Next time you find yourself sitting for long periods of time writing a story or standing in that awkward position at the easel…try these five yoga poses and see how they will ENHANCE your creativity.
Wrist relief. As we hold our pen, type across the keys of the keyboard, or practice notes on our instruments we forget about the tiny bunch of bones that make it all possible...our wrists. The next moment...Cramp! Before you cramp up take a few moments to bend your elbow so that your forearm comes in toward your chest. Flex the wrist so that your palm faces up toward to ceiling. Using the opposite hand, press down on your extended fingertips to open the wrist…hold for 10 breaths and then bend your wrist in the opposite direction, so that your fingertips almost rest on your shoulder. Hold for 10 breaths and then do the other side.
Seated cat/cow. If you’re confined to the desk this is a great move to try out, but I recommend getting on the floor and doing regular cat/cow if you can. Artists tend to find themselves with shoulders that are hunched over so this is great to open up the heart and increase mobility in the spine. Inhale and draw the shoulder blades onto the back, spread the collarbones, look up and allow the chest to expand. Exhale, round the spine like a Halloween cat, round the shoulders, draw the navel toward your spine, and tuck your chin. This pose is just as much about the breath as it is the fluid motion of the spine. Work it and it will work you!
Hello Hamstrings! Giving the ole’ hamstrings a good stretch with a forward fold, standing or seated, is a great, restorative pose for artists. As creative people we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to always perform and put out “perfect” work. Try this pose and as you stand there hinging at the hips let all your insecurities and fears literally roll off your back. Anatomically this pose will release your lower back, lengthen the spine, and tone the hamstrings that we all love to shorten as we sit driving or creating for hours.
Healing Hip Opener. Here is another pose that you can do in the chair or supine on a yoga mat. Releasing tension in the hips opens up more space for creative breakthroughs so try it out! Scoot to the edge of your seat…both feet firmly planted on the ground. Place your right ankle on top of your left leg just above the knee. Breathing in, lengthen your spine by rooting through the sit bones and reaching the crown of your head toward the sky. Breathing out and keeping the spine long and straight begin folding the torso gently over the legs. You’ll feel this in your hip. Be kind to your hips and only fold to your edge. Hold this pose for a minute or so and then switch sides.
Breathe. That’s right! It’s that simple. Taking a moment to walk away from your work, get out of your mind, and back into your body can do wonders for your creative energy. Try sitting in a comfortable position. Relax the jaw, let your shoulders fall away from your ears, root through your sit bones as you extend through the crown of your head and turn inward. Silently and lovingly observe your breath as you send yourself some kindness. If nothing else, Artists can always use more breathing and more kindness.
How has yoga enhanced your creative experience? How has creativity enhanced your yoga? I would love to know!
My name is Courtney Pearce! I am a yoga teacher, creative soul, Great Dane momma, Health Promotions nerd, blogger at yogag33k.com, and co-creator of “Dancing in the Fire: A 30 day journey to creativity through yoga and art” with Eliza Tobin. Join us this August to meet your creativity through art journaling, meditation, and yoga! Go to 30 days of yoga and art and receive two FREE creative affirmation prints. I look forward to connecting and meeting kindred spirits along the journey to creativity through yoga and art! Namaste.