Meditation and Yoga can have a significant impact on your creativity. This isn’t just important for artists, writers, musicians, dancers or people who work in creative industries, but for all of us, creative ideas and intuition are intrinsically human qualities.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.”
There are many things that can hinder and block our creativity: self-judgement, self-criticism, stress, exhaustion and essentially fear. The practice of yoga and meditation can greatly help us to overcome these barriers.
“Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender.”
The Bhagavad Gita
Physically, asana practice can keep our bodies healthy and in balance and build better postural habits into our physical structures. The coordination of breath and movement help to keep energy flowing freely and help us tune into the true creative self.
“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.”
The breath is a vital tool in quieting the mind to provide us with the calm and space essential for giving our intuition and creativity a clear voice. Our perceptions are heightened by an awareness on our breath, and on sensations and details in our bodies that would normally escape us. Bringing ourselves to single pointed focus develops our ability to concentrate and be awake to the present moment, a skill transferred into our creative lives and practices.
“Breath is a bridge between body and mind. Probably because of this, the ancient Chinese thought breath was everywhere. They perceived breath as an activity of the atmosphere and as a symbol of transpersonal force, essential in art.”
Kazuaki Tanahashi- calligrapher and Zen teacher
Non-judgement and Non-attachment
It is important that we play, explore and in the process create with fluidity, letting go of the part of the mind. As creative beings we have to be prepared to detach ourselves from the outcomes of our endeavours, not because they don’t matter, but because the resulting freedom gives you the confidence and spontaneity to take risks and grow, allowing that creative part of yourself to flourish. Being true and present in the process of creating is what allows inspiration to be unlocked!
“Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make..”
The practices of yoga and meditation heighten our consciousness and connectivity to the true self and rest of the living universe. This connectivity allows us to create with authenticity in a way which communicates with the universal human spirit. Many artists consider their work to be spiritual, considering themselves a channel for the creative energies of the universe.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique”
Martha Graham- Dancer and Choreographer
Unlocking and Unblocking
Many people I speak to about their own education say they were never any good at creative subjects at school, the phrase “I can’t draw” is something we perhaps start to tell ourselves (or perhaps someone else tells us), often as teenagers, and it becomes fixed in our minds into adulthood. Equally, “I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I’m not creative, I’m not good at____ (fill in the blank)” may have become negative mantras infused through our lives and subconsciously embedded into our sense of self. This can be an all too familiar story, that perhaps deprives us of a whole realm of creative exploration and enjoyment in our lives.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case, by allowing ourselves to create with non-judgement and non-attachment to the outcome we may discover so much more about ourselves and find talents we had always previously dismissed. Perhaps creativity cannot be taught in the conventional sense, but can be facilitated and practiced and unlocked. Creativity is a gift all of us are granted with and is an inherent part of our nature.
“Why should we all use our creative power?.. Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money”
Brenda Ueland- Writer
If you are intrigued, see the upcoming workshop- Moving Into Creativity with Silvia Giovannoni Webster and myself. We will be exploring the connection between yogic movement, breath awareness mindfulness and creativity. We will use art materials as to explore this connectivity but no artistic experience in necessary.
This is something that I feel very deeply about, my yoga and meditation practice has had a huge impact on the way I create as an artist, the way I teach art and has infiltrated my life on so many levels that I am extremely excited about sharing this with others. I have peppered quotes from inspirational human beings throughout this post, to show the diversity of creativity. I have also found several books and articles that explore this subject and are really helpful if you would like to read more 🙂
The Artist’s Way– Julia Cameron
Brush Mind– Kazuaki Tanahashi
Awaken Your Inner Artist– Karen Macklin
Movement, breath, quiet of mind, awareness, non-judgement, concentration, intuition… all elements of yoga that help us to tune into our latent creativity
Photo: Gaelle Marcel