Yoga opens the door to innovative thinking. That’s not just a claim based on personal experience. Sting, Russell Brand, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, and many other celebrities in creative professions swear by yoga. Their claim is not based on their experience either. It’s based on science!
Researchers from Leiden University proved that different meditation techniques can promote creative thinking. Meditation has a long-lasting effect on human cognition, as it affects the way we conceive new ideas.
How exactly does yoga make us more creative? We’ll list seven ways in which yoga can help you unlock your creativity:
Asanas and pranayamas are energy boosters
Corinne Rudick, a creative writer from BestEssays, has been practicing yoga for nine years. She says that asanas and pranayama help just as much as meditation: “At the beginning, I wasn’t meditating at all. I was doing asanas, pranayamas, and relaxation at the end of the session. I was still better at doing my job. I started getting better ideas and I was much faster at completing my writing tasks,” she says.
“I did a research and I realized: asana and pranayama fuel your creativity because they fill you with energy – prana – the life force that moves your body and mind. It supports all mental processes, so it’s only natural to get creative from physical and breathing practice, too. When I started doing meditation, the effects were even greater.”
Asana and pranayama are energy-boosters. Every single movement and static position affects a specific energy center. With a carefully planned practice, you’re stimulating the energy flow within your body. That makes your mind work better!
You’re discovering your true self
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees.” Through these words, B.K.S. Iyengar grasped the essence of yoga – it’s all about personal transformation.
You’re not changing who you are. You’re discovering who you are. Transformation is a process and you’ll experience its stages from the very beginning. When you start connecting with your true nature, you’ll be getting more authentic ideas. Your creative thought will become a presentation of your true self.
Yoga makes you focused
If you can’t control your thoughts, you’re not able to bring an idea to its end. You’re constantly distracted and you’re making digressions.
The practice of yoga teaches you how to focus. It makes your mind stronger. When you get an idea, you focus on it and you’re ready to bring it to realization.
Meditation makes your brain more active
If you try to define meditation to a beginner, you’d probably explain it as a practice that helps “reduce the thoughts.” That’s only part of the definition, but it’s an important aspect. Through meditation, you learn how to quiet down your thoughts. You’re not suppressing them. You’re just letting them go through your mind and you’re not allowing yourself to get carried away. With time and practice, you learn how to reach that state of an empty mind.
How does an empty mind make you more creative? Isn’t the idea of creativity in getting more ideas? That’s the point: through meditation, you don’t experience mere emptiness. When your mind is clear and calm, you experience fulfillment. It’s a state when you can identify your genius ideas and give them credit.
Mindful meditation changes the physical structure of your brain. Research shows that it increases the activity in the frontal cortex, related to focus.
The feeling of well-being is a portal to inspiration
Are you grateful for living after a good yoga session? Do you feel a connection with everyone and everything around? Do you feel like you’re just one of the many people on the planet, but you’re just as important as everyone else?
You’re experiencing a moment of well-being. You’re expanding your presence to a higher reality. That’s an inspiring state of mind. You realize that everything you do has an effect on others. That’s why you’re trying to get the best out of your ideas and actions.
You learn to deal with emotions that block creative processes
Fear, anxiety, anger, judgment, perfectionism…all these emotions prevent you from expressing your creativity. Through yoga, you learn how to recognize the source of these feelings. You learn how to deal with them. You learn how to stand up to them.
Yoga makes you more self-confident
You never thought you would do a headstand or another “unnatural” pose? If your teacher pushed you through the process, you got to the point when you stopped being afraid and you just went for it. Surprise, surprise: you can do it.
The self-confidence you gain through practicing asanas is reflected on everything else you do. “I won’t make it” transforms into “I’ll just try.” Yoga teaches you how to make attempts. Every failure leads to another attempt. You’ll finally stop being afraid of taking your creativity to the next level. You’ll try.
Yoga is a practical discipline that not only gets you a nice body but makes you a bit more beautiful on the inside, too. Boosted creativity is just one of the many benefits you get.
Follow Karen on Twitter as she seeks new practices and learns about different traditions from around the world!
Are you ready to put your creativity to the test? Try a yoga and writing retreat!