1. How Yoga Can Improve Your Creativity

    August 25, 2013

    On Yoga and Creativity

    by Edward Lakatis

    Creativity is an important element in any job. However, there are really certain jobs that may require more of it than others. Inventors, artists, musicians and scientists are only a few examples of these kinds of jobs. Individuals who choose to pursue these career paths come to realize that to continuously do well in their fields, they constantly have to churn out new ideas, new concepts, and new works. Inventors have to come up with new inventions all the time, musicians are pressured to come up with a different kind of sound that would appeal to the masses, and artists who successfully think up unique ways to make art are the ones who are usually given more opportunities to show their work. Being creative, for these people, can spell the difference between failure and success.

    With that being said, it is important that these people take the time and effort to invest in their creativity. They have to constantly look for ways to harness their creativity, whether it be incorporating a new activity, or making a major lifestyle change such as altering the diet. This is where yoga comes in. Unknown to many, yoga is actually an excellent tool for creativity. Doing yoga can do wonders for one’s creative process. Allow us to explain how yoga can make a difference.

    Yoga encourages mindfulness

    People who do yoga can attest that there is always effort involved to be more mindful, and to notice more things. From observing how the body is positioned, to how it moves from one posture to another, up to paying attention to the breath, as well as the thoughts that go through ones head, yoga is all about mindfulness. After one achieves this state of mindfulness, yoga encourages a detachment from images and words that are normally associated with certain emotions. And in a way, isn’t this what being creative is about- letting go of old norms, and finding a fresh new approach to things? Once the minds gets used to this kind of thinking in the yoga studio, it can progress and take it out into the real world, resulting in more creative ideas.

    Yoga achieves a relaxed yet alert mind

    We all have those moments when our minds are so full of different bits of information that there doesn’t seem to be any room for new ideas to develop. This is a classic sign of a stressed out mind. When the mind is stressed out, ideas stop flowing, and the person ends up stuck in a creative block. This is where yoga becomes a great tool to relax the mind. Yoga exercises teach the mind to slow down and relax. By relaxing, it is given the opportunity to recharge and realign itself. The great thing about yoga is that even if the mind is in a relaxed state, it is still continually moving and thinking. It has to have a level of alertness to process the poses and the breathing. A level of alertness is equally important in the creative process, because if the mind is too relaxed, it may stop working altogether! Yoga gives the mind the balance to flow and make room for idea generation, but also makes sure that it is constantly functioning.

    Yoga Teaches Patience

    Not many people realize it, but the process of creativity relies so much on patience. For a creative idea to fully blossom, there must be nothing short of an alignment of all the perfect elements. Many creative ideas are born because the inventor’s state of mind is right, the timing is right, and something or somebody comes into his life that contributes to the overall idea. Waiting for all of the stars to align requires a lot of patience, and many may give up because they cannot be bothered to wait. However, if one is involved in an activity that encourages patience such as yoga, then he will not mind the wait so much, and the perfect idea can come about in its own perfect time.

    There may be different ways of upping person’s creativity, but yoga is one of the easiest ones to get into. It is available in many different places, and also has great variety. No matter what one’s lifestyle is, or their level of expertise, there should be a yoga class and style that will suit them. It would definitely not hurt for individuals that constantly struggle with being creative to give yoga a try. It just may be the perfect activity to get those creative juices flowing.

    Image Credit: Lululemon Athletica – www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/5725279112

  2. On Psychological Benefits of Meditation

    April 22, 2013

    benefits of meditation

    Image Credit: Lululemon Athletica

    In the world we live in we value goals and getting the best results. It therefore might look like a paradox that people turn to meditation. Sitting in silence is not very productive one might think. But is this true? Do benefits of meditation compensate the value of time you lost sitting? Absolutely! Your mental health and well-being are priceless. We live to be happy and meditation is the path to happiness. Let’s have a look at some known meditation benefits.

    Better control and concentration

    Concentration is important to make the most out of your day at work. It allows you to do more in less time and use your time more efficiently. The Power of focus increases when you meditate regularly. The new found focus can be used for meditation but also for all other activities that ask for concentration like sports, making music or a day at work. When you have negative thoughts often or think you cannot control your own thoughts, meditation can very well be beneficial to you. It teaches you to control negative thoughts that arise and even stop them entirely. An unruly mind can come under control through meditation, which will create more peace of mind and enable you to achieve your goals. When you get irritated easily by situations you cannot control the solution is not to avoid these situations but to take distance from it. Everybody needs to wait in line sometimes, nobody likes a train delay but you cannot help it that these occasions occur. The solution to these problems is to detach yourself from these situations in your mind. You need to try to see things in the right perspective. A great benefit of meditation is that you’ll be better able to detach from unfortunate circumstances and the negative thoughts they cause.

    Improve your health

    Many studies have proven that meditation has health benefits. For example, when you feel less stressed you are a lot less likely to develop heart disease. Meditation teaches you to switch off from negative thought patterns and worries. By spending 15 minutes a day you will calm your mind and feel more relaxed overall. Our society is getting more and more aware of the link between physical health and our state of mind. Inner turmoil is often the reason for physical ailments. Because meditation stills the mind it can be a great step to avoid stress related ailments.

    Happiness and creativity

    It is fair to say that everybody seeks happiness. Happiness can be found in your own mind but if there is no peace of mind you will constantly be under attack from negative thoughts, no matter how successful you are. The act of stillness and simply being will create a happier self. An unexpected source of happiness arises when you meditate. In other words, happiness does not only depend on outer circumstances but your inner attitude is much more important. Your thinking mind often worries about the future or the past and sometimes even both. This takes out a lot of energy that covers up your creativity and spontaneity. Maybe you think you have no spontaneity or creativity but you have more potential than you think. We need a quiet mind to access these sources of inspiration. Your creative potential can be unlocked by living in the present moment.

    Find your purpose in life

    If you want to know more about the point of your existence in life, meditation can help greatly. Most of us look for external events and people to learn about themselves. When you really want to know more about yourself however, a journey inwards is also needed. Meditation provides us with a better understanding of ourselves and thus a greater understanding of life itself. New and neutral perspectives on life will be unleashed without our egoistic perspective. The answer ‘who am I’ can be answered by doing meditation.

    The first few attempts of meditation will not get you there. Meditation takes consistency and perseverance as it takes time to tame the mind. Reading about meditation alone is not enough. You really need to experience it to get a deeper feel for it. Therefore: give meditation a try because the benefits are plenty!