Yoga And Meditation For Creativity—Unleash Your Inner Artist [TUTORIAL]
- Why Use Yoga And Meditations For Creativity
- Here’s what happens when you use meditation for creativity
- Yoga For Creativity
- Here’s why you should use yoga for Creativity
- 5 Psychological Exercises for Creativity
Have you ever tried using meditation for creativity?
How about yoga for creativity?
Let me tell you something: One of the most amazing benefits of meditation is the effect of meditation on creativity.
As a meditation teacher I’ve helped many people to unleash their inner artist by using yoga and meditation for creativity. I’ll show you how in this guide.
Why Use Yoga And Meditations For Creativity
If you want to improve your mind, one of the best ways is to train yourself to be more creative.
Creativity is one of the most important skills. Everyone needs creative thinking abilities.
Just consider the benefits of being creative
- If you’re an entrepreneur or businessman, creativity helps you to innovate and come up with new ideas.
- If you’re a writer or artist you need creativity to stop writers’ and artists’ block.
- If you’re a musician… eh, just read this guide to how meditation makes you a better musician.
Simply put, creative skills are important to everyone.
Being creative changes people for the better.
Here’s just a snapshot of some of the reasons why creativity is important in life:
- If you want to be any kind of creative professional, you need a damn good creative skills.
- If you want to find solutions to problems, you have to use your creative thinking abilities.
- If you want to find new possibilities, whether in work or in life, you have to be able to think creatively.
- If you want to start a business, you first need to create it.
There are lots of health benefits of creativity, too.
- Creative people live longer according to Scientific American—“researchers found that only creativity—not intelligence or overall openness—decreased mortality risk.” 
- Creating art stops negative emotions. 
- Creativity reduces stress 
- Creativity increases confidence 
- Creative people are happier 
I could go on.
Point it, creativity is valuable to everyone. And we can used meditation for creativity. Or if you want to get physical, you can use yoga for creativity instead.
Why Use Meditation For Creativity
There’s nothing quite like meditation for creativity.
But here’s a little secret: you shouldn’t just do any old type of meditation for creativity. In fact, scientific evidence shows that some meditations makes you less creative.
Creativity is about thinking in different ways. The more flexible our thinking the more artistic we will be.
To be creative we need to be able to be good at divergent and convergent thinking. 
The problem—in fact the reason most people aren’t that creative—is becxause mind naturally gets stuck in one way of looking at things. As we go through life we begin to look at things in one way. We have an idea of ourselves, an idea of other people, and an idea of the world around us.
As most people age they become closed-minded , and closed-mindedness is like cancer to your creative brain.
Like the Picasso quote says:“Everyone is born an artist. The trick is staying an artist when you grow up”. Click To Tweet
But how do you stay an artist when you grow up?
The trick is to see the world with open eyes and an open mind. And this is where you can use meditation for creativity.
Here’s what happens when you use meditation for creativity
In 2012 Scientists researched the effect of meditation for creativity.
Cognitive psychologist Loenza Colzato studied the link between different meditation techniques and creativity. Specifically, he looked at how meditating effects divergent and convergent thinking. 
Meditation improves creativity by stimulating “Divergent Thinking”
Meditation improves our divergent thinking skills.
Divergent thinking is about your ability to look at the same thing in different ways.
Divergent thinking is usually tested via a method called Alternate Uses Task, in which the participant creates as many different potential uses for one object as they can in a certain amount of time.
Some meditations improve creativity by making us better at “convergent thinking”
Convergent thinking is about your ability to take different objects of ideas and bring them together.
Convergent thinking is tested through the Remote Associates Task method .
In the Remote Associate Task method, participants are given three different words and asked to find the one unifying factor. For instance: Pen, Keyboard, Typewriter = writing.
Colzato taught his test subjects two different types of meditation: focused and open. (In open techniques the subjects focus on the overall environment. In focused meditation the subject focuses on one thing).
He discovered what meditation does for creativity. Specifically, he found that the best type of meditation for creativity is open monitoring technique. [here’s the difference between open and focused techniques]
The best type of meditation for creativity: Open-Monitoring
If you want to be a more creative person, you need to open your mind.
And that is precisely why most meditation techniques are not helpful for creativity.
Most meditation techniques involve focused attention; a technique where we focus on one thing. Most meditations are focused attention. That’s where we focus on one thing. Focusing on one thing, however, does not open the mind. It’s not the most effective exercise for the creative side of the brain. And it’s not the best exercise to encourage creative thinking.
