Yoga and Creativity, an Inspired Combination

Yoga Creativityop

Yoga Will Move Your Creative Blocks

People in the creative fields often look for new ways to boost creativity and ramp up the right brain. What better way to engage our creative selves than yoga! There’s something about the mindfulness of movement and the focus on the breath that is empowering. This boost in confidence naturally leads to openness to trying new things, or tackling challenges, both of which are essential to creativity.

Besides building confidence how else does yoga increase those wonderful moments of inventiveness and insight? Well, think about what happens during Savasana (Corpse Pose). Consider that feeling of blissful relaxation, that warm “chillax” that we experience. What about those little fleeting sensations that you might see or hear during this period? You’ve probably experienced that little bit of “whoa, what was that?” What’s cool is that there is science behind these flashes of inspiration.

Yoga Optimises Brain Waves

Jeffery Davis, author of the book, The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing, refers to relevant findings in the investigation of the yogic-creative connection. He cited a study of four subjects who were new to yoga. After three months of yoga practice, the right hemispheres of their brains became more activated. And there’s more. Davis also notes the difference in brain patterns between beta waves and alpha waves.

Beta wave patterns move at about 13-36 oscillations per second. These patterns typically appear when someone is stressed, pre-occupied, multi-tasking, or analyzing information. The slower Alpha waves, on the other hand, are present when the person is engaged in their “flow.” Davis refers to this moment of flow when a surgeon, runner, chess player, or musician is in their groove, that magic Mushin (no-mind) moment. As we learn to harness our breathing, and become more relaxed during yoga and meditation, brain waves slow down. And when your brain is in this Alpha state, creativity begins to emerge.

Cross Training for the Soul

Another aspect of combining say, an art class with yoga, is the transformative nature of each practice. Just as yoga can heal the spirit, the same is true of painting. Or making music. Or writing. This kind of pairing can’t be underestimated. Reducing stress and developing awareness of our higher selves can only serve to improve both the practice of yoga and the art.

For years, we’ve been hearing the phrase “diet and exercise helps people lose weight and live longer” Swap out “diet” with “healthy eating” and you’ve got a great combination of beneficial activities. Take it a step further and combine yoga with making art. Now that is an inspired combination

Yogasync Me!  The Second Chakra, an energy center located in the spine, just below the navel, is said to be the seat of Creativity.  if you’re feeling stunted, try these Second Chakra specific sequences.  

Not sure about this ‘Chakra’ talk?  Try it anyway, you never regret yoga, and who knows what may happen?!

Beginners Chakra Workshop

Advanced Chakra Workshop

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About Mary Williams

Mary is Boston-based writer and essayist. While she holds a first dan (first degree black belt) in Kenpo Karate, Mary is a beginner at Yoga. She was introduced to the art several years ago and has come back to the mat in the last half of 2013, attempting the practice twice a week. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and her work can be found at Blogcritics.org, Cinema Sentries.com, Boston.com, Metronome Magazine and her own blog. Mary has written numerous entertainment reviews of film, books, music and TV, plus many essays on life and pop culture and is currently writing a book, Driving Home from Boston, Twelve Ways to Navigate Crisis. She lives with her husband, two sons, and one entitled cat.

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