Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Creative Spirit

 I've been back to my morning sadhana for over a week now.  December saw shorter practices and many skipped mornings, but once again, yoga is the first thing I want to do in the morning.   I love the stretching and limbering up, the concentration on deepening my inhales and lengthening my exhales.

About a year and a half ago, my morning practice settled into a routine sequence that works for me--lots of time in warming up and plenty of time cooling down.  No rushing.  Sometimes asanas are added or subtracted according to my mood and sometimes I incorporate  "vignettes" (not full-fledged vinyasas) from Desikachar, Gary Kraftsow, Shiva Rea, Sean Corne, Mark Stephens, and others.  Mostly I sink into my own routine with variations.

I love my night classes, but my morning practice is most important because it establishes a basis for my entire day--my mood, my energy level, my sense of alertness and well-being.

I was pondering the fact that my morning sadhana takes from 60 to 90 minutes most days, which is a lot of time, but surprisingly, I get more done if I do a longer practice.  It also occurred to me that I'm more in the mood for creative activities when my morning begins with a good practice.

The creativity may not be in the area of sewing or crafting, but in any area. 
What kinds of things inspire your creative spirit?

Reading blogs, magazines, reading a poem or a beautiful novel, music, looking at photographs, viewing fine art, examining primitive or folk art, typography, fairy tales, fashion, nature, exercise?

  Eating a good meal inspires my husband's urge to create because he is a good cook.  Watching children can inspire the photographer, artist, writer, or almost anyone.

What gets you in the mood to create?  I've already mentioned that if I do my morning sadhana (personal yoga practice), I'm more likely to feel energetic and full of ideas than if I don't.  Visiting a beautiful blog  might spark an idea for a project or technique that is completely different from what the blogger is writing about, but something about the atmosphere inspires me to make something I consider beautiful.

Remember that William Morris quote?  "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to beautiful."

 Our ideas of what is considered beautiful differ;  what is important is that we believe an item to be beautiful.  Morris doesn't tell you what is beautiful, he doesn't try to proscribe your taste,  he only says that you should believe the thing to be beautiful.

Sometimes when I view a gorgeous home dec blog, I am inspired by an ambiance of beauty; even if the objects or colors are not what I would choose for myself, I still appreciate the sense of grace, serenity, vibrancy, or good cheer communicated by an image.  An image can inspire a mood.

It might be a beautiful quilt or piece of fabric art that makes me want to create something I love.  It might a small vignette in a corner of a room that makes me smile, or a bit of crafty goodness.  Sometimes an image, a quote, or a comment will just lift my creative spirit.  Maybe I don't even take action at that time, but simply file it away in a corner of my brain for later.

Here is an example of something that inspired Francoise--the cheerful colors of candy wrappers.  Do you sometimes see an object that has a color or shape or texture that sends you to your sewing machine or craft supplies?  Some aspect of the object revs up the creative impulse, even if you don't know how you will use it or even if you will.

For me that impulse is often cultivated by little natural artifacts (moss, lichen, acorns, seeds, twigs), vintage or found items, or fabric or lace scraps.

And Jude (and all of her "What if...?" musings) ponders a lid to a coffee can   A visit to Spirit Cloth can force you to slow down, admire, and appreciate the creative spirit at work.

Terry Windling's art, her blog, and her music choices can be a wonderful way to get in the creative mood.  She did a series of posts on the view from your window and another on your desk that had friends from all over the world sending in the views from their windows and pictures of their work spaces.  Since most of her friends are artists of some kind, it was fun to see the responses.

I digress. . Let me return to youWhat kinds of things inspire your creative spirit?


  1. I was perusing your book blog and noticed on your shelf a book on Kundalini yoga. I was wondering if you have had the experience of your kundalini awakening. I have--in my yoga days. It is quite an amazing experience.

    But, to answer the question, I don't doanything to inspire my creative spirit besides meditate on it. When I am not actively creating I am too busy doing everyday things, although I do try to be mindful at all times.

    Great post. You inspire me to take up yoga again.

  2. Rian - I loved the Kundalini classes I took while in Austin, but no, I haven't had any real experience with the awakening. My favorite part of the Kundalini classes was the gong. They had a huge one that send waves of energy through the body when the teachers sounded it during savasana. The vibrations were wonderful! No one in the Shreveport/Bossier area teaches Kundalini or has a gong that I'm aware of, but I'd love to have that experience again.

  3. I'm inspired by those "finds" that I stumble across serendipitously in a resale shop or flea market. An object, taken out of or "lifted" from its day-to-day context always delights (and inspires) me! Daryle


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