Have you ever just needed a better reason to exercise and put in the work? You’ve long been sweating it out in the name of good health, fat burning, and a self-described better body. But just as your progress can plateau when your workouts stagnate, so can your motivation when your mind stagnates. That’s when creativity needs to swoop in to save the day.
When you get bored with fat burning routine or stuck in a fitness regimen rut, instead of just going through the motions, blow your mind–and body!–with an active brainstorm session to slay the sweatiest portion of your day. Brainstorming is no longer just for the boardroom or classroom. Heck, you don’t even need a group to come up with your own great ideas. Change the game right on your mat with creativity-boosting yoga poses that will leave you feeling less stuck in ways that will transform not only your workout but also aspects of your entire life.
Creativity-Boosting Yoga Poses
Excerpted from my new co-authored book Me, Myself & Ideas: The Ultimate Guide to Brainstorming Solo (Andrews McMeel, April 30, 2019), I break down six poses meant to improve your body while simultaneously inspiring focus. It’s like they are the best BOGO (that is, buy one, get one) deal ever. Do the pose to better your body, and get creativity that you can apply to all other parts of your personal life, including your job, relationships, and hobbies. Don’t worry about creating a “flow” from one pose to the next. Simply start a new posture when you are finished with the previous one.
- Prayer Pose: Stand tall with your feet about hip distance apart. Bring your palms together and your thumbs to your sternum. Close your eyes and set your intention. For the purposes of this section, make focus, concentration, or mental clarity your goal. Breathe in and out of your nose deeply yet gently for 10 to 12 breath cycles.
- Hero Pose: Kneel on the floor with your knees together. Create a space between your feet that allows your booty to sink
toward the ground. If this is too hard on your knees, place a pillow or rolled up blanket under your bum to help prop you up. Keep your spine nice and tall and rest your palms on top of your thighs. Close your eyes or gaze softly down the tip of your nose, breathing for five breath cycles.
- Tree Pose: Let’s play with balance. If you tend to be a wee bit wobbly, try this pose next to a wall or stable chair for support. With your feet, shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift the heel of your left foot off the ground. Slowly bring your left sole to rest at your inside right ankle with your toes on the floor, on your inner right calf, or your inner right thigh (but never to your inner knee). Hands can be on your hips, at prayer position in front of your sternum, or lifted straight overhead. Hold this position for three to five breath cycles before repeating it with the opposite leg.
- Knee-to-Head Pose: Sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you, bring your left sole to the inside of your right thigh.
Bending forward from the hips (but not rounding the upper back), tilt forward to try to touch your head to your knee. If you’re not quite there yet, don’t force it. Just tilt forward until you can feel a gentle stretch. Close your eyes and hold for five breath cycles before repeating the pose with the opposite leg.
- Camel Pose: Begin kneeling with your knees about two fists’ width apart and your upper body tall. Place your palms on the top of your booty with fingers pointing toward the ground. Keeping your head and neck relaxed, bend backward as if your shoulders and upper back were curving around a beach ball. In this position, make sure to tuck your tailbone under as you push the front of your hips forward. You can stay here, or take things up a notch by lowering your hands to grip your heels. Stay in this position for three breath cycles before slowly returning to an upright position.
- Corpse Pose: Lie flat on the floor with your palms facing up at your sides. Let all your muscles relax. Close your eyes and take a moment to concentrate on your breath. As random thoughts enter your mind, notice them and let them pass. Stay in this position for a minute or two—or longer if you’re up to the challenge. (Psst: It’s not as easy as you think!)
Take the Creativity Full Circle
Now that moving your body has helped increase your creativity, why not apply that to brainstorming a better workout? If the same old, same old leaves exercise feeling stale, try something new! How do you like to workout? Share with others to swap fitness ideas!