Hello dear maestros. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m curious about how form informs our creative expression.
I have been a dabbler in many of the creative art forms for most of my life… dance, theatre, painting, photography, & of course, writing. While some folks have busted my chops along the way for not picking & sticking with one form, It fuels my mojo to have options, to play, explore, see how things integrate & build from each other.
But those chops busters weren’t all wrong. I am also beginning to believe that when we commit to a form’s practice, we create a firm foundation that then allows the creative pulse to flow through, over & around it, & then take meaningful & often times powerful shape.
Enter yoga- a phenomenal form in which to discover your creative mojo (& oh, so much more)!
Before you dismiss it as some hooky spiritual fad that’ll lift & firm your buns at the sound of OM, consider science & its place within the yogic system. Yoga is, in its most traditional form & offering, fully based in the science of energy, the exploring, cultivating & integrating of one’s life force- or prana- within.
A very good fit for any creative looking to up their flow ante if I do say so myself.
But I’m not here to convince you of anything so much as I want to offer a form, a structure in which to consider your own prana & how that connects to your creativity. If you suspend any sense of disbelief or preconceived notions, you just might make some room for a happy surprise to arrive, & that surprise might astonishingly look like you in all of your epicness.
But if you’re new to yoga, where do you start?
There are a thousand ways in which to enter yoga. Bhakti? Jhana? Karma? Raja?.…Hatha, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Kundalini? What in the heck does it all mean? (click on the links if you really want to know….). It can be overwhelming, for sure.
(For a fun documentary on this, check out “Enlightened Up):
(& YES, YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON UNDER THE SUN).
& It can be scary to show up for something totally foreign (& anything spoken in Sanskrit is foreign to most of us)! My best suggestion is to just pick what you’re drawn to, or what’s easiest for you to investigate.
My start was purely physical, & quite by accident. I was first introduced to it as an extension of my modern dance training, helping me understand my body better, where the impetus for movement began. But it was never really a practice until I got my heart stomped on & I felt so low I could barely eat, sleep or create my life day to day, never mind create new art.
I ended up in a Bikram Yoga class & got stomped on some more, to say the least. I could barely walk down stairs for a week! But it was a different sort of beating- one that slowly crushed my sorry, sad self & elevated my inner fire & sense of strength so much that I committed to a rigorous practice for more than a year. It healed my body, gave me strength & a solid form to work with while I explored the inner workings of my heart & creative being.
It was a little too solid, however, as Bikram Yoga never veers from its 26 poses done in a specific order, & the instruction hardly ever sways from its boot camp mantras (“Struggle harder!”) to include information on the seven other yogic limbs, all of which tie into the soul’s work of being in the body.
I stopped going to Bikram when my questions were met with irritation, my curiosity squelched by answers that claimed “that’s the trademarked way of Bikram’s training.” Trademarked? Really? The form was no longer supporting my growth. I was disheartened by the sense that I no longer belonged there, & though grateful for what I’d learned along the way, I eventually never went back.
As they say, when one door closes, another opens. I found a new home with Shakti Yoga Studio, where the founder, Sofia Artola, helped cultivate within me a deeper sense of the practice, inviting in play & a lightness in the heart throughout it all. She set me on a path of yoga where I could truly explore the form, & then encouraged me to do a (life changing) teacher training offered at her space.
There, Ruslan Kleytman, my teacher training instructor, offered forth & exemplified the poetry, science, spirituality & physical expression of what yoga is. Though I was scrambling to take in all of the information & trying to integrate it while tending to a newborn & a two year old, his offerings gave me a form I could stand strong in, with room to move & discover myself within it at a pace that was authentic & organic.
As I move deeper into my “teaching,” there is more & more I realize I’ve yet to learn & so many new questions that arise each day. This sort of inquiry alone helps strengthen the core of my creativity & the prana found within it. It also builds a solid foundation to stand on, in & for… & the freedom to launch & fly from there.
& to me, that’s where I’m finding my creativity best shines. My hope is that it might for you, too.
As my teacher Ruslan so eloquently states as he closes his practice (& which I asked if I may do so with mine): Shine your way, spread the love!
PEE ESS: If you’re curious about more but can’t get yourself into a studio, there are SO many videos on line that you can investigate. I’m starting a series of my own, with a focus on EASE, HEART, & PLAY. Check it out at TheSparklePowerProject.com.. (my new mamma blog) & click on the “HOKEY POKEY YOGA” tab. xo
Next up: Checking out the chakras: energy of the root chakra infused with heart.