find your creative spark in physical motion

A guest post by Victoria Klein.

yoga doodle by artsyville
make time for your yoga by artsyville

Hi, hello there. Victoria Klein here – you might remember me from my 2010 Eco-DIY New Year’s Resolutions post earlier this year. I’m back to chat with you again, but not about setting goals or living sustainably. Let’s chat about yoga.

WAIT! Before you close this window or click on to something else, hear me out for a minute, okay? The misconceptions about yoga are rampant, but as a creative individual, you stand to benefit exponentially from its practice.

The concept is simple: move physically to be moved creatively.

We’ve all been there: hunched over the table or laptop, working away as the hours pass like minutes, barely grazing the beginning of that to-do list. You need a break … but how will you still get anything done if you take a break?

You can’t be productive if you work nonstop. Your shoulders get sore, your eyes dry out, your stomach gets angry from all the coffee/lack of food, your butt goes numb. Sound familiar? There’s nothing positive about pain, strain, dehydration, or pure exhaustion.
A short yoga practice can help stretch both your body and your mind.

Physically, most yoga poses feature exaggerated versions of things we do in everyday life, like sitting, walking, reaching, and twisting. Holding these poses allow our muscles to stretch in ways we don’t normally experience, giving them to chance to fully release stress and strain.

Mentally, yoga is a proverbial breath of fresh air (and can be practiced outside!). To prevent injury (and looking silly), yoga requires you to focus on each pose and the use of your breath consciously. No worrying about to-do lists or errands or chores. Just stay in the moment is give you body the creative challenge it desires and your mind the break is deserves.

Most yoga classes are 60 to 90 minutes long, but sometimes that just isn’t realistic for us creative types. Even just 20 minutes of yoga can help you return to your projects refreshed, revived, and re-inspired.

Of course, I’m speaking from personal experience here. I wouldn’t recommend anything that I haven’t tried myself. As a yoga practitioner for nearly 10 years, it has helped me personal and professional struggles I surely wouldn’t have overcome otherwise (e.g. cross-country moves, marriage, failed projects, major milestones, and ongoing dreams.)

I maintain a regular, every-other-day, 60-minute practice, but I also turn to yoga whenever my mind is racing or my body is throbbing. Just a few long-held, deeply-breathed poses set me back on the right path – creating things to inspire others.

Getting started with a yoga practice is easy, affordable, and fun – yes, I said fun. That’s the whole reason I wrote my first book, titled 27 Things to Know About Yoga. From community classes and simple supplies to at-home DVDs and introductory poses, you’ll know more about yoga than any other newbie. Bonus: yoga also does wonders for those times when you are devoid of ideas or forward momentum.

27 things to know about yogo

Whether you visit a yoga studio, practice at home, or embark on a mix of the two, yoga may be the physically creative outlet you are looking for. Forget what you’ve heard – try yoga for yourself & only then will you know what pure inspiration feels like.

How do you move physically to inspire your creativity?

ABOUT VICTORIA KLEIN
Victoria Klein is a freelance writer, photographer + creative dabbler. Her 1st book, 27 Things to Know About Yoga, was released in July 2010. Her 2nd book, 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living, will be released in October 2010.

21 thoughts on “find your creative spark in physical motion

  1. Can I also add that September is National Yoga Month!!? And to celebrate spreading yoga to new students, there are yoga studios all over the country offering a whole week of free yoga to new students! I found this out at http://www.yogamonth.org and I think it’s pretty cool! I am a long-time yoga practitioner and can’t speak highly enough about it’s part in my creative process as a visual artist. I am even writing my master’s thesis on the effects yoga has on the creative process! So yes, if you haven’t tried it and would like to, go go go!

  2. You’re right, Eliza – September is National Yoga Month; I should have added a mention about that. :)

    Also, a big thank you for sharing how yoga helps your personal creative process. We could talk about it for days, but folks will never truly understand how great yoga can be until they try it for themselves.

  3. yes! yoga is great for the mind/body/creativity connection and helps one stretch through many physical and mental boundaries. may i add that there are good and bad teachers/resources out there and proverbially, when its good its good but when its bad its very, very bad.

    speaking as a former dance professional i have seen plenty of “famous” yoga teachers perpetuating bad form that can have a terrible effect on the joints, ligaments, tendons, etc. over time. how can one tell the good from the other?

    i found that i benefitted most from switching instructors from time to time and paying close attention to what my body was telling me. if it doesn’t feel right, isn’t right at all. when i found a great teacher for me it was *golden* and well worth the search. her focus was on breath above postures and i think that made a huge difference.

    love,

    p.

  4. Another fantastic personal testimony from Penelope :) Finding the right teacher & the right style of yoga is very important and, just like anything else in this world, there are good teachers and bad teachers. Your body is the ultimate teacher – NEVER ignore it.

  5. Thank you for this info, Victoria. I have crashed around to stay in shape for years, and just added yoga this past summer. What a difference!! I love every bit of it – it enhances everything I do in the gym, at my desk and in real life!

  6. You’re very welcome, Jan. Your experience with yoga is another great example of how yoga is many things to many people – it works for everyone. All folks need to do is dispel their misconceptions & try yoga with an open mind :)

    Hooray – enjoy my book, Shelly. Feel free to send me your opinion of it when you’re done. :)

  7. I’ve been practicing yoga for years. It started with an evening class at university, and I was hooked. Last year I began kundalini yoga and I’m really enjoying it. For me, it helps my outlook and energy level for the entire day if I do my yoga in the morning, even if it means getting up really early. I found a series of videos that I like and that are fun. I’ve even convinced a few friends lately to add daily yoga to their schedule in addition to their weekly class!

  8. Congrats on being able to maintain a long-term practice, Laura. It is often an adjustment for folks to accept that yoga is a true practice – you are never done because it is an ongoing journey that can be a part of your entire life. I also recently started getting up early in the mornings, first to go for a run then to do yoga. The practice has completely changed my energy level. :)

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