Who knew that yoga would release creative energy that had been trapped for decades?
For longer than I can remember, I had the urge to create—I would draw, paint, carve—but frustration soon set in. Having grown up with parents who critiqued everything, I internalized their voices and most creations ended up in the trash.
How to overcome this block: Psychotherapy? Creativity workshops? Working in a gazillion different mediums? No luck. And then…
Several years ago, I began practicing Bikram yoga. I hoped to strengthen my spine, tighten my muscles and maybe improve my shape. I doubted it would impact my thinking and never considered it would be the antidote to my creative frustration.
Sure enough, my body strengthened. And, I began to feel spontaneous joy. And calm—me, a notorious type A was less reactive and more accepting--of myself and others… Whoa: The critical voices were quieting.
I found myself reaching for scissors and beautiful handmade paper to express this newfound joy and I created Scattering Stars. It popped out of me one night after yoga. The act of its creation was pure pleasure. For one of the first times in my art life, the process was not a struggle, but total exhilaration.
And art began to flow from me—just like my yoga. A natural and uncensored –very honest-- extension of myself. How could this be?
Unknowingly, yoga was teaching me to be present in the moment—a quest for mindfulness—be present or fall out of a posture. My practice was spilling into my life. Anxiety and angst melted away. I became more accepting of myself—gazing daily into a mirror in my sweaty, most primitive state--it was me at my rawest and the critical judgments washed away--no worries.
The creative sparks continue. I draw inspiration from the opening up that comes with practicing. Yoga healed, not only my body, but my spirit. I was a skeptic, but I see its impact in my art, in my relationships and even in my writing. May you find your yoga—the unexpected something that opens you. Namaste’