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10 Yoga Poses To Spike Your Creative Juices

10 Yoga Poses To Spike Your Creative Juices

From the Vinyasa Flow to Power Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga to Hatha Yoga, there are many styles of yoga practices to channel the energies of the body and harmonize your senses. Yoga is a means to happy and healthy living. Yoga poses from simple asana poses, like Pranayama (the Lotus Pose), to complicated ones, like Sarvangasana and Trikonasana, there are many difference styles of yoga that can all give you internal and external health benefits.

Yoga is just about as effective for mental health problems as it is for physical disorders and diseases. Every disease or condition under the sun has a cure with the help of regular yoga practices, including hypertension, back pain, depression, anxiety, and even cancer. Yoga can increase hemoglobin levels that improve blood flow and the oxygenation of the body.

Through practice, you can decrease your resting heart rate and raise stamina levels. Yoga nurtures your body, heals your mind, and nourishes your soul. Given the mind-body connection, it is not surprising that yoga offers multiple benefits for its practitioners.

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Bharadvajasana

Ideal for stretching the hips, shoulders, and spine, Bharadvajasana is one of the twisting poses that comes with mental benefits while delivering physical impact to the body.

Mental Benefits:

  • Focuses on balancing the mind.
  • Spinal mobility brings mental comfort.
  • Twisting helps release tension in the back, shoulders, and chest, dispelling anxiety.
  • Balanced emotions lead to richer imagination and more scope for creative thinking.

Other Advantages

  • Increases blood flow to the digestive organs.
  • Massages the abdominal organs.
  • Lowers stress and enhances digestion
  • Strengthens the lower back, making it excellent for women in their second trimester of pregnancy
  • Serves to alleviate pain and stiffness felt in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Vajrasana

Varjrasana is one of the more calming poses and leads to feelings of relaxation. This asana is also called the Rock Pose because it stabilizes the body and cultivates an inner sense of patience. The pose requires sitting on the heels of the feet, which permits the body to keep its spine straight. Other names for Vajrasana include Diamond Pose, Thunderbolt Pose, Pelvic Pose, Kneeling Pose, and the Adamantine Pose.

Mental Benefits:

  • Calms the mind.
  • Relaxes the senses.
  • Opens the mind for innovative thinking.

Other Advantages:

  • Helps in digestion and prevents hips from becoming heavy.
  • Relieves constipation and fights gastric troubles.
  • Improves blood circulation in the body.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Cures urinary incontinence.
  • Combats acid reflux.
  • Tones and shapes the muscles of the body, such as the hips, thighs, and calf muscles.

Dhanurasana

Derived from the Sanskrit word Dhanur which means “bow” and asana which means “seat”, the Bow Pose captures the benefits of Cobra and Locust poses. It has benefits of two yoga asanas combined into one.

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Mental Benefits:

  • Helps to energize the body.
  • Enables the mind to become activated
  • Lowers stress.
  • Shakes off lethargy, breathing in creativity and new ideas.

Other Advantages:

  • Improves the functioning of internal organs such as the liver, small and large intestine and pancreas.
  • Strengthens the ankles, chest, thighs, groin, spinal column, and abdominal organs.
  • Relieves asthmatic symptoms.
  • Stimulates the reproductive organs.
  • Overcomes lethargy, working directly on the solar plexus in the naval region, energizing the chakras.
  • Tones the body and cleanses the blood.

Sarvangasana

Sarva means “entire,” Ang means “body,” and asana means “posture.” This is known as the Queen or Mother of all asanas because it energizes every part of the human body and stimulates it. Sarvangasana is a complicated pose to perform, but its benefits are just as diverse and intricate.

Mental Benefits:

  • Stretches the nervous system and activates the chakras of the body opening the imagination by energizing the mind.
  • Calms the brain and the nervous system, relieving stress and tension.
  • Opens the mind to positive influences.

Other Advantages:

  • Stimulates the thyroid gland as well as the pituitary and adrenal glands.
  • Does away with constipation, headache, indigestion, and stomach pain.
  • Stabilizes the blood pressure and improves the heart rate.
  • Ear, nose and throat disorders can be combated through this asana.
  • Treats insomnia and provides vigor and strength to the body.

Tadasana

Tada means “mountain” or “palm tree.” Consequently, this is known as the Mountain or Palm Tree Pose. Tadasana is one of the subtle poses that stimulates and adds fire the creative imagination.

Mental Benefits:

  • This asana expels dullness and lethargy.
  • Staves off depression.
  • Harmonizes the body and the mind.
  • Increases energy and enthusiasm.

Other Advantages:

  • Improves posture.
  • Strengthens thighs, ankles and knees.
  • Steadies the respiratory system and improves awareness.
  • Removes sciatica and develops strength and flexibility in the spine
  • Staves off menstruation problems.
  • Combats issues from flat feet.

Surya Namaskar

This is the beginning of any yoga routine. It is a salute to the Sun God. This asana is made for connecting to God and the Divine early in the morning. This is a series of asanas a part of the Hatha Yoga.

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Mental Benefits:

  • Freedom from stress.
  • Greater clarity and imagination.
  • Alertness and mental strength.

Other Advantages:

  • Aligns the body.
  • Stimulates the different organs and internally massages them.
  • Build the core and shoulder strength.

Balaasana

This is the Child’s pose. Simple and elegant, it calms and soothes the mind. This pose also loosens constricted limbs.

Mental Benefits:

  • Encourages child-like creativity and imagination.
  • Opens the mind to new thoughts and ideas.

Other Advantages:

  • Helps develop strong thighs, ankles, and hips.
  • Helps to overcome stress and enhances blood circulation.
  • Reduces back pain.

Bridge Pose

This is one of the most challenging, yet uplifting poses.

Mental Benefits:

  • Alleviates stress and depression.
  • Stabilizes emotions and fires up creativity.

Other Advantages:

  • Stimulates the inner organs, such as the lungs and thyroid
  • Opens up the chest and strengthens the legs

Shavaasana

This is also known as the Corpse Pose. Shavaasana ends all yoga routines. It improves meditation and enhances positive visual imagery.

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Mental Benefits:

  • Boosts mental health.
  • Eases the body and relaxes the limbs.
  • Allows free flow of ideas and prevents a creative block.

Other Advantages:

  • Curbs indigestion, constipation, diabetes, and asthma.
  • Improves concentration and mental health while relaxing the body.
  • Stimulates the blood flow

Warrior Pose

Warrior Pose has three variations and each of them have mental and physical benefits.

Warrior I

Mental Benefits:

  • Boosts body awareness, strengthens body-mind awareness.
  • Improves perceptual skills.
  • Great for opening the heart and developing courage.

Other Advantages:

  • Strengthens the limbs and glutes, building core power.
  • Opens the chest and facilitates internal rotation of the leg.

Warrior II & III

Mental Benefits:

  • Dissolves excess tension and provides stability and integrity.
  • Emotional balance and stability are promoted.

Other Advantages:

  • Exercises every muscle in the body.
  • Massages the internal organs of the body.

Yoga is a path to the light, but it is also a means of harnessing the creative power of imagination. The mind undergoes changes that impact the senses and harmonize and balance the soul, which in turn allows you to manifest creative capabilities.

These yoga asanas can help you make a movement towards the divine fire of all imagination possible. It also makes a way to open the door to good mental and physical health. Use yoga to let go of stress and heal the mind from within. Your body and creative mind will thank you for it.

Featured photo credit: Dr. Elaine via drelaine.com

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Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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