How Yoga Supports Creativity

When I originally had this idea for a blog post I was so excited about finally expressing how yoga gives me strength to face all the creative outlets of my life.  And then it happened.  Writer’s block.

But this writer’s block I was experiencing affected my whole life.  It could’ve been not getting on my mat, even though I know I would feel amazing afterwards or eating that mac n cheese, even though I know my body is gonna feel worse after eating it.  Also, not going to that audition even though I know I’m perfect for it, and the casting director is a friend.  Or obsessively scanning social media to vicariously live through other artists and yogis.  It was taking many forms.  And I was experiencing major avoidance.

The thoughts kept running through my head.  How can I live a creative life if I can’t even write 400 words about it?!

I’m a fake.

But hey, I’m finally writing.  And now I’m actually creating in the ways that I’ve wanted. How’d I get here?  The secret: Consistency and Bravery.

Yoga is consistent.  If you go to any class in the city, regardless of the teacher, you know what you’re getting into.  Even in the wildest vinyasa class there is gonna be a familiar sun salutation somewhere.

Yoga encourages consistency. From the Yoga Sutras we have the three main tenants of kriya yoga… “Self-discipline, self-study and devotion are yoga in the form of action.” [Tapas svadhyaya isvara pranidanah kriya yogah  (Chapter II, v. I)].  And despite the avoidance I was experiencing, I still consistently pushed myself to my mat and I owe this habit to eventually increasing my productivity.

Discipline and self-awareness encourage me to retrain my mind and body from habits of avoidance, which keep me living in the dark space (Duhka), to form habits that lead to the good spaces (Suhka).  Setting good habits with consistency brings me out of avoidance.  Look Ma, I’m doing something! And now the good habits are in place.  Now what?

Bravery. Showing up and actually doing the work despite the knowledge that it might be bad, it might fail, and it might offend.  On the mat this happens all the time.  I still can’t master floating my legs up to handstand.  But I’m gonna try even though I’m probably gonna fall down.

It also takes courage and regularity to be an artist.  Creativity is not for the faint of heart and it’s scary as hell to follow this path.  But we’ve all been blessed with creativity in many forms.  Are you a home chef? Private photographer? Do you have an eye for design?

I know that this is not a solo battle of mine. If artistic avoidance is part of your life yogis, now is the time for you to set your good habits in motion, be brave and create.  We believe in you.

–Sarah Girard, to read more of her writings, click here

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