In this two-month series of daily posts, creativity coaches from around the world share their best tips for increasing your creativity, manifesting your potential, and living a creative life. If you’d like to keep posted on the whole series and on my other blog posts, you can subscribe for free at https://authory.com/ericmaisel
Today’s contribution is from Oana Deac, a creativity coach who is also a yoga teacher. She uses yogic practices to increase her own creativity and promotes the use of yogic practices in her work with clients. There is a phrase in yogic practice of “taking yoga off the mat”: that is, that the principles and practices of yoga are valuable not only while you are engaged with your formal practice but are valuable throughout life. The following is a great example of “yoga off the mat” for creatives.
While we all know the benefits Yoga can have on our body, mind and spirit, in this post I would like to talk more specifically about how Yoga can support our creativity. Let me share three yogic practices that I have discovered to be helpful in my creative process.
1. Prana, also known as Life Force, is the energy that keeps everything alive. In essence, it is the creative power. Prana runs in our bodies through certain channels and therefore keeping these channels clear is essential for the creative energy to flow.
Sun Salutation, which is a repetition of 12 poses connected through movement and breath, can support this flow. Movement helps stimulate Prana and blood flow, creates heat which can burn away physical and mental blocks, and ignites the creative and transformative fire in us. I usually start my day with Sun Salutations or I do a couple of rounds whenever I feel my energy is stagnant and I need to get back into my creative flow.
2. The right side of our brain is associated with creativity and the left side with logic. We all have one side that is more dominant than the other, yet using both sides of our brain is important for our health. Alternative Nostril Pranayama is a practice in which we direct the flow of Prana and oxygen to one side of the brain at a time, while restricting it to the other side.
Done at a certain intensity and in certain number of rounds for both sides, this practice can stimulate connections in that portion of the brain that might be dormant or less used, and so improve creativity and logic. I prefer to do this practice at a higher intensity in the morning, which is more stimulating, and at a lower intensity in the evening, which is more balancing and calming.
3. Research has shown that creativity gets activated the most when in deep states of relaxation, when our brain produces Alpha, Theta and Delta brainwaves, which are frequencies below 13Hz. Yoga Nidra, also known as Yogic Sleep, is a practice which helps slow down brainwave frequency. This is a guided meditation which includes focusing on breath, on specific areas of the body and on certain visualizations while setting an intention. The point of the practice is to be awake, while entering a sleep-like state, where creativity and new pathways in the brain get activated. This is one of the most effective meditations I have personally encountered and I like to practice it at any time of the day.
In case you are new to Yoga or not familiar with these practices, please consult a yoga practitioner to learn more or get in touch directly with me, Oana, via my email at [email protected]. You can also access a free Yoga Nidra recording on my website, www.oanadeac.com, by subscribing to her newsletter.