Time for an example:
Imagine I’m writing a novel. I’m sitting at my writing desk staring at the blank page. I’m meditating on it. But I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do next. And because I’m only focusing on the page in front of me there is nowhere for me to get inspiration from. So being too focused is not helpful in this instance.
That’s what happens when you do a focused attention meditation. Doesn’t help for creatives, does it? It’s not going to cure artists’ block / writers block.
But what about the very opposite?
The very opposite is open monitoring. This is where we are relaxed and aware of everything around us.
I’m writing my novel and I’m meditating on everything. I’m aware of my entire surroundings. That means information from the outside world is freely flowing into my brain. There, it meres with my ideas of my novel., creating new thoughts and ideas. To put an almost stupidly basic explanation on this. I see a puppy outside. I think, “Holy cow. A puppy would totally change my novel”. But in order to think that I had to be aware of both my novel and the puppy. Being focused on one of those things would not have solved the problem.
That’s why the best type of meditation for creativity is open monitoring. This technique improve the flow of new information flow into your mind, creating myriad ideas and inspirations that are perfect for artists. And this does cure artists’ block and does encourage left-side thinking.
We need to do open monitoring.
So how do we do that?
Open Meditation Techniques For Creativity
1: Pure Awareness:
This is the best meditation for creativity. This will improve the left side of the brain. It’s a relaxing exercise in which we practice open-awareness.
- Lie down on the bed or a matt on the floor, close your eyes and focus on your breathing or five to ten minutes.
- Listen to the sounds around you.
- Listen in a nonjudgmental fashion, without thinking.
- Aim for complete acceptance and awareness.
- This is the basic open monitoring meditation. Try it now. Ideas will flow into your brain, my friend.
- If you are new to this type of meditation, you will find it very helpful to read my book Journey To The Buddha Within You. It goes into depth with easy-to-follow guides to all the most important meditation techniques.
2: Pure Vision:
Another excellent meditation for creativity is Pure Vision.
If you want to improve creative thinking for visual arts, this is the best technique to use.
- Find somewhere relaxing and tranquil, perhaps a seat in a quiet park or somewhere scenic (or read my guide to creating a meditation space at home, which will be perfect for this).
- Get comfortable and simply observe.
- Look at the colours and shapes around you.
- Look at how light plays on various surfaces.
- Explore the scene with your eyes.
- If you are a visualise artist this is going to do you huge favors. It is the best cure for artists’ block.
3: Five Senses Poetry:
This is a wonderful creative technique that improves artistic skills by making us more aware of sensory information (which can be a real source of inspiration)
- Find a scene you would like to write about.
- Now observe everything about the scene through your senses.
- Pay attention to sight, sound, scents, feelings and sounds.
- Write a poem which includes the use of all five senses.
Chakra Meditation For Creativity
Take a look at my guide to the chakras. It fills in a lot of vital background information.
It is possible to use the chakras to boost creativity.
Specifically, this is done through Svadhisthana, the second chakra, which is the energy center for creativity and sex.
Svadhisthana can be translated to mean “Dwelling place of the self”. It’s the sacral chakra, located below the naval. And it is related to the element of water.
When prana flows freely through Svadhisthana it will significantly enhance pleasure, abundance, well-being, and creative thinking.
Have you ever wondered why we lose creativity?
One reason is because life and stress prevent the flow of prana through Svadhisthana, stopping creative energy from flowing.
Return the flow of prana to the sacral chakra and we will increase creativity and boost our artistic skills.
Using chakra meditation techniques for creativity
Because the second chakra is situated around the genitalia it can be affected by an unhealthy sex life.
By being sexually healthy you will help restore balance to the chakras. This will improve your creative thinking.
Ida Nadi Breathing For Creativity
Another great meditation for creativity is Ida Nadi breathing.
Ida Nadi Breathing is a simple technique:
- Close the right nostril with the two fingers of the right hand
- Take one breath in through one nostril
- Breathe out through the other nostril
- Continue alternating until you have taken 6 breaths through each nostril
More Meditations For Creativity
Have you tried to use meditation for creativity, as described above? If not try it now.
Those 5 different types of meditation for creativity will improve your creative thinking and boost your left side brain.
- You can also use these imagination training techniques. See what ideas you can come up with.
- And if you want to try using Kunudalini meditation for creativity, use the Kundalini mantra for creativity
Mantras For Creativity
Another way to activate the sacral chakra and boost creativity is by using a mantra.
Read my guide to Mantras for a complete introduction to these sacred sounds.
The correct mantra for creativity is VAM.
Chanting this mantra vibrates Svadhisthana and brings it into balance, restoring creativity.
Yoga For Creativity
As well as using the meditation for creativity, there are specific yoga poses for creativity too.
