In honor of National Poetry Month, I am thinking about the ways that yoga helps to feed our creativity and to align us with our creative self. Close your eyes and bring your visual awareness to the center of your forehead, between your eyebrows. This is called your wisdom center. Now take a long breath in, keeping your awareness around this wisdom center, and slowly release the breath through your nose. Do this five times. When you open your eyes, write down the very first thought or word that comes to you. Set that aside and prepare to move your body. Get on your mat and start a practice that comes from your heart. You are you’re best teacher, I assure you–it just takes trusting your intuition, faith in your ability to know and guide yourself. As you begin your practice, perhaps start with some combination of warming movements that you know from class. As you continue, try closing your eyes and begin to move into asanas (or whatever shape) that you are intuitively guided to move into. Allow your body to flow, to roll around, to experiment and create different shapes.

When you’re finished, lie down in savasana (resting pose) on your back. Listen and feel your breath for five minutes. Let your inhalation lighten your body and your exhalation relax your body. Start with your toes and move through your body part by part, until you feel light and uninhibited. Then sit up, become centered in your seated place, and pause briefly, grateful to your body and your own playful nature.

Now, come back to that piece of paper you wrote your earlier thought on. Sit for a moment again, bringing your awareness back to your wisdom center, breathing five breaths into that space. Then open your eyes and allow whatever thoughts, pictures, words, to flow naturally onto the paper. Do this for 10 minutes without stopping.

When we get curious about ourselves and allow ourselves to open up to creative possibilities, we generate an awareness of expression that is freeing. Yoga is meant to free up our bodies for more creative ventures, to release pent emotions, and to steady the mind into one-pointed concentration. How can this feed your creativity? Get curious and see what happens! A creative life is a blessed one!

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you hd to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.