For some reason I don’t often write about the similarities between my training in contemporary dance and my yogic journey. It seems to me that the two go hand in hand, especially my asana practice and experiences I have had in improvisation – both have served me as moving meditations. Spending the last three years working with embodied movement practice, listening to my body and connecting with my breath, has triggered an interest within me in the changes that occur through mind-body connection.
Although hard to measure, I view myself as more creative than when I started three years ago. Not only have I been taught by some wonderfully creative and inspiring individuals, but they also nurtured me in finding the space in which my own creativity could develop. First by teaching me the rules, and then by encouraging me to break them.
In our culture, space is often hard to come by. With a multitude of distractions and never-ending competition for time and money
Through my training as both a dancer and a yogi, space and creativity have shown themselves to be intertwining concepts that form a complex and contingent relationship. When this relationship is happy and balanced, you can be in a state of constant creativity – not only in an artistic way, but also within your life experience. In our culture, space is often hard to come by. With a multitude of distractions and never-ending competition for time and money, you have to create the space for your creative ability to develop.
Creativity is hard to define by academic standards due to its ethereal and elusive nature. However, it is widely agreed that creativity is a state of mind, rather than a trait or attribute. In fact, many creative breakthroughs come from a new, intuitive way of thinking, or when something is seen from a fresh viewpoint. Essentially, this means that creativity comes from individual expression – whatever you express you create.
Dancers and yogis are both artists of the body; every time we move we bring intentions and ideas to life
To me, space is a valuable tool in both my dance and yoga practice. Dancers and yogis are both artists of the body; every time we move we bring intentions and ideas to life, every time we step on our mat we create poses, heat and energy. We often speak about finding space – allowing ourselves to let go, release tension and make room for new possibilities. Every time we stretch, take a different variation of a pose, or simply move in a new way, we are creating space, furthering an exploring of our own bodies. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and movement literally allows this water to flow. Through yoga and embodied movement practices we can create new physical spaces for this water to flow through and nourish.
Ancient philosophies and new scientific research both conclude that the state of the human body has a profound effect on the state of the mind and the sensation of living
Ancient philosophies and new scientific research both conclude that the state of the human body has a profound effect on the state of the mind and the sensation of living. And in my experience, finding space in your body (particularly through embodied movement), leads to new spaces within your mind and within your life. When my body is in flow, my mind is in flow.
Finding space in your mind gifts you with ability to take a more panoramic perspective on
things – or rather – you start to see things the way they really are. As mentioned previously, creative breakthroughs often occur when things are seen from a new viewpoint. So… it stands to reason that as your mind becomes clearer, it can allow for constantly developing modes of creativity to surface. Put simply, when you mind is in a state of un-attachment, it can wander to new realms of possibility.
Creative consciousness – when the mind is flowing – can show itself in many forms. Those ‘Eureka’ moments when the penny in your mind just seems to drop, physical form of artistic creations, and learning to follow your heart. My time on my mat and my time in the studio has allowed me to find new spaces and plant seeds in them. With the right nourishment and attention, this space can ultimately become a greenhouse for you to be in creation of your dreams.