“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple”
– Charles Mingus
Since childhood, we’ve been encouraged to ask questions using the five basic W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why and how). These questions can be simple in nature, but become complicated when impatience, discouragement and embarrassment constantly overwhelm the mind. Questions are tools for guidance not hindrance. Regardless of the question, the answer provided fosters a new learning experience. According to Amanda Lang in “The Power of Why,” curiosity inspires creativity. However, a creative blockage ensues when parameters and expectations cannot be questioned in a safe environment. Creative outlets and development thrive on the ability of self-discovery, thereby underscoring the need to try, question, and listen.
Now how does this relate to creativity on the mat?
In a yoga practice, whether it be a heated or a non-heated class, the possibility to creatively deepen your practice begins by listening to your body. Self-discovery in yoga coincides with body awareness. One aspect of body awareness considers the different muscle groups that are activated for different postures and sequences.
Curiosity plays an integral role in this particular aspect of body awareness.
How? For example, when the instructor says, "scissor your inner thighs together" in a lunging series, questioning and attempting the cue not only begins to create muscle memory, but acknowledges the muscle group. This can now be used in another posture. This acknowledgment enables the potential to ease into another unfamiliar or challenging posture in a safe learning environment that the mat can bring.
Here are some other suggestions to venture into creativity on the mat:
- try a yoga self-practice at home (this gives you the opportunity and time to explore the muscular engagement in different sequences, series and asanas)
- read some yoga articles and watch some yoga videos (inspiration can stem from new information and motivation by actions of others)
- Vlady Peychoff