by Jennifer Lockman: For the aspiring writer, this is even more important…
The more thoughts and ideas that buzz around inside our heads, the harder it becomes to stay focused. With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways successful writers can use both of these tools to their most significant advantage.
The physical aspect of yoga offers the opportunity to keep a better focus on the task at hand while also helping to keep the mind clear. Like writing, Yoga is a discipline. To the disciplined mind and body, the various positions in Yoga become more accessible to master. Writing is the same way: good writing requires focus, discipline, and commitment to a single task.
Many of the same disciplines learned in Yoga apply to write. The mechanics of each can be learned quickly, but mastery takes time. The better the writer gets at maintaining focus away from the keyboard, the better his or her writing will become over time.
The most common principles of Yoga apply directly to other areas of life including time and stress management. Learning how to manage those kinds of stressors will also help a writer’s work progress from average to exceptional, typically in a shorter-than-average period of time.
While Yoga and meditation are closely related, they are, in fact, different. In can be advantageous, for example, to use the time spent doing Yoga to think about other things like writing. For students, that could mean contemplating an academic assignment for college, but it can apply to more creative pursuits as well. Those moments of focus and clarity can be the thing that helps clear writer’s block or open up avenues for even more creative ideas to flow.
The creative process derived from meditation is more passive than active. Ideally, meditation should offer a channel for quiet, stillness, and passive thought. When random thoughts break in, the meditative mind shuts them down.
It is in those moments, that true clarity can be achieved, making it easier to contemplate elements of creative writing afterward. Just a few minutes of meditation that allow the mind to stop focusing on all the stressors of life can also be useful in spurring on creative thoughts or ideas. It can be remarkable what the brain can do when given enough downtime to rest adequately. It is where meditation is most effective.
Let’s look at a few specific ways to enhance creativity using both Yoga and meditation. For starters, it’s essential to have a routine. Get up at a particular time and just do what needs doing. A body that is naturally energized through some simple Yoga will help make every daily task more productive.
Remember, the goal of this is to achieve clarity and focus. A cup of coffee won’t be anywhere near as effective as the gentle, sustainable stimulation Yoga provides. Even a short session is enough to prepare both body and mind for the day ahead.
Next, commit to a few minutes of meditation every day. Over time, blocking out thoughts and external stimuli will become easier. Lastly, increase the time spent on both by a little each day. The rewards of just blocking out this time and using it wisely will help reduce stress and keep the conscious mind more focused throughout the day.
The more we train our brains to focus on specific tasks, the easier it becomes to produce quality writing. We encourage you to look a little further at the activities and disciplines surrounding Yoga and meditation. Both can help bring your best ideas to the surface and get them on paper more efficiently.