Cultivate Creativity, August 2021
“Yoga releases the creative potential of Life.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
The ability to think of something new or a new way of doing something that has value. This is creativity. Creativity can be further described as thinking outside of the box and viewing or creating things in ways that are unexpected. It can be applied to ideas, solutions, theories, music, or physical objects (art, written works, inventions). We are all born creative beings, but as we get older, we adopt patterns that make us less creative. Creativity is more likely to flourish when our whole brain is active (not just the right brain) and when long-term memory and critical thinking are at a low. We were all born with the ability to be creative and if we have lost that ability we can gain it back. Our creativity can be cultivated if we tend to it like one would tend to a garden. Both a garden and your creativity have some needs in order to thrive.
• Time and attention
• Good growing conditions
• Seeds or starts
• Tilling the soil
• Time in nature
• Time and freedom to explore, think, imagine, be playful
• A decluttered physical space and a decluttered or still mind
• A Beginner’s Mind and asking questions
• Physical movement – exercise, dance, yoga
• Ask “what if…” without parameters or limitations Removing judgement, self-criticism
• Practice and being okay with failure
Our yoga practice can be one key to accessing our creativity. The practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation can help “still the fluctuations of the mind” and help make room for creativity. Practicing Savasana, where we are in that state of non-sleep deep rest, can prepare the mind for creativity. Maybe you have experienced a great idea or solution just before you drifted off to sleep. Savasana puts us in that same state. We can also infuse our asana practice with creativity. By changing the order of poses and not start in the same way each practice, trying new ways to connect poses, taking your practice outdoors, or simply changing your breath. Just try reversing the breath in Cat-Cow and see what that does for you (inhale in cat and exhale in cow). Or try bringing Ujjayi or Victorious breath to a pose.
Tapping into our creativity via our yoga practice can enrich our lives and benefit our health. Creativity has shown to relieve stress and anxiety, a major benefit to our health. It can allow you to live life with more confidence and a sense of freedom. You might learn to trust in yourself more and maintain a fresh perspective. Through a more authentic expression of yourself you can feel a lightness to life. Let yoga release your creative potential!
“Yoga releases the creative potential of Life. It does this by establishing a structure for self-realization, by showing how we can progress along the journey, and by opening a sacred vision of the Ultimate, of our Divine Origin, and final Destiny. The Light that yoga sheds on Life is something special. It is transformative. It does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees. It brings knowledge and elevates it to wisdom.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
References: Parts of the Brain That Influence Creativity, Ryan Hurd Understanding the Psychology of Creativity, Kendra Cherry and reviewed by David Susman, PhD Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar