This week, we’re continuing our series on finding inspiration and increasing our creativity. After discussing some practical tips in Part 1, we interviewed Vancouver-based yoga instructor Megan Johnson about connecting with our artistic ‘flow’.
What is the general consensus on yoga improving creativity? Is it a usual byproduct of a regular practice?
Creativity steams from a flow of universal force, or life energy. We are all naturally creative beings. When we have a conscious movement practice such as yoga we are able to keep our natural flow of energy moving in our bodies. Yoga also works to unblock areas of the body and mind which may have stagnated as a result of life choices or merely undiscovered and unexplored potential. As a result, creativity is a natural result of becoming consciously aware of moving energy through your body.
What are some techniques or poses to improve creativity?
It is said that our belly center, or sacral chakra, is connected with our creativity or flow in our lives. This involves the belly and the hips in our anatomical body. Therefore working through poses in this range can help to unleash our creativity. When working in the hips, I have found it is also helpful to open and connect to our third eye chakra or intuition. This helps with tapping into our inner guidance and centering the mind.
Here is a series of postures suggested by Megan to help unleash your creative potential. For beginners or those unfamiliar with some of the poses, please visit sites like yogajournal.com for visual examples.
I would recommend using these poses in a yin or hatha modality, holding them anywhere from 10 breaths to 3-5 minutes per pose. Ensure to hold the poses for the same length of time on each side. By holding the poses longer we allow the chi more time to circulate into the areas of the body highlighted by each pose. In this practice, we have also released the liver gallbladder line which runs on the side lines of the body. This helps us to detox both physically and emotionally allowing us to move forward more easily in our lives.
A practice of poses that could be helpful is as follows:
- Balasana (Childs pose),
- Virasana with a focus on the center of the forehead or the center of the head while holding the pose, followed by prasaritta padottonasana (standing wide leg forward fold),
- Janu Sirsasana (seated nose to knee pose), both left and right legs,
- Gomukhasana (cowface or cows’ head, both sides)
- Pigeon or thread the needle (both legs)
I would then suggest a few ab curls to center and draw back into the core. Alternately one could bend both knees at a 90 degree angle up over the hips, feet in the air and press the palms into the knees, resisting by pressing the legs back into the hands to engage the core more gently. Do two to three intervals of 20-30 second holds while applying hand to knee pressure, followed with a reclined two knees twist on both sides.
I would end the short practice with paschimotonasana (seated forward fold) for 10 breaths and then matsyasana (fish pose) and chevasana (copse pose). Five to 10 minutes is recommended for chevasana in order for the body to absorb the practice.
For our friends in Vancouver, Megan is offering a four session meditation workshop starting April 4th. For more information you can visit the Facebook event page here.