YOGA-ARTICLE: Creativity as a type of Yoga

  • Yoga and creative energy
  • «Creative» and «non-creative» person
  • What is creativity?
  • Yoga and art. Differences and similarities
  • Creativity and ordinary life
  • Creating reality
  • Getting rid of suffering

«The ability to create is a great gift of nature; the act of creativity in the creative soul is a great sacrament; a minute of creativity is a minute of great sacred rite.» V. Belinsky

Yoga is a process of self-knowledge, it is when we direct all our attention to studying ourselves and the world around us, while not harming anyone and acting effectively. This process can be found in any activity. Including, and even especially, when we create.

Every person has creative energy, that is, an inner strength that manifests itself in the form of vitality, desires and in our self-expression. It’s just that some people don’t have the understanding of how to convert this resource into something tangible, so they waste it on empty things, like watching or listening to irrelevant information. But when the moment comes for such people to create something, their internal resource is not enough, and the person uses external doping to find a temporary breath of inspiration. Yoga is an excellent tool for restoring creative resources, for discovering your abilities and possibilities. Let’s figure out how it works.

Yoga and creative energy

Each of us has an original creative energy called Kundalini, which lies dormant at the base of our body. This is the energy that gave birth to the whole world, and, as Yoga claims, after the creation of the world, Kundalini «fell asleep», coiled into three and a half turns. Symbolically, it is depicted as a coiled snake that holds its tail in its mouth, that is, it has closed in on itself: it constantly manifests itself and gives energy to the world, but then immediately absorbs it, while leaving some of the energy to maintain existence of the world. We also have Kundalini energy inside us; our whole life is emanations (that is, spontaneous small emissions) of this energy, which give us vitality. It turns out that we live on the difference between how much energy Kundalini reproduced inside us and how much it immediately absorbed back. Yoga gradually helps to increase this difference, awakening Kundalini, and therefore we have more energy, desire to live and create.

Perhaps, at the beginning of practice, such an excess of energy is very pleasing, and we can begin to waste this potential even more on everything except creativity. To prevent this from happening, in the practice of yoga we learn to redirect and concentrate our attention, focus on what is necessary, and throw what is unnecessary aside. In practice, we learn to maintain bhava within ourselves, that is, an inspired, elevated state, we learn to control our actions, not harm others and concentrate longer, thereby already creating a better life for ourselves. In Yoga, this is supported by two main principles: the principles of Kindness and Efficiency.

«Creative» and «non-creative» person 

Some people will say that creativity and talent are either present in a person from birth, or a person is completely deprived of it, that creative people are initially full of ideas, insights and energy, while other people are simply deprived of this. Yoga does not agree with this opinion and does not divide people into «creative» and «non-creative»!

«Creativity… is an integral organic property of human nature… It is a necessary accessory of the human spirit. It is as legitimate in a person, perhaps, as two arms, two legs or a stomach. It is inseparable from the human being and forms a whole with it.» F. Dostoevsky

Yes, perhaps the direction of someone’s abilities is more clearly visible from birth, but this only means that this person already has experience from previous lives. Everything takes time and experience, everyone takes the first step in something, and there is nothing wrong with trying yourself in some business and being a beginner at it. Nothing prevents you from starting and continuing your path in creativity, especially when you follow it without any prejudices or fears imposed from the outside.

«Okay», you say, «I’d like to do something new or continue to create. But I have no strength or inspiration at all! What can I do about it?» Often, indeed, people cannot find the strength to simply close their current affairs, let alone create. All this is due to the fact that the emanations of Kundalini energy in us are primarily aimed at maintaining our basic needs, and, as a result, there is simply no energy left for anything additional. In order to increase it, we practice yoga, engage in physical and breathing practices that give us strength and increase our concentration. Over time, we develop an inspired mood and a desire to create!

