Open your mind to new ideas, opportunities, and experiences through your yoga flow. 

Whatever brought you into Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, we’re happy you’re here. And now that you are, we want to help ensure you get the most out of your time in the studio. In past blogs, we’ve covered how yoga can help us with everything from setting intentions, to supporting our mental health, to building healthy routines. Today we want to share another set of surprising benefits you may not have realized your yoga practice was bringing you.

You’ve heard of writer’s block. But whether you consider yourself a creative or not, there’s likely been a time in your life where you hit an impasse when you can’t quite muster up an idea of what to do next or the motivation to do it. Next time this happens, consider utilizing your yoga practice to unlock both your inspiration and initiative.  

Twist Up to Get Unstuck

The idea that movement helps us to think creatively dates back to ancient Greece. Recent studies have suggested walking may impact the way we think. Exercise in general can also help our brain work better. It does so by improving our blood flow throughout our body and brain. Stretching may also help us clear our minds, by increasing our blood flow and circulation. So if you’re feeling stuck in your work or creative projects, you might find committing some time to physical activity can help you work through it. 

Find a Breakthrough by Learning Something New

Coming to yoga class may also give you the opportunity to set and achieve goals outside of your regular schedule. It can be hard to stay motivated in our lives when it feels like we’re not making much progress.

If you’re feeling stuck as you pursue your goals, why not expand your goals to include taking time to care for yourself, or even set specific goals in the yoga studio? 

Learning something new is good for us. As explained in “How to Cultivate Your Creativity” by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire trying something new can “inspire creative leaps”.So if you need new inspiration, trying a new class or attempting a new pose at yoga class might be just what you need. Trying something new can change the way you’re thinking, and help you to think about your problems and solutions in new and original ways. 

The Added Benefits of Group Practice

Yoga can bring you benefits not only because you’re moving your body but also because you’re moving your body in sync with other people. A study by Joanne Lumsden, Lynden K. Miles, and C. Neil Macrae suggests moving in sync with others can help improve your self-esteem.  If you find yourself needing some more confidence to pursue your creative projects or to achieve your goals in the workplace, this boost in self-esteem might be just the thing you need. Researchers Thatcher and Brown found people with high self-esteem to be “more willing to share creative ideas”. Likewise, high confidence can lead to more success in the workplace. 

The Flow State and Your Yoga Flow

Another way practicing yoga may benefit your creativity and thinking is if you enter the flow state while in yoga class. The flow state, as described by Headspace, is when “you become fully immersed in whatever you are doing”. There’s no one way to enter the flow state. You might have experienced the flow state before while practicing art, working out, reading, or pursuing your passions. But entering this mental state can effect our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Garbielle Marchese’s article for Chopra explains that we might enter this state during yoga practice because we are “linking breath to movement and allowing awareness to drop into the motions”. Through the connection of breath and movement focused on in yoga class, you may be able to become fully immersed in the practice.

If you find yourself reaching this flow state during yoga, this may be another way your creativity can be benefitted. Research suggests that the flow state is linked to creativity.  We’re both more creative during the flow state and the day after a flow state, so the creative benefits of entering flow during a yoga class could expand far beyond the clas itself. 

When you’re heading to yoga class, thinking about your creative and professional pursuits might be the last thing you want to do. You might be looking forward to an hour where you can clear your mind and step away from everything else in your life. The good news is that you can still do that and experience these benefits of yoga class. Sometimes our best ideas and biggest breakthroughs can come when we’re least expecting them. So why not take a break from the problem you’re stuck on at work or the plot hole you can’t solve in your new story? Come enjoy a yoga class and maybe you’ll be surprised by the outcome.