Monday, August 22, 2011
5 Things Learned in Yoga, How They Apply to Beading
I love yoga. I belong to a studio, here in Phoenix, called Second Heart Yoga. I love it there. I try to go a few times each week. There are so many neat lessons and reminders in yoga that can apply to other areas in my life. Recently, I was thinking about how they apply to beading and thought that I would share some of my thoughts with you.
1. Stay on your own mat. In yoga, I learned early to stay on my own mat. Meaning, don't compare yourself to the person on the mat next to you. Stay focused on your own practice. I think that this translates very simply into beading. Stay on your own bead mat. Use creativity to make your own unique designs and try not to compare your work to others.
2. Not everything is symmetrical, nor should it be. Sometimes I can bend more deeply into my right side than my left. Other times, my left leg feels longer and stronger than my right. Typically the yoga instructor says something along the lines of, "Notice the difference and then let it go." Beading doesn't have to be symmetrical either. In fact, some of my favorite designs are not symmetrical at all. Overall balance is important but that can be achieved in so many different ways.
3. Work to your edge. I know I've hit my edge when my legs or arms start shaking. That is when the best work happens. That is when you get a little stronger, more flexible and generally expand your abilities for next time. In beading, you can work to your edge by always trying new techniques, patterns, color palettes, bead shapes, etc. There is always something new to try. Perhaps enter a beading contest that stretches your imagination or take a class in a genre that is completely different from what you normally do. It is okay to work outside of your comfort zone.
4. Sun salutations. This is a group of repetitive movements intended for warming up the body. You have to warm up to be able to work to your edge. My version of sun salutations for beading is keeping a notebook of ideas. I'll sketch an idea and let it simmer. A little while later, I might add some notes about colors or bead shapes. Eventually when I sit down to bead, I warm my creative juices up by looking over my possible ideas and choosing one to work on. I also love to organize my bead table before I create. There is something about simply handling beads and moving them around that helps warm me up.
5. Breathe. I don't think that you need to synchronize your breath to your beading, but it sure does feel good to stop every once in awhile and take a deep breath. Often, when I concentrate, I find that I breathe shallowly. Obviously, beading and creating often requires some major concentration. It is always good to take a little break and breathe!
What else? How does your favorite physical activity apply to beading?