When doing yoga for creativity, focus on these asanas:
Butterfly pose (Baddha konasana):
While sitting, fold your feet in together so they are toughing. Relax the knees and let them drop to the side of the pelvis. Now bend forward at the torso and stretch outwards. This is Butterfly Pose, one of the best yoga poses for creativity.
Seated Pelvic Circles:
Sit in half-lotus with the hands on the knees and circle your torso five times in each direction.
Lie on your stomach, feet flat on the floor. With your hands under your shoulders lift your torso upwards while keeping your naval on the floor.
These are the three best yoga poses for creativity. And science shows they work.
Here’s why you should use yoga for Creativity
In The Science Of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards New York Times science editor William Broad says that increased creativity is one of the major benefits of yoga, and that he himself had experienced that benefit since he began practice yoga in 1973 (and his has the Pulitzer Prize to prove it).
To be creative means to be able to formulate feelings that lead to ideas that we are then able to translate into images, sounds, words, stories, or another medium.
This is what happens when you experience a “eureka” moment.
According to Mark Beeman of Northwestern University, there are two patterns that occur in the brain when we experience creative or problem solving moments. Specifically, the brain enters alpha state for a long period. It’s this period of alpha brain that leads to creativity.
These alpha brain states happen when the mind is relaxed but alert (precisely the mind state we are in when we meditate).
Alpha brain state is responsible for most of our genius moments. When a runner breaks the 100m record, a musician creates a stunning new composition, or an author writes that perfect scene, it’s a sound bet that they are in alpha brain state.
Numerous scientific studies show that when we practice yoga we enter alpha. And this is why it’s a good idea to use yoga for creativity.
In 1973 studies were done on yogi Ram Sharma. Those studies showed that Sharma could enter alpha brainwaves in a matter of minutes. In other words, through training, Sharma was able to intentionally put his mind into its best state.
It is also believed (though it’s currently under debate) that the right brain is the side of the brain responsible for creativity? This side of the brain, several scientists state, is responsible for generating ideas and insights, the type of ideas and insights needed to moment of creative talent such as writing a scene in a novel.
At “Eureka” moments a part of the right side of the brain (the right anterior temporal lobe) lights up.
Could we boost our right brain and activate the right anterior temporal lobe using yoga?
In on scientific study, participants who had never tried yoga before practices basic yoga for three months. After that period the scientists studied their brainwaves. They found a significant increase in activity in the right anterior temporal lobe and heightened gamma waves (the highest frequency brainwaves, associated with heightened perception).
Then there’s the fact that practicing yoga leads to a spike in the neurotransmitter GABA.
Neuroscientists believe that creativity and ideas comes about through the generation of new neurons and new neural pathways. To do this, the brain needs GABA. So the spike in GABA created by yoga is massively beneficial for creativity.
Simply put: yoga seriously heightens creativity.
So how you use yoga for creativity?
5 Psychological Exercises for Creativity
Here are 5 everyday exercises for creativity.
How to develop creativity #1: Play with kids:
If you’ve got a son or daughter or another young member of your family who can readily be in contact with, get into a conversation with them on their level.
Kids are naturally extremely curious, always playing with things and experimenting as they grow to know the worlds around them.
Listening or even better playing with kids will naturally develop your curiosity, which in turn boosts creativity.
How to develop creativity #2: Look at everything as new:
The vast majority of our time is spent engaging with objects that we’ve seen and used before. This leads us to disengage, to act on autopilot, to become bored and disinterested in the world around us.
Try to look at even the most mundane objects as new and exciting. Look at things with open eyes.
Don’t just let your first impression of an object or person be all, question your judgments, force yourself to create other ways of looking at things. Play with the way you see the world around you.
How to develop creativity #3: Change a Habit:
Take one every day activity and completely change the way in which you do it.
For instance, if you normally make microwave dinners, get a cookbook out, flick to a random page and make whatever meal is on that page.
If you always drive to work via the same route, mark out a different route, leave a little early and drive slower, being aware of the difference between this route and the usual one.
How to develop creativity #4: Random questions
Get a friend to ask you random questions about things you don’t know about:
We often stick to thinking about the same things and in the same ways. By getting a friend who knows you well to ask questions about things you’ve no clue about, you force yourself to open your mind, to take in new information, to consider an element of life you’ve previously not thought about.
How to develop creativity # 5: Imagine an object in different ways:
Choose any object in your immediate environment and mentally play with it. Imagine what it looks like from different angles, how it might interact with other objects, what might happen if you did X etc. For instance, take a toothbrush. Imagine inspecting the toothbrush from different angles.
