There are many benefits of yoga poses for creativity. Yoga poses can help you unleash your inner artist and boost your creative thinking brain.
It has been scientifically proven that certain yoga poses (asanas) can increase your creative mindset and help you to think in new, innovative, and original ways.
For the best benefit, I recommend combining the poses below with some meditations for creative thinking.
Best Yoga Poses For Creativity
Here are the best yoga poses for creativity. For best results, combine them with some of the yoga meditative exercises.
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.
Benefits of 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. He discusses how he experienced that benefit since he began 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 the alpha state for an extended 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 mental state we are in when we meditate, another good reason to use meditation for creativity).
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 practise yoga we enter alpha. And this is why it’s a good idea to use yoga poses 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, scientists state, is responsible for generating ideas and insights, the type of ideas and insights needed for moments 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 practiced basic yoga for three months. After that period, scientists studied their brainwaves.
Researchers 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 practising yoga leads to a spike in the neurotransmitter GABA.
Neuroscientists believe that creativity and ideas come 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.
If you’re an artist or performer, you might also like to read my guide to meditation for performers.