Expand your imagination with yoga
“To liberate the potential of your mind, body and soul, you must first expand your imagination. You see, things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality. I call this process ‘blueprinting’ because anything you create in your outer world began as a simple blueprint in your inner world.” — Robin Sharma
In modern society, it seems like we have organized everything into categories. The economy, political institutions, corporations, religion – all aspects of our public lives are cut into little pieces and placed in their relevant boxes. I suppose this could be an acceptable way to live if we didn’t extend this philosophy into healthcare. We have taken the complex human body and chopped it up into parts and assigned medical specialties. One doctor for each area. This leaves patients to make sense of various professional opinions, even when an action taken to solve a problem in one part of the body produces a side effect in another.
The practice of dissecting a whole into parts and then reorganizing to create a greater benefit has been going on for a long time. In a simple form, we renovate our homes to better suit our changing lifestyle or family circumstances. In a business unit, we reorganize teams of people to gain increased productivity and profitability. In order to make clothing, we cut cloth into various shapes and then sew it all back together to produce a desired shape. We also take an ancient practice like yoga and split off certain parts into modern specialties. Yoga is now a form of exercise and mediation is a separate discipline. Each new activity spurs an industry to support it, including retreats, seminars, instructor training and studio based classes.
It was not always this way. Like an interconnected human body – yoga was a holistic practice which supported the entire body. Particular attention was placed on bringing focus and stillness to the mind. It was understood that the mind controlled much of what was happening in our physical bodies. In order to feel true wellness and health, a practice that benefits the body from head to toe was important. Ashtanga or the 8 limbs of yoga was the ancient holistic practice. (Ashtanga Vinyasa has since been shortened to just Ashtanga and represents only some of the 8 limbs).
Despite the fact that modern yoga has evolved into different types of movement based exercise regimes, there is much to be gained from creating a practice. In fact, the only limits will be the ones we continue to put on ourselves. The deeper you allow yourself to go into the practices of yoga, the more fruitful the rewards. That is where all the other positive effects come into play.
In How Yoga unlocks Creativity there is exploration of how regular yoga practice supports and broadens creative expression. Creativity is within each of us, just like the ability to practice yoga. Therefore using yoga to promote any facet of self expression is possible.
It might be that writing a book is a hidden ambition which stays buried by fear. “How Yoga Helped Me Write a Novel—& Land My First Book Deal” makes a case for creating a yoga practice! Imagine if you didn’t have to constantly second guess yourself and could melt away your worries on the yoga mat instead?
The Science of Creative Insight & Yoga is starting to reveal some interesting truths. Of course, that is for those who have not taken to the mat themselves. Ultimately, there is little to no investment required to give it a try for yourself.
Could certain yoga poses be more beneficial to creativity? 6 Yoga Poses to Inject Creativity into Your World, claims to do just that. I think that if you have ventured that far into a yoga practice you will realize that the benefits comes from more than the poses themselves. It is the interconnectedness of all parts of the practice. (But, it makes for a good headline!)
The Sadhana of Creativity: The Transformative Power of Yoga & Creativity takes a look at our basic human need to create. It is not a question of ‘if’ we create, rather are we allowing ourselves to live fully with our innate abilities ‘to’ create.
I’ve dabbled in yoga, here and there over the years. I’ve always stopped because I could not ‘feel’ the results. Not that I ever knew what I was expecting. There continues to be a debate over whether yoga is a proper exercise. For those that engage in that discourse, I think they miss the point of yoga, particularly all 8 limbs. I’ve fallen prey to the theory that it is better to engage in ‘real’ exercise rather than a physically passive practice like yoga. All of this is silly when the people debating should mind their own business. Who is to say what is right for another?
This time my yoga practice is deeply personal. The movements resemble those of a sloth, (my favourite animal). The poses are held for a long period of time and are aided by gravity. I melt into them and my mind focuses on that. I feel a teeny, tiny release of the mighty tension in the large muscles of my body. With that I feel a little more lightness. My mind is a little less worried. I have more room for creativity and a little less room for worry. Like a sloth, the process is slow. I’m OK with that.