The Sadhana of Creativity: The Transformative Power of Yoga & Creativity

Why should we all use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.
— Brenda Ueland

I’m on a mission. A mission to create. A mission to help others expose their creative urges, and stoke the flames of their individual expression, and nurture their inner creator. By doing so, it is my sincerest belief that we can create more generosity, more joy, more lively, bold and compassionate people… and more healing for ourselves and the world around us.

I recently co-created a workshop called “Visioning + Yoga for Creators,” intended to help creative beings (ahem…that’s all of us) develop and nurture a vibrant, authentic relationship to their own unique and always-unfolding process. The idea for this particular workshop was born from personal curiosity, from the need to make a conscious connection between my yoga practice and my creative process.

Truthfully, and a bit selfishly, I want to know what the heck one has to do with the other. I feel driven to explore how yoga and meditation, in their many forms, can support my creative pursuits (I’m a singer/songwriter, among other things) in the same way they have supported my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Beyond that, I feel a passion to share the discoveries I make with anyone who’s willing to take the leap with me, with anyone willing to step into their own unique process, and to bravely expose themselves as a Creator.

Here are a few thoughts to draw you into the conversation, and hopefully to bring you into dialogue with your own Creator-Yogi.

  • Creative insight bubbles up from the ground of quiet. Ideas, vision, also tend to arise when one’s mind is at ease, and the body open, soft, free. Conversely, sometimes it’s true that creative expression flows from turmoil, or profoundly disturbing events in the world around us (see: Picasso’s “Guernica”). A steady meditation and/or yoga practice can provide the container to safely process and develop our creative ideas without self-destructing or doing harm to others.
  • We create our lives by sculpting our desires, and fashioning our dreams, into a living reality. The practices of yoga, which offer ritual and routine, allow us to forge a conscious relationship to this process, while cultivating the requisite patience to stay the course over a long arc of time. The latter skill, resilience, is what separates the successful creators from the rest.
  • We are creations ourselves. Borne from the desire (unconscious or not) of our parents. It makes sense then, that we possess the inherent need to create. However you choose to get in touch with, and ultimately express that need, it matters. Whether you knit beautiful, handmade scarves; cook wonderful, inviting meals; write fiery spoken word; or dance furiously when no one is watching; it matters. As the Dalai Lama quote goes: “The world does not need more successful people. The world desperately needs more peacemakers and healers, restorers and storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”

Creator-Yogis are all of the above, so get out there and be what the world needs!

Yoga and the creative dance invite us to take, in the words of Dr. Douglas Brooks, “a long walk into a very deep pond.” Really, this long walk is the ever-present, perpetual cycle of initiation, revelation, and understanding. We initiate ourselves each time we step onto the mat, write a few words, or pick up a paint brush and stand before the blank canvas. Once we step into the deeper water and become somewhat immersed in this process, there is almost always a revelation, an insight that allows us to understand and access a bit more about our own nature, and/or the nature of the world around us.

By the time each new understanding takes root within us, we’ve changed, we become that which is revealed to us. Pretty cool, huh?

Both are ways to find communion with one’s self (or Self), to recover from past trauma, and to experience wholeness at the deepest level of our being. This is a transformative, spiritual process. One that, as Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way) puts it, allows us to “…acquire and eventually acknowledge our connection to an inner power source that has the ability to transform our outer world.”

As you’ve read, I’m endlessly fascinated by this relationship, this intersection of creative expression and the art of yoga. As a yogi, an artist, and certainly as a teacher, this very personal exploration has churned up a cascade of questions. I expect it will continue to do so.

It has also inspired a curiosity to go deeper and travel farther into the highly individual realm of my own creative mind and heart… perfect for the Pisces/seeker/perpetual student in me. But the real beauty of this process is that as I go deeper, as the questions keep coming, I feel myself being transformed. I see my wounds being healed.

So Creator-Yogis, you’ve walked this far with me, you now have a mission. I invite you to start your own dialogue, map out your own exploration.

Are you willing to burn in the fires of transformation? Willing to find wholeness and healing? If so, let’s conspire to walk this long walk together, and delight in the generosity, joy, boldness, and compassion we find within, and without.