Some people, indeed, immediately easily catch this inspired state called «bhava» in yoga, which pushes them to create, inspires them and gives ideas. However, it also works the other way around: when you concentrate and start creating something, bhava and inspiration, joy and insight come to you. This is a single process in which, as in any other business, you need to gain experience. This is a skill that can be learned. As A.S. Pushkin wrote: «Inspiration is the ability to put yourself in a working state.»

Of course, starting any business is not easy, but nowadays there are many ways to help yourself tune in to the process of creation. It’s normal to use something external to catch a wave of inspiration: read books with biographies of interesting personalities, listen to music or look at works of art. There will definitely be examples in our world that inspire you! The main thing is to take the first step and have the intention to create!

So what is creativity?

Creativity is a process in which we create something new and unique, something that has never existed in the world before: be it a painting, a poem, music, or, for example, something that is not necessarily material, like a thought or idea. People simply cannot create something new if they do not study themselves and the world around them, because to do this you need to be observant, to be able to concentrate, ask questions and look for answers.

Creativity is the actions through which one tries to find and express oneself, one’s essence. It is a slow or rapid movement beyond all your limitations: physical, emotional and mental. As a result, this is a process in which we, dissolving, are able to approach the truth about ourselves and the world. Therefore, creativity can also be yoga if we do not harm anyone in it and at the same time discover something new for ourselves.

Yoga and Art. Differences and similarities

Creativity can be expressed through anything. Of course, the most obvious manifestation of creativity is art in all its forms: visual arts (painting, sculpture, etc.), music, acting, singing or dancing – and in each of them there is a place for Yoga. However, art can either carry Yoga in it or not.

Overall, it depends on the intention of the individual. If a person has a goal of engagement in self-knowledge and study of the world through art, to inspire others, or even to convey knowledge and his vision of the world, then such a process of creation will be Yoga. Works of art created with such a state and intention carry harmony and inspiration, there is something alluring in them, because there is an impulse of the author’s inner revelation. People will feel something familiar in this or, on the contrary, intriguing, they will see beauty in it.

In the modern world, unfortunately, there is another approach to art, which is more based on profit, on selfish principles. Although the authors of such works also create something new, and this can also be called creativity, it will no longer be close to Yoga, since this entire process will be supported by other intentions, often contrary to the principles of Yoga. Such a person is unlikely to think about other people or self-knowledge in his creation, but rather he will create for the sake of recognition and money.

Still, any type of art can easily become Yoga if a person wants it. To do this, in your creativity you need not to become attached to the result, but to sincerely create, dissolving in the process, and also easily share your creativity with the world.

In Yoga there are also types that are in themselves close to art: for example, Yantra yoga, which is the yoga of visual perception of objects and images, is close to the art of drawing or sculpture, Mantra yoga, which is the yoga of sound vibrations, is close to poetry and singing, Nada yoga, which is the yoga of sound, is close to writing and perceiving music, Natya yoga, which is the yoga of acting, is close to theater, and Rita yoga, which is the yoga of movement and rhythm, is close to dance. In general, there is a type of yoga for any of our manifestations.

When you study yoga deeply, you come to the conclusion that all types of art come from one or another type of yoga, because the true manifestation of our creativity is initially possible only when the highest shines through it. Therefore, in many types of yoga, creativity is the main tool for studying oneself and the world, gaining knowledge through all possible manifestations of a person, in order to achieve the main goal – gaining freedom.

Yoga is not about creating works of art. This is a highly private process that may not generally be disclosed publicly. When a person creates something and makes it a yoga practice, he(she) does not have to share it with someone later, he(she) can do it only for himself(herself), or he(she) can show it to others; this is not important in yoga. Art becomes art when it has been shown to other people, when it has been submitted for evaluation. But, both in yoga and in art, there is always creativity, because in both cases our creative energy is used.

Creativity and ordinary life

Creativity doesn’t just mean art. The creative process can be found in any routine task, in everyday work. You can approach everything creatively and with interest. If you do any work consciously, if you love the process itself, then this is also creativity.

