There’s no limit to creativity. It doesn’t have a cap. It doesn’t run out. In fact, Maya Angelou says, “The more you use, the more you have.” To unlock creativity, we have to embrace the idea that inspiration is an everflowing, unpredictable force that can come from anywhere. We can’t shove it into a box or attach a formula to it. Instead, we have to practice the art of becoming more aware of how it can show up in our lives—and that’s where yoga for creativity can come into play.
Society typically defines creativity through the lens of things that appeal to the senses. If we can see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, or even taste it, we call it art. Think museums, your favorite album, sculptures, gourmet meals – these are the things we define as the end-product of a creative process. But what if we had the audacity to think bigger?
Step one to becoming more aware of how creativity can show up in our lives is shifting our focus from art as we know it to problem-solving. This shift opens up a world of possibilities and turns creativity into something that can exist in everyone – strategists, musicians, artists, executives, finance gurus, athletes, nurses – so long as they’re grounded enough to see it.
Tapping into creativity requires a willingness to cultivate a sense of awareness that travels deeper than the surface. It pushes us to establish a rhythm of reflection that makes space for us to see our experiences, traumas, and issues a bit differently. Through that reflection, we notice what feeds our souls, what makes us angry, where there are injustices in the world.
And while some people stop there, creativity comes into play when we start to connect the dots and find universal truths that become the basis of our solutions. Then, from that space of awareness, we make moves and bring solutions that close a gap, make others feel seen, or fulfill a need to life. In other words, your life experiences, strengths, education, and uniqueness are the fuel that helps you dream up solutions that turn into business plans, budgets, works of art, even vaccines.
Creativity doesn’t have to be black and white. It adds color, and yoga exists as a tool that can help you unleash that color. The practice unites your mind, body, and breath on the mat to make space for deep-rooted awareness. And while it isn’t the only tool you can use to access creativity, yoga for creativity uses movement and meditation to help you move past mental and physical burnout and wake you up to how you can leverage your genius to resolve issues in your community.
Picture a class full of kids. Each of them receives a box of crayons and a coloring page with a doodle of the world on it. There’s a pretty strong guarantee that what each kid does with their crayons and doodle is going to be different. No two finished products will look the exact same because they all have a unique way of looking at the same thing. And while that perspective never goes away, our willingness to play does. The next time you’re in need of a solution for something, challenge yourself to step away from your routine long enough to experiment and make unlikely connections. The ability to do that is already inside of you, and that is the foundation of creativity. The world is your canvas, and when you make space, you’ll start to see how you, and only you, can color it in.
4 ways to use yoga for creativity
- Find space. And make sure it’s about as big as a yoga mat. This can be outside, in your home, on a rooftop – anywhere you feel comfortable. The goal is to feel like you have the freedom to take up some room (and move in it).
- Flow freely. Turn on a timer for 10 minutes, and create a mini flow based on what you know, even if that means you sit in Child’s Pose the entire time. Focus on the beat of your breath, and think of that rhythm as evidence that you are in the present moment.
- Record what comes up. Once the timer goes off, spend a few moments putting everything you’re thinking and feeling on paper – maybe it makes sense, maybe it doesn’t. The purpose of this exercise isn’t to come up with your next big idea but to practice becoming more aware of the ideas that maybe be lying beneath the chaos of your day-to-day routine.
- Repeat. Don’t just do this one day and expect results. Practice the art of creating space at least two times a week. The magic isn’t in completing the task, it’s in making it a habit.