There’s no denying humans are creative beings, and we don’t just mean of the arts and crafts variety. Creativity and passion are what drive us toward life goals and help us take risks and even nurture and deepen our relationships with others, our self, and the world around us. But, just as there’s no denying our creative nature, there’s no denying that inspiration and creativity are fickle entities.
One way to tap into your creative instincts is to keep your second (or sacral) chakra balanced. In Hindu, the second chakra is said to rule creativity, emotions, joy, enthusiasm, and sensuality. And when it’s balanced, the pathway is clear for creative energy to flow.
Since your sacral chakra is located in the hips, near your sacrum, a hip-opening yoga sequence is just the trick for that much-needed balance. So check out this sequence from Mary Beth Laurie to open your hips, balance your sacral chakra, and tap into that creative flow!
Virasana (with a block!)
Come to this kneeling position and slide a block between your heels so the short edges center on the ankles. Sit back, pressing the tops of your feet into the ground and sitting tall. Place your hands on your thighs or over your belly and begin to cultivate Ujjayi Breath. Stay here for 2-3 minutes as you set a grounding tone for your practice.
From your knees, walk forward into Tabletop, making sure your hips are in line with your knees and your wrists are in line with your shoulders. To warm up the spine, make small circles with your hips then expand your circles until you melt into Child’s Pose (Balasana) for a few breaths. Circle in each direction for at least 1 minute before lifting your hips up and back into Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
Next, step your right foot forward and set your back knee on the mat for a low lunge. Make sure your front knee stays in line with your ankle and doesn’t drift forward. Interlacing all but your index fingers, extend and lift your arms up, drawing the shoulders away from the ears. Gaze up as you lift the chest and breathe through the collar bones. Hold for 1 minute.
Half Monkey God Pose a.k.a Half Splits
From your Low Lunge, shift your weight back as you lower your hands and place them on the outsides of your right leg (use blocks if you need!). Straighten your right leg and flex the foot. Lengthen forward on an inhale and exhale and fold forward. Keep this movement as you inhale and exhale 10-12 breaths. Once you’re finished, push back to Down Dog, then do your low Lunge and Half Splits on the left side and finish in Down Dog.
Come to standing then step out so your legs are spread wide. Spin your toes and legs out about 45 degrees and bend the knees to create a 90-degree angle between your quads and shins. Your knees should align with the center of your feet. Place your hands together at heart center, and make sure to draw in the low belly and bring the tailbone down. Try to hold this pose for 1 minute.
From Goddess, turn out so you come to Warrior II with the right foot forward. Your right heel should be in line with the middle of the left foot and right knee over your right ankle, and you should be grounded completely in both feet. Hold this pose for 6-8 full breaths.
Reverse Warrior Pose
Keep your legs how they are in Warrior II to prepare for Reverse Warrior! Flip your right palm up and begin to stretch back, sliding your left hand down your back leg, opening up a deep side-bend. Try to keep your right shin and quad at a 90-degree angle, working toward keeping that thigh parallel with the mat. Allow the upper body to be soft. Hold this pose for 6-8 breaths, then come back to Goddess and repeat Warrior II and Reverse Warrior on the left. Finally, come back to Goddess.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold C
Prasarita Padottanasana C
Once you’re back in Goddess, straighten your legs and turn your toes forward. Interlace your fingers behind your back and fold forward, hinging at the hips. Maybe the crown of your head comes to the floor, maybe not. Maybe your arms drift toward the floor with your hands still clasped, maybe not. Either way, this pose is about letting go, so do that and hold it for 1 minute. After a minute, find your way back to Down Dog.
Take Down Dog to Table Top, then begin to widen your knees, keeping your feet in line with them. Flex your feet and slide down to your forearms, palms together. Gradually press your hips back toward your heels. Hold this for one minute, then take a one minute Child’s Pose before coming to seated.
Seated Forward Fold
With legs extended, make sure your sitting bones are rooted. Stretch your arms upward on an inhale and exhale forward. Use your inhales and exhales to come up slightly and fold deeper into the pose. Breathe in this pose for 6-8 full breaths before inhaling and rolling up slowly all the way.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Supta Baddha Konasasna
Lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and bring the soles of your feet together. Place a block or pillows under each knee if you need. Lay your palms gently on your belly. Close your eyes, slow the breath, and take a few minutes to relax and feel the effort you made throughout your practice. Take this time to meditate on how to approach your creative energy today with an open mind.
And don’t forget Savasana!
What are some tricks you have for inspiring your creativity? We’d love to hear them! Tell us all about them in the comments below.