«You need to love what you do, and then any work, even the hardest, rises to creativity.» Maksim Gorky

To do this, immerse yourself in the work process with all your attention, do not be distracted by other unnecessary things now, concentrate on all important aspects of the activity. Don’t think about anything else, but if you do, then return your attention back. Don’t worry, don’t doubt and don’t rush in your work. Do as well as you can, try, make an effort, but feel joy. Don’t chase the result, don’t think about how everything will happen later, after the work is done. The result, of course, will come, but now it doesn’t matter, now there is only a process. Allow yourself to rest periodically, but in such a way that the rest does not plunge you into laziness, so just switch to another task, stay in it with all your attention, then return to your work again. When you take control of your thoughts and keep your attention on what needs to be done, then the process becomes conscious and there is room for creativity and self-discovery.

This is also mentioned in a type of yoga called Karma Yoga, which talks about three types of working people: those who work out of fear, those who work for results, and those who work because the job has to be done. The latter do not chase the result of their work, but enjoy the process, do everything consciously, with a feeling of joy and inspiration. Therefore, their actions automatically become creative.

Creating reality

Yoga states that our thoughts create the reality around us. This is also part of our creative potential. The more vitality a person has, the faster and more accurately his(her) wishes come true. This act of creativity can be brought under control through meditation and visualization. Any creativity, in fact, is a meditative activity, because you can create something new only by plunging deeply into yourself and letting go of your thoughts. After all, through meditation we come into contact with the Highest within ourselves (in yoga – the Higher «Self»), which generates the flow of creation.

«All creativity is essentially a prayer. All creativity is directed into the ear of the Almighty.» Joseph Brodsky

Such meditative creativity, for example, through visualization, when we imagine what we want to manifest in reality, helps us understand ourselves, our desires and begin to create our lives consciously, launching the chain of events that we want. It also awakens our intuition, making it easier for us to understand the world.

Getting rid of suffering together

Through creativity, in which we follow the principles of yoga, we can help other people, heal them, transform their vision of the world and even transfer knowledge. There is a Third Principle in Yoga – the principle of refusing suffering and helping others. So creativity is a very good tool for its implementation.

As we know, any creation comes from within us; it is an impulse of emotions and knowledge that we release into the world in the form that resonates with us most – in the form of words, actions, visual or sound form. This impulse is capable of penetrating another living being and qualitatively changing it, spiritually transforming it. We are able to inspire, give hope and joy, transmit this inner fire further and thus save people from suffering.

«Creativity is contagious. Pass it on!» Albert Einstein

If creativity is brought to the depths of another person, then a powerful healing process occurs, because you can get rid of suffering only by changing your understanding of the world, that is, by acquiring new knowledge and states. Yoga teachers also knew this and transmitted knowledge in poetic forms – mantras. Indeed, in creative works, in contrast to dry information and explanations, there is also an emotional part, something subtle that can be read or heard between the lines, which cannot be conveyed physically. So, by creating for the benefit of others, we help ourselves and the world.

«Creation! Here is a great salvation from suffering, a great relief of life!» F. Nietzsche

Practice Yoga and Create your life consciously!

Keep going! 

So infinitely bold 

that fate itself, 

the whole world, 

will finally forget 

what fear is!

Keep going! 

So confident, 

so strong! 

So, please, 

Just go ahead 

like only you can go!

Keep going! 

Believe and breathe…

Burn out 

all the obstacles away!

Run fast

and win the crowd. 

Above you only sky will stay!

At full your speed,

aspiring and knowing…

Keep going! 

Author of the article and poem: Anya Vayu

Editorial: Maria Gayatri, Evgenia Agni, Inna Shakti

Editor-in-Chief: Anastasia Andreichenko

Project manager: Evgenia Agni

Project curator: Kerigona

Translated by Anya Vayu