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Cultivating Your Creative Life by Alena Hennessy

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For breath is life,
and if you breathe
well, you will
live long on Earth.
—SanSKriT Proverb
[ yoGa poses, or asanas, H ave been
praC tiC ed for tHousands of years to
attain Clarity and serenity. sHown
H ere is w arrior i pose, also known
as Virabhadrasana i . ]
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(Text)
Yoga is an art form that has existed in India for thousands of years.
It consists of many methodologies, from physical postures to yogic
philosophy. I have found that yoga and art making work together
very harmoniously, especially in the sense that yoga is a tool to
open up the channels that allow more energy to flow.
I first discovered yoga about fifteen years ago, when I was in my
early twenties and a junior in college. The class was offered at my
university’s gym, and I remember the room being full of people. As
the class was winding down and we were all lying on our backs in
total relaxation pose, or Savasana, I noticed a shift in my being. I
felt so much lighter, mentally, emotionally, and physically, as if I had
unwound parts of my body that had never been unwound before.
I knew then this was a practice I’d keep for life.
Breathing
Deep
[ yoGa poses, or asanas, H ave been
praC tiC ed for tHousands of years to
attain Clarity and serenity. sHown
H ere is w arrior i pose, also known
as Virabhadrasana i . ]
CHapter 6
- 85 -
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- 86 - CultivatinG your Creative life
(Text)
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“A human being is only breath and shadow.”
—SoPHoCLeS
“What can we do but keep
on breathing in and out,
modest and willing, and in
our places?”
—MarY oLiver
[as C louds pass and seasons CHanGe, i find more and more tH at breatH is my anCHor.]
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(Text)
Throughout the years I have explored many styles of yoga, from a gentle or beginner-type class
to more advanced styles of Jivamukti and Ashtanga. Yoga has been helpful for my creative process
because it allows me to take care of parts of my body that feel overworked, while at the same time
drawing me into my center, away from the chatter of my mind and into my instinctual and intuitive
self. A dedication to this type of practice helps my creativity flow more easily and gracefully.
In Sanskrit, the word prana means “life force” or “energy.Pranayama means to control the life
force, which can be done through breathing techniques. A naturally flowing, unrestrained breath
may help calm the nervous system and unify the mind-body connection as well as ease and relax
tension in the body. Healthy and conscious breath control can also help the body’s digestive and
circulatory systems. Pranayama may also help tone the muscles and nerves of the internal organs,
as well as increase oxygen in the bloodstream.
Creative people of all types can benefit from learning pranayama techniques to feel more
grounded as well as nourish their spirits. To practice pranayama, wear loose-fitting clothes and seek
out a quiet space in your home or garden where you can sit comfortably.
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breatHinG deep - 87 -
[as C louds pass and seasons CHanGe, i find more and more tH at breatH is my anCHor.]
(RAY)
(Fogra 39) Job:02-28015/28050 Title:RP-Cultivating Your Creative Life
#175 DTP:204 Page:87
001-128_28050.indd 87 2/22/12 7:27 PM

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