Creating any kind of artwork is a tough task. Sure, in theory, it should be simple: all you have to do is to pick up your art supplies, put your paintbrush to canvas, and produce something artsy. But what happens when your mind is plagued with countless anxious thoughts, and your creativity is weighed down by your fear of failure or fear of emptiness?

Self-doubt is a problem that so many artists face, but fear not! There might actually be something that you can do to free yourself from the burden of your internalized anxieties, and to unleash your creativity to its highest potential: yoga.

Practicing Yoga Can Help Your Brain Drop into a Creative State
Yoga aims to promote health and well-being, and that in itself has a great side benefit for artists. As we all know, accessing creativity isn’t an easy thing to do, considering that creativity arises naturally in states of stillness and presence, two states that can be hard to find in our day-to-day lives.

This is where yoga can help: when we practice awareness in asana, pranayama, and meditation, we learn to see and let go of the distractions of the mind. Once the distractions of the mind are gone, you’ll be able to tune in to your aesthetic eye, ear, and mind—and into that inner place where inspiration is always present. This, hopefully, will lead you to pick up your paintbrush, your pencil, or your camera, and create the art you’ve always wanted to create.

Practicing Yoga Can Refine Your Artistic Skills
According to Stephen Cope, author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, when you practice yoga, you’re focusing your attention on a more subtle realm than usual, so you’ll most likely experience a different range of sensations in the body. You’ll also feel more perceptive and sensitive to your surroundings, and this deepening of awareness can help you refine your artistic skills.

Painters may now be able to tune into a wider range of shapes, colors, and textures. Photographers may now become more aware of the landscape and the atmosphere of their surroundings. Musicians may now become more masterful at distinguishing between subtle movements of the fingers on their instruments or the sounds that they hear. Basically, by mindfully observing and examining the full range of your experience on and off the yoga mat, you pave the way to creating more genuine and nuanced art.

Practicing Yoga Can Help You Create Conscious Art
Yoga doesn’t just sharpen an artist’s technical skills—it can also influence the way an artist approaches their craft. In other words, the themes that they choose to express, or the type of artwork that they create, or even the intuition behind artwork can change after practicing yoga.

For example, after many sessions of doing yoga, a painter may find that their style has become less traditional and more experimental, or a poet may discover that their voice is now less intellectual and their poems are now more alive in image and detail.

For other artists, they may now be more conscious of the intention behind their artworks, which can influence the kind of art that they will produce in the future. In other words, yoga can steer an artist’s creative growth in a different direction—which is helpful in broadening their creative horizon in the long run.

The Takeaway
Creating artwork is a difficult task when your mind is preoccupied with other thoughts and anxieties. Thankfully, you can get rid of these thoughts and anxieties by practicing yoga, and once they’re all gone, you can tap into your inner inspiration reservoir and fulfill your artistic expression by creating the artwork you’ve always wanted to create.

Next Steps

Join us for Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training—an authentic and immersive 3-week 200-hour Yoga Alliance–accredited training. Dive deeply into yoga and emerge from this life-changing immersion as a confident, heart-centered yoga teacher with a profound practice to share.

Originally published on artofliving.org. 

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