Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yoga for Stymied Writer #1: Boosting Creativity

We haven't talked yoga since the holidaze, when I suggested a few poses for such travel-related challenges as the common cold, anxiety, back pain, insomnia, and being overly full. The holidays--and talk of yoga--are now a distant memory, so let's dive right back in, shall we?

Today commences a series of yoga assists for all your writerly woes. If you have any requests, let me know!

Scenario #1: Creative gas tank is running dangerously low--you're basically putt-putting out on creative fumes. You're Muse hasn't made an appearance for days--it's practically time to put out a Missing Persons (Muses?) Report. Your work in progress sits stagnating, yet torturing you. Anyway you cut it, you could use a little creative boost.

Yoga Assist: My number one recommendation is an inversion. This is the first thing I try when I'm feeling stuck/stymied/blocked/whatever. There are several options--the most important thing is to get your head down below your heart level so as to irrigate your brain with blood and literally turn your perspective upside down. (*Those with certain medical conditions should avoid inversions altogether--see below.)

Option A: (easier) Downward Facing Dog. Kneel on the floor, knees under hips, wrists under shoulders. Deepen your breath. Lift your navel up to your spine to engage your core. Lift your hips up so you're in an inverted "V" formation. Stay for 10 breaths (or until you're ready to come down). Draw your knees to the mat, wider than your hips. Draw your forehead toward the mat, floor, or yoga block. Sit back on your heals and rest for 10 breaths.

Option B: (more advanced) Supported Handstand. Begin as above--kneeling on the floor with your feet against a wall. Lift up to Downward Facing Dog (as described above). Then slowly walk your feet up the wall until you are in an inverted "pike" or handstand. Stay for 5 breaths to start. Then slowly work your way up to staying longer. When you're ready, slowly walk down the wall and take Child's Pose (as described above), resting back on your heels, forehead grounded on the mat or block. Rest for at least the same length of time.

Allow yourself to absorb the effects of turning your world upside down. Feel the burst of fresh energy permeating your body and brain.

*Those with certain medical conditions should avoid inversions altogether. This includes, but is not limited to: headaches, heart conditions, high blood pressure, certain eye conditions. Inversions should not be practiced during menstruation. Talk to your doctor before practicing any yoga.


  1. I've never considered using yoga to get in touch with my muse. Thank you for posting the suggestion, I will try it this evening.

  2. Cool! Let me know how it goes! Hope you have a resulting burst of creativity :)

  3. I just read an interesting article about how yoga boosts creativity. It's on my desk at work. I'll let you know where I got it.

    1. Combing through old writing/yoga posts and just found this. Wondering if you ever found that article? Would LOVE to see it! :)