You might have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet here on Weird Wanderings. I wish I could share some new adventures and pretend I’ve been battling ghosts or exploring strange museums, but what I’ve been experiencing is something far less exciting: creative burnout. As both a fiction and nonfiction author, the toggling back and forth can sometimes zap any and all creative energy.
Now don’t get me wrong: I am not complaining. If you ask me, being a writer is just about the greatest profession in the world. But it’s also something that you can’t force if it’s just not happening. So what’s an exhausted little writer to do? Yoga, that’s what. Doing yoga for creativity can help you get back on track with your artistic goals. While there are lots of reasons to love those sun salutations, here’s why I use yoga for creativity.
Yoga is non-competitive.
This is perfect for me since I’m both lacking in athletic ability and good graces when it comes to losing. An exercise routine that involve competing solely against myself and in a “let’s cultivate those good vibes and inner peace” sort of way helps me relax and focus on clearing my mind. And a clear mind is a major step in getting those creative juices flowing again.
Yoga breaks those bad sitting habits.
As a writer, your chair and desk become your best friend. But that’s not always great for your lower back and joints. After more than ten hours per day in a chair, I’m an achy mess, and that soreness alone can detract from my productivity. With yoga, the focus is on getting the body back to equilibrium. Many yoga instructors are even willing to incorporate specific poses if a student asks at the start of class, so don’t be afraid to make a request if it will help you work on trouble areas. And for artists who feel obligated to be working every second of the day, don’t feel guilty about taking time out of your routine. As counterintuitive as it might be, leaving the computer (or whatever medium you work on) for an hour can actually help refresh the mind. After all, it’s far better than spending that time staring at a blank page.
Yoga can be adapted for any lifestyle.
Unlike training for a marathon, you don’t need to keep up with yoga every single day to reap its benefits. Sure, you can practice each morning, but even if you can only squeeze in one practice a week (or a month), you’ll still experience some real results. Plus, just about anyone can practice yoga, even if health, age, or other factors keep you from engaging in a traditional exercise regimen. You might not be able to do a dozen downward facing dogs, but a regular mindfulness and meditation routine can be done seated in a chair or even lying in bed. By concentrating on the sensations of the body or even just concentrating on nothing at all, your mind clears away the distractions, and you return with greater focus and renewed energy. And couldn’t we all use a little more energy?
For me, all these benefits are very real. After almost every yoga practice, I have fresh ideas for blog content and story concepts. Nothing else I’ve found works as well for fostering creativity, particularly during periods of burnout, as yoga.
What works for your creative burnout? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons