I’ve been a dedicated practitioner of yoga for over 15 years. It’s my choice of conscious movement and my usual rhythm is 3 sessions a week as part of my morning practice which also includes energy cultivation, meditation and more.
Beyond the commitment to a regular asana (posture) and pranayama (breath control) practice, the other “limbs” of ashtanga yoga are also an integral part of my life.
I learnt early on to pay attention to what my body needs so I do take breaks from it sometimes; sooner or later, however, I genuinely miss the immense contribution it makes to my overall sense of health and well-being.
When I pick up the practice again, my whole system breathes a sigh of relief!
The reconnection with joyful wholeness is why I consciously choose this as one of the non-negotiable priorities in my life.
Over the last few years, I’ve also been increasingly aware of the effect my conscious movement practice has on my creativity and writing.
Conscious movement draws all aspects of my being into a degree of internal alignment that feels like I’m directly connected to Source where the vibrancy of life is powerful, energizing and remarkably uplifting.
With this alignment in place, I experience open access to what feels like an unlimited flow of inspiration, insight and ideas that well up from a deep inner space and pour through me into the world.
That’s why Alignment is one of the Core Principles of Conscious Writing.
And it begins with revitalizing and relaxing the physical body – a perfect anti-dote to all the sitting involved with the writing!
On the One Hand…
I’m not the only person to experience the difference it makes to move your body when it comes to boosting creativity.
A study reported in the journal Psychological Science showed that people become more creative simply by changing their posture.
The research involved participants exploring creative problem-solving using physical movements of their hands to emphasize the phrase “on the one hand … on the other hand”.
Those who gestured with both hands came up with far more original ideas than those who only gestured with one hand or not at all.*
The way I teach it, the principle of conscious movement is the foundation of internal alignment and an integral part of your creative writing practice. Everything is fundamentally a reflection of the whole.
That doesn’t mean you always have to allow acres of extra time to move your body every time you write. However, even a few moments spent stretching and shaking out will make a difference.
Generally this is a principle to incorporate into your life as much or as little as you choose.
It’s worth taking into account when making your choice that regular conscious movement has a cumulative effect. As a result, the benefits of a reasonably regular morning yoga session, for example, will still be felt when you sit down to write later on.
Of course your choice of conscious movement can be anything that feels good to you.
It could be dancing, pilates or simply walking as so many well-known writers such as William Blake, William Wordsworth and Henry David Thoreau have done.
The added component of making it a priority to be mindful as you walk instead of just moving your legs and thinking of all you’ve got to do that day elevates the activity to a conscious movement practice.
Take Your Ideas for a Walk
My recommendation for you this week is to take your ideas for a walk without thinking your ideas through as you’re walking!
- choose an idea you’re working on right now (or would like to explore)
- jot it down briefly on paper
- set an intention to receive insight and clarity as you walk
- then put it to the back of your mind and focus on walking mindfully.
The likelihood is that you’ll either experience ideas bubbling up to your conscious awareness as you’re walking (take your phone to record them or a notebook to write them down) or they’ll flood in as soon as you get home.
The key point is that they’ll arise from a deeper space within you than your conditioned mind; that’s why I suggest you avoid simply thinking your idea through.
Alternatively, simply use your favourite activity as “conscious movement” and see what effect that has on the writing you subsequently do.
When you feel physically energized, open and relaxed, dive in to some writing; then come back here to share how you got on by posting a comment below. I’ll look forward to reading about your experience! Enjoy 🙂
* Leung et al (2012), ‘Embodied metaphors and creative “acts”’, Psychological Science, http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/5/502.short