Imagine combining the toothbrush with something else, a razor for instance. What happens when you combine those two objects? You could cut your gums whilst brushing your facial hair. You could shave a hairy tongue whilst brushing your teeth etc.
The idea here (clearly) is not to come up with ideas that are actually useful, but simply to mentally play with objects, to look at things a new, to explore and have fun.
Test: Are You A Creative Person?
Here are 20 signs of a highly creative person. See how many of these habits of highly creative minds apply to you.
1: They live to challenge the system
Highly creative people don’t believe in conformity. They live to challenge the status quo. They’re constantly pushing boundaries and trying to find new ways to do things. And if there’s a box, they’ll always think outside of it.
Highly creative people are the ones who were brought up breaking the rule. In fact, it was by breaking the rules that they became strong people, creating new trends and new innovations on their way to greatness.
2: Their creativity moves in cycles
Sometimes, highly creative individuals will be creative all day. They’ll paint, write, or create music from the early hours of the morning to late at night. But at other times they won’t produce any creative work at all.
Are you like that? Do you fin that sometimes you’re incredibly creative, other times you lose your creativity? If so, you should definitely take a look at these way to develop your creativity. It’ll help you to stay creative the whole year round.
3: Give me space, please!
Creative people love to confine themselves to their studio, basement, or whether they produce their art. They’ll stay there for days. No one will be sure what they’re up to. They’ll just stay there, creating works of art for hours and hours on end.
4: When they get on a roll they gather speed
When creative people hit their stride they start to move at pace. They’ll pump out work after work in a steady stream. They are truly Zen-sational, and when their zen gets flowing you’d better just step out the way and get on with it because there’s a hurricane coming through.
5: Their moods yo-yo
Up and down, up and down, a creative person’s emotions swing round and round. They’ll be ebullient one moment then down in the dumps the next. And no one will know quite why.
6: Oh, it’s personal
Creative people can get a little grumpy when things don’t turn out as they intended. And if you critique them, they may very well get angry or upset. But amazingly, highly creative people are very self critical.
7: Self belief is not their forte
Creative people tend to be the melancholic ones. After all, who ever heard of the happy artist? Artists are typically portrayed as being melancholic and self loathing. So give them some kind words and help them get over that melancholy.
8: “Completion” is subjective
Creative people often don’t finish what they start. They’ll be writing one book / painting / composition when they get an idea for another, and so they start that one. Soon, they’re drowning in a sea of incomplete ideas. That’s precisely why it took me six years to finish my first novel. Ha ha. True story.
9: You can’t bullshit them
Highly creative people are excellent at putting things together. If some part of your story doesn’t add up, they’re going to call you on it.
10: Act your age…? Why…?!
Creative people are big kids. They don’t act their age. They act like a highly imaginative kid. And that’s a good thing. Because science has proven that your imagination is a very important tool.
11: They bring inanimate objects to life
Hand a creative person a stuffed teddy and they’ll turn it into a character with a story and a personality. It’s just what they do.
12: They speak poetically
Their creativity reveals itself through their words.
13: They don’t know what the hell is going on
Creative people are so into their own ideas that often they don’t have the foggiest idea what’s going on around them.
14: Once more with feeling
Creative people get bored of cold facts and lukewarm chitter-chatter. They want passion, imagination, and feeling.
15: They go off on one
Creative people are often captivated by an idea, and they may very well launch into a eulogy about that idea.
16: Rules are made to be played with, stretched, and, yeah, broken
Creative people don’t see rules as absolute. They’ll stretch the rules. They’ll find ways to work around the rules. And yeah, at times they’ll just straight up break those rules too.
17: They begin to follow instructions… and then get better ideas
Hand a creative person an instruction manual and they’ll start of by following it. Maybe they’ll go from A to B to C, but then D seems boring so they randomly decide to jump to Y, or they’ll just throw the manual out and do something completely different.
18: They’re far more expressive
Highly creative people tend to be more animated. You’ll find that their facial expressions are more pronounced and more theatrical.
19: They’re good cooks, but they can’t follow a recipe
Highly creative people often love to cook. But they love to cook in their own way. They’ll invent new cuisines with ease, but they’ll struggle to follow a simple recipe.
Are yo a good cook? And do you like trying new things? If so, take a look at this fascinating article on learning to cook for yourself the Zen way.
20: They’re comfortable in chaos
Highly creative people don’t need strict organisation. They actually like a bit of disarray. They’re just as happy in a sandbox as they are in a luxury office.
How many of these habits of highly creative minds apply to you?
Leave a comment.
Paul Martin Harrison
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.