Why Explore Themes in Yoga and in Creative Practice?
Each week in my yoga classes, and each month in my Conscious Creativity Circle, we explore a theme. Over the coming weeks, I will share some of the insights and invitations from these explorations as I am now seeing how useful the work is both in the sessions and in wider life. This is where the magic of practice becomes truly transformational: the point where we meet life and apply our learning.
What we learn through yoga and what we learn through creative practices are really not so different. They both bring us from the mind into the body. They invite us into a space of flow, engaged presence, to experience the deep rest and silence that is being. I choose a theme for classes because it can act as an anchor, a touchstone for the group, for the feel of the class. Because it’s fun. And useful. If we go deep. I don’t choose a theme as a gimmick. This work calls people who want to engage with life and their own nature deeply.
In a yoga session we explore the theme at the somatic level, muscles and bones, breath and energy. We expand it to our relating with mind, emotions and daily life. We reflect, sometimes we share. Questions are raised; answers are not needed, that’s not the point. Often a subtle and powerful knowing will arise in the body. Release may come, relief or a sense of resting in oneself. As we learn to rest in ourselves more, in our innate fullness, we are more able to meet life as it is.
Sometimes the themes we explore in yoga classes are so juicy that they called to be explored in our monthly Conscious Creativity Circle. This Friday, 30th July, we’ll be exploring one such theme: receptivity. It’s a rich quality. More on this in my next post.
Each circle begins with a physical warming, a potential opening be it through dance or yoga. This primes the entire system for a more unguarded, embodied, holistic experiencing of the theme as opposed to a solely cerebral engagement with it as a concept alone. The work isn’t conceptual. It has to be felt and experienced. We may work alone or together in pairs or groups. Certain themes call for a particular type of creative practice. Earlier this year we ventured into the theme of ‘form and flow’. Movements took on form – definitive, angular, grounded shapes – and also a sense of flow: fluid actions and a more liquid way of moving through space. We shared how we experienced structure in our lives and how this can anchor us, allowing us more freedom in other ways. Our creative practice was working with watercolour paints – what better way to play with form and shape and a sense of watery flow.
Through working with a theme, we learn something new about ourselves, about how we move in our bodies or through our days. We meet and understand ourselves and each other in a different way. The work is freeing – we practise allowing our creativity and recognising our innate wholeness, our humanness and our sacredness.
Each theme acts as a key, unlocking different ways into being in greater relationship with all aspects of our nature. We become our own guide, our own playground. This is why we explore themes. As touchstones for living. Because it’s fun. And useful.