Being a creative type is easy enough. But harnessing that creativity and doing something productive with it is another story. Society always offers artists excuses: “well, creatives aren’t organized,” or, “artists are usually moody.” EXCUSES! As soon as someone lets these words fall from their lips run in the other direction. Don’t say a word just look at them puzzled and take off in a sprint. (Or well, perhaps call them on it. Your choice.)
For me, harnessing creativity means doing things. If I don’t have experiences throughout my day interacting with the world around me, how will I ever have anything important to say? Doing “things” means traveling to places like Egypt and Italy. It means taking walks. It means meeting good friends for hot chocolate (I don’t do coffee, gasp!). It means taking yoga classes. All of these different things make room in my head for me to organize and articulate my goals to myself. If I don’t specifically address my creative goals, how can I ever reach them? (Cough cough, nudge nudge).
Another article will be on specific goals. It’s important to share with you these other experiences so you can ask yourself if they would work for you. Today I am going to speak of my yoga experience.
I’m a serious newbie to this endeavor. I’ve been going to classes once a week for just over one month now. I started streaming videos from YouTube (for FREE, yipee) that I use for practice at home as well. As of today I have tried two kinds of yoga, Hatha and Ashtanga.
Hatha yoga is a very slow paced experience that has a very relaxing effect. The poses can be quite challenging but everything I have read suggests this is the place for beginners. You can use Hatha to help you really understand the postures for different poses and series of poses (vinyasas) so that when you choose something faster paced or more challenging, you already have some understanding of the basics. Hatha is good in that the poses are slow, but a few friends have also said they find it harder for that very reason. Every single time I leave class I feel taller. My hips also hurt as soon as I get out of class. With other workouts it will take a day or two, but not with yoga.
Let me acknowledge I may be the most inflexible woman on the planet. Really, I might take the Guinness Book title. I once was a young girl who did ballet and could do splits all over the place. Now sometimes I wonder if I have toes. I have tried several yoga teachers now and I have to say they are the most encouraging, peaceful, kind bunch ever. I have not once felt judged for not knowing a pose, or for being inflexible compared to my peers. If you want a workout space that is this inviting, yet another reason to give yoga a go.
Today (Dec 20 is when I wrote the first draft of this) I went to my first Ashtanga class. Since everyone leaves town in Dubai for the holidays (not EVERYONE, but it is slower) my group class turned into a private lesson. I had this wonderfully kind Czech woman who knew her stuff. Ashtanga is more intense than Hatha; I sweat a WHOLE lot more. The poses also transition a bit differently but it was comforting knowing some of the poses from Hatha coming into this more challenging experience. I felt SO energized when I left class I was walking on clouds. Even the driving crazies of Dubai left me with a smile on my face. I don’t feel as lengthened, so to speak, as I did in Hatha, but I feel like individual muscles were more challenged and stretched.
When I got home I had so much energy I jumped right into art brainstorming. In the past few days, where I have had the time to practice yoga almost everyday, I have written about 4 pages of pure IDEAS. Ideas for marketing, artwork, writing, you name it. I don’t believe this to be a coincidence.
I am really excited because tomorrow the 21st is the Winter Solstice. AND a full moon. AND a lunar eclipse. I guess this kind of thing happens once in every 84 years. To celebrate this time of high energy a bunch of yoga schools in Dubai have teamed up and are having free classes outside all day long. I have my mat ready! If I feel this good from yoga all of the time, I can’t wait to feel the energy from a whole bunch of eager yoga interested types on this special day.
I am still a huge novice in the world of yoga, but I can tell you I can’t wait to do more. This summer I may try going almost every day! I can’t wait to see my toes again.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Do you think yoga may be an idea generator for you? (Not to mention the LOADS of proven health benefits…) Don’t be afraid to look into your local yoga classes like I have with Zen Yoga. The first time is the scariest, but realize everyone who chooses to participate in yoga wants relaxation and peace. This is the most welcoming environment one could hope for!