest in your thoughts and actions and ultimately in your writing.
I write an article for my newsletter, which is published online once a month. My subject matter is often inspired by my passions and the work that I do with yoga, kayaking and volunteerism. Sometimes the piece takes shape in the form of a life lesson or insight that becomes fodder for public consumption, even if the “public” means a handful of friends or family. These pieces are usually written in haste in order to make a deadline. Invariably, after the essay is published, much to my chagrin, I’ll find an error of some kind.
What amazes me, even though the piece may be flawed, the topics are borne out of a desire to tell a story or share a concept. The inspiration is the driving force behind the work, and the content becomes more important than the mechanics. My personal yoga practice becomes the conduit to bring energy, passion and creativity through improved physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.
Do you feel the need to rekindle the spark of creativity within? Try a little yoga – these poses facilitate creativity.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
As the name suggests, the pose of the child is an invitation to rediscover and explore being in your own world, sparking the imagination and seeing with the eyes of a child.
- Start in a kneeling position.
- Drop your butt toward your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward.
- In the fully stretched position, rest your arms in a relaxed position along the floor, rest your stomach comfortably on top of your thighs, and rest your forehead on the mat.
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Releasing in the hips while stretching the thighs and psoas are some of the physical benefits of this pose. When we release in the body, we release in other places as well, unleashing ideas and stimulating the creative juices.
- Start on all fours in a squared table pose.
- Slide the right knee forward toward your right hand. Angle your right knee at two o’clock.
- Slide your left leg back as far as your hips will allow.
- Keep your hips square to the floor. If your hips are not square, there will be unnecessary force on your back, and you won’t be able to open the hips to their fullest.
- If you’re not feeling a deep stretch in your right glute, slide the right foot forward–little by little–toward your left hand. With practice, bring your foot parallel to the front edge of your mat.
- Your right thigh should have an external rotation, and your left thigh should have a slight internal rotation. This keeps pressure off the kneecap.
- Depending on how you feel, you will be upright on your hands while sinking the hips forward and down. Level two will rest on their forearms, and level three will rest the chest on the floor with the arms fully extended in front of you.
- To get full release in the hips, breathe and release the belly. Stay in this position anywhere from 10 breaths to five minutes.
Yoga helps to put you in touch with the present moment and guides you to find your authentic self, which in turn allows you to share your authentic voice.
April Clark, RYT500 is the owner of Second Wind Eco Tours based in the historic waterfront town of Swansboro, NC. , Second Wind offers kayak and stand up paddle rentals and tours coupled with yoga or massage.