Stretching Your Creativity

by Silky Hart

More and more these days I see the melding of creative expression with yoga. Many creative workshops are combining writing, art making, music and dance with yoga.

My first encounter with this connection was several years ago when Jeff Davis, who lived in Dallas at the time, offered classes that combined yoga postures with writing exercises. There was a direct correlation between taking the metaphors of the poses and sensations in my body to activate my writing muse.

I see how these two practices both complement each other, have similarities and create a fusion that transcends both of them. Getting into the flow of the creative zone is richly enhanced by the body-centering postures, not to mention breathing and movement to start shifting out of the mind chatter that rambles around in our heads.

Early on, I discovered that it was essential to start an expressive arts workshop with simple breathing and stretching exercises to allow participants to recharge their bodies and minds while experiencing a sense of renewed energy and clarity as they went exploring on their creative adventures.

Last fall, I co-facilitated a yoga and expressive arts workshop with Tracy Carruth of Yoga Balance. We began the workshop with Tracy leading the group through a yoga class and meditation.

My observation was that the participants brought a focused awareness to the creative portion of the workshop. The creative flow was powerfully engaged yet with an effortless ease.

Both yoga and creative expression can take you to your edge, calling you to go beyond where you’ve been before. My own experience is that yoga provides a physical imprint and a metaphoric touchstone from which to draw inspiration and expansion when writing, painting, dancing or making music.

For me, yoga has become more than just exercise: it’s about control, discipline, and emotion; and those are useful tools for any songwriter. Sting, Yoga Journal, March 2010

A yoga class often begins with setting an intention which can open a pathway for connecting with our divine spark, our wise inner knowing. The intention can be further explored while painting and writing. This yoga-creativity connection allows us to more deeply feel our mind-body-spirit connection in a very visceral way.

Practice! Both yoga and creativity flourish when you commit to a regular practice, even if it is just for a few minutes a day. The criteria should always be that you enjoy it.

One of the beautiful gifts of both yoga and a creative practice is letting surprises reveal themselves to you. The gifts of mindfulness and embodied awareness, not to mention releasing stress, are a natural segue way into a place of allowing our creative inspiration to shine and to stretch what we believe is possible.

Silky Hart is a Certified Expressive Arts Practitioner with a degree in Dance and a master’s degree in International Business. For more than 20 years she has been leading sessions, workshops and retreats in creative expression in a wide variety of settings including shelters, schools, treatment centers and health care facilities. Silky is the Southwest Regional Coordinator for IEATA (International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.) Through workshops, retreats, online classes and one-on-one mentoring, Expressive Hart empowers and inspires people to joyously connect with their creative spirit to manifest their personal dreams and professional visions. Silky believes in illuminating magic, in spectacular possibilities, in uplifting joy and in unbridled creative expression!

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