Easy Peasy 1-2-3: How Child's Pose Helps Unlock You

Novelist Ananda Leeke describes beautifully and in specific detail how her yoga practice helped support her with the creatively arduos task of novel writing.


AL: Yoga has helped me surrender my ego and need to control the creative process. Whenever I find myself becoming anxious about the process (... especially now that I am in the final days of completing this project), I take a deep breath, raise my arms above my head in worship pose with my hands in prayer. As I exhale, I chant the Sanskrit mantra "Namaha" which means surrender. I take another deep breath and lower my arms slowly while chanting Namaha. My teacher Debra Mishalove taught me this exercise. It helps center me and calms my need to push for things that are out of my control.

Whenever I have writer's block, I come into child's pose on my yoga mat or in my bed. Most times, I stretch my arms out in front of me. My fingers are widened and get a nice web-like stretch. Generally, I hold this pose for a long time (i.e. fifteen to twenty minutes) because it relaxes me and releases stress from my lower back. I love to focus my breathing on opening my third eye, the sixth chakra which governs my intuition and allows for clarity and understanding.

Another pose that I like to do when I have writer's block is forward fold because it creates a blood rush in my brain. It gives me a little buzz. I also enjoy doing downward facing dog for the same reason.

When I am not in the mood to write, but know that I have to like this morning, I do a series of four to six sun salutations. The series awakens my mind and warms my body. It becomes a magical elixir.

If I have nonstop mind chatter that prevents me from focusing, I come into easy pose and cleanse my chakras by chanting each seed mantra (lam-vam-ram-yam-ham-om-soham). I close the experience by chanting one of my favorite enlightenment mantras such as Om Namah Shivaya, Om Mani Padme Hum, or the Gayatri Mantra.

When things are really tight and I can't breakthrough with any of these exercises, I lay in corpse pose and breathe deeply while giving myself Reiki healing touch. This always does the trick. It refreshes me and allows me to come into my higher self.

Yoga has taught me that I am a vessel for the creative expression of the Divine Spirit. It has allowed me to get out of the way of my ego. With it, I am learning to live as my true self.