It happens to the best of us: We carve out plenty of time in our schedules. We make sure we're well fed and well rested. We tidy up our surroundings so that there's nothing else to do but create. Yet, when we sit down to actually make it happen, our minds are as blank as the white screen we sit staring at. As someone who writes for a living, it happens to me far more than I'd like to admit. Although I'm a writer, this cycle of stifled creativity shows up in other places in my life, too. When I’m uninspired in the kitchen, I end up eating the same meals over and over again. I stare blankly at the clothes in my closet as I try to get ready to go somewhere thinking, How can someone have so many clothes and yet nothing to wear?! Even my yoga practice suffers when my creative mind hasn’t been nurtured. While sometimes a few cups of coffee and a long walk in the sunshine can get things moving, nothing is more effective at boosting my creativity than a good yoga session. The right poses in the right combination almost always clear the cobwebs in my mind to make way for new ideas and motivate me to create great things--whether it’s a blog post or a fabulous dish for a potluck.
Here are 5 poses that help be get the creative juices flowing:
Pigeon Pose. It’s common knowledge among yoga students that we store emotions in our hips, so hip-openers like Pigeon Pose can help people release a lot of negative emotions. But the hips and pelvis are also a center for creativity. This part of the body is aligned with the second chakra, which represents creative energy (as well as sexual energy and reproduction). Honestly, I don't know that much about chakras, but I know from experience that taking Pigeon Pose on both sides and forward bending with my forehead pressing into the ground for a few minutes is the best medicine for blocked creativity.
Seated Garudasana (Eagle Pose). This is another hip-opener that I love to do whenever I feel creatively blocked. As an added bonus, it’s also a shoulder stretch. Since I hold a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, it’s a good way for me to soften both tension and any apprehension that might be holding me back from self-expression.
Headstand. There’s something amazingly grounding about Headstand. It offers a fresh perspective, which is crucial to creating. And it can’t hurt that this pose brings a little extra oxygen to the brain.
Child's Pose. You can’t force creativity. Sometimes all you need to do is relax, take a break, and let the wisdom bubble up naturally. Child’s Pose helps me do this when I feel like I’ve run out of steam.
Seated Meditation. Spending a few minutes in seated meditation always reminds me that I’m a part of something so much bigger than myself. Connecting with this idea, puts me in the right frame of mind to hone my craft and put my creations out into the world.