Creativity is important in every job, but particularly for artists, inventors, designers and musicians. The practise of yoga not only inspires creativity but it requires an imaginative mind to rejuvenate the practice. For the last few years I have really analysed my teaching, my alignment cues, how much language I give out, where to adjust and when to leave a student to explore. I have become really passionate about the use of creativity in my teaching and in self practice. I also look out for this in other classes, like a magpie picking up imaginative transitions and creative ways to describe alignment and anatomy. In order to look at why creativity is so important in yoga the first question might be to question what I mean by creativity in the first place? To me this is not just dynamic sequencing/transitions but language and the variety of modifications given to suit a variety of levels. I come from a design background where we were always taught to go out and get inspired, this concept is equally important when considering your yoga practice. To ‘step away from your drawing board’ or in this case your yoga mat!
So why is creativity so important?
‘Being creative and cultivating creativity is crucial for our evolution. When we stifle creativity in favour of what is practical and pragmatic, passions are overlooked, our purpose is lost, and we suffer’
In yoga a creative mind will fire up your enthusiasm keeping your tone fresh and engaging to students. It is easy to become stagnant, repeating yourself, this can develop a monotone voice, lacking energy and enthusiasm.
Students may not understand one way of thinking, we are divided up in visual, physical and verbal learners. Now you might be lucky and find all three appeal to you but some of us lean to one area more than another. Even though I practice yoga regularly I love clear verbal cues to help me get deeper into a pose. Although a physical adjustment is great, sometimes I cannot get back there on my own. I often see that beginners tend to find visual demonstrations easier to follow than verbal cues. Agh creativity, we need you as we are all so different!
How to become more creative…
Firstly get off the mat, go to a museum, watch a movie, read a book, try a different hobbie!
Explore through self practice, yoga is like a dance, you can move though the same poses every day but get to each position in a different way. I sometimes work though my practise and say out loud what I would say to a student, this can bring up unusual (and some very funny) anecdotes of how to feel alignment. This point is linked to play and exploration.
Finally creativity comes with time and patience. Some of the greatest creative minds have been in their profession for some time, making mistakes and learning from them.
Sometimes is hard to stay creative, this is especially true when we are under pressure or nerves kick in. There are many things that can hinder and block our creativity: self-judgement, self-criticism, stress, exhaustion and essentially fear. It is easy to judge yourself, and be self critical of your own mind but when faced with challenging situations we cannot think creatively.
“Creativity is the greatest act of rebellion, because it demands courage, imagination, and original thinking’
After all, we might not be here if Adam and Eve hadn’t munched on that apple! – o the curious mind!
Beautiful Art by Lovetto Reyes- Cairo