At first glance, yoga and creative work don’t have much in common. But do you care to look a little closer?
As a creative writer and devoted yoga practitioner, I’d been keeping these two worlds apart for years. Until one day, when I realized that they can clash into one another and form the perfect unity.
When combined, yoga and creative writing can do magical things for our well-being. Allow them to work together and help you achieve the ultimate goal – better physical and mental health.
So, are you ready to hear how yoga and creative writing can complement each other? Let’s dive into it!
1. Learn to Let Go
Both yoga and creative writing can serve the same purpose. That purpose is letting go.
You know that anxious feeling when something is troubling you without rest? I’ve had trouble with letting go my whole life. From the little things like why that man gave me a bad look at the cash register. To the big stuff such as why my friend has walked out of my life without explanation.
I may not be able to change who I am (nor do I want to), but I’ve learned how not to hang on to those thoughts. Although I can’t take credit since yoga and creative writing taught me how.
When you put some troubling situation or emotion on repeat, turn to yoga and creative writing. For me, yoga is the pause button when I start obsessively thinking about something.
But I don’t stop there. I also use creative writing to express thoughts and feelings that I have nowhere else to direct. The act of writing it down is my version of putting my troubles in a lantern and releasing it in the sky.
2. Get Better at Processing Your Emotions
Don’t get me started on how amazing the yoga-creative writing duo is at helping you manage your emotions. They are the best! But let me explain first, and then you’ll understand my excitement.
Pushing your emotions down won’t help your mental and physical health. It will do quite the opposite.
To free your mind and body, you have to accept your emotions and be at peace with who you are.
Creative writing can be the step you take to put your emotions in perspective. Rather than unshackling your anger on your sister, who borrowed your shirt (been there, done that), write down what you’re angry about.
Sitting down and writing stories inspired by your experiences can help you realize how trivial some situations are. It can also help you dig out what actually makes you so angry. The thing about creative writing is that it somehow pulls out your most hidden emotions and transforms puts them out in the open.
On the other hand, yoga is there to help you sort your thoughts. Being in that deeper state of mind can sometimes lead to an “AHA” moment. That moment can help you process what you’re going through more wisely.
3. Unleash Your Creativity
If you practice yoga, you know that a stiff and tense body isn’t the right tool for performing demanding positions. The same goes for your mind. A burdened and tense mind won’t allow you to make room for creative thoughts.
Yin yoga is my go-to when I need to unwind and put my body and mind into a state of relaxation. It is also my go-to when I want to restart and let the flow of creativity kick in.
Do you want to know how I made this discovery? Whenever a lack of inspiration had stressed me out, I resorted to my best anti-stress solution – yoga. Just when I had reached that state of bliss and completed my yoga routine, that’s when it hit me! I was ready to write again. Somehow, yoga manages to bulldoze right through my creative blocks.
4. Quiet Your Mind
It goes the other way around as well, you know? Just as yoga can help you with creativity, creative writing can help you with yoga.
If you have any experience with yoga, you must know that frustrating feeling when you simply can’t manage to get something out of your head. No matter how deep your breaths are or if you bend in the most comforting child pose, that dreary thought is still there.
That’s when writing can step in and save the day. Creative writing has a therapeutic effect. It can serve as an “outlet for various emotions and energies one may experience, thus bringing peace to the individual,” as it was said in the words of James C. Kaufman, an American psychologist famous for his research on creativity.
Whenever you are having trouble with taming your thoughts, creative writing can be your whip. Pull out a piece of paper and start spilling out everything that’s on your mind.
Do you know the best part about it? Sometimes those pure, unfiltered thoughts are actually a gold mine for creative writers. I can’t tell you how many times my creative spills gave me something to write about for my work projects.
5. Observe Your Growth
Continually engaging in the same activities is the best way to notice your progress. I love to reflect on my beginnings. Both in yoga and creative writing. That’s what helps me understand that I do move forward. Even when I feel like I haven’t changed a bit.
Look back onto where you were when you first started writing. The way you formed your sentences and how detailed your stories were. You’ll notice the difference, trust me.
Do the same for yoga. Reflect on how much longer you can stay focused. Remember when you couldn’t keep your mind quiet for more than 5 seconds? Now, look at where you are now.
You can even keep a yoga diary, which is what I like to do. After each session (or when you feel like it), write down how you felt and the impression that this session made on you. Reading the entries from my yoga beginnings is what helps me become aware of my growth.
Yoga and Creative Writing – The Match Made in Heaven
Can you tell me now that you don’t see the connection between yoga and creative writing? These two just go so well together, and your mind and body will thank you if you match them.
Taking care of your health is a task you mustn’t neglect in this hectic world. That’s why you should let activities such as yoga and creative writing help you battle (and win) the war against stress and discontent.