Often when we’re feeling stagnant mentally, we are feeling the same physically. Our body and mind are integrally connected and when one is feeling stuck and heavy, typically the other is feeling the same on some level. Creating space in the body with breath and movement helps us open up space in our minds for creativity and new ideas to flow. If you are feeling stuck creatively, try this sequence to spark some inspiration.
Breath of fire
Begin in a comfortable seat, spine long and upright and relax your shoulders away from your ears. Connect to your breath for a few moments, feeling your inhales as they enter the body, and exhales as they leave, relaxing deeper with each breath out. Take a deep inhale, and on your next exhale, begin to take short, sharp exhales out of the nose while pumping the belly. With each exhale, your belly should contract and your inhales should be short as the main emphasis is on the exhale. Repeat for 30 seconds, taking a deep inhale on the last breath and holding at the top for a count of ten. Repeat the cycle once more.
Come onto your hands and knees into a table top position. Stack your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Keep a long neutral spine, and on an inhale drop your belly and gaze toward the ceiling. On your exhale, press the mat away and create a c curve with your spine as you tuck your chin into your chest and direct your gaze toward your navel. Continue moving in this pattern at your own pace, linking breath to movement for up to 20 rounds.
From your table top, transition through a down dog and step your right leg forward and come up into a high lunge on an inhale. On an exhale bring your palms together at heart center and twist over to the right, pressing the palms together and press your elbow into the right thigh to twist deeper. Keep your spine long and legs engaged as you hold and breathe for 10 breaths.
On an inhale come out of your twisted lunge and back into a high lunge, extending the arms by your ears. On an exhale bring your hands to heart center and shift your weight into your right leg, slowly lifting your left leg off the mat at hip height, foot flexing toward the floor as you bring your upper body parallel to the mat. Keep your hands in prayer or extend them out in front of you by your ears. Find a steady gaze at the mat and hold for up to 10 breaths.
From warrior III, slowly step back landing in a warrior I position, left foot planted at a 45 degree angle and the right leg bent at a 90 degree angle. Interlace your hands at the base of your spine and on an inhale press the palms away and open up through the heart, on an exhale fold to the inside of your right leg, right shoulder to the inside of the right knee. Hold and breathe here for five breaths.
Warrior II variation
Come out of your humble warrior and open up into a warrior II. Extend the arms out at shoulder height and gaze over your front middle finger. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and hold in stillness for a few breaths. On your next inhale, straighten your legs and extend the arms overhead for star pose, and then exhale sink back into your warrior II. Inhale to extend and straighten, exhale sink deeper into your warrior II. Continue for 10 rounds, linking breath to movement, allowing for the postures to be a meditation in motion.
Transition through a vinyasa and repeat on the other side.
Come to lie down on your back. Bring your knees into your chest and grab the outer edges of your feet, encouraging the knees into the armpits. Hold here and breathe into your hips or invite in gentle movement, rocking back and forth on the spine.
Lie down on your mat, extending your arms and legs wide. Let go of any breath control or attempt to control the mind and allow your body to fully relax. Stay in your savasana for up to 7 minutes, slowly transitioning into a seat to resume the rest of your day when you are finished.