Ambling slowly around the room, stretching out my limbs and reaching into the space, I’m finding myself feeling more free than in a long time. At the Friday night session of Creative Yoga, at the beautiful Albany Club near Regent’s Park, limitations and inhibitions are not lifted completely, but seem more relaxed and there’s a sense of connection and inquiry. It’s a class about discovery, and our teacher Mayan comes from a dance and fitness background, and has worked with embodied movement techniques for many years. The artistic process of choreography, combined with the discipline of yoga and the sensory thrill of movement makes this a potent blend of activity that truly stimulates and inspires. By making your own intuitive flowing movements the exercise feels authentic and true, rather than forced.
Throughout the hour he encourages us to be creative with our movement and listen to what works for our bodies. I can respond to the urge to jump, or twist, or spin around playfully, because this is what the body likes to do. It’s an experience we can’t follow in a yoga class where the mat is the space in which to act out the teacher’s instructions according to convention. We barely use the mats, the whole space being ours to explore. Instead we are rolling, jumping, twisting and reaching into all areas and with all parts of our body.
There’s a playful energy to the activities that seems to naturally come from the increasing body awareness. A journey of discovery and curiosity, creative yoga is all about using your body to explore space, and exploring yourself at the same time. I point my toes, hold my head high and my shoulder back, feeling a sense of beauty in what I am doing, and step out into my Friday night.