Q+A with the fabulous Steph Cantu
I recently had the opportunity to interview Stephanie Cantu. She’s a fireball of energy and enthusiasm, and she has attended EVERY Art Yoga Play Workshop in Houston. She was kind enough to share her insights on creativity, mindfulness and yoga with me this past week. Happy reading!
To join in the fun, sign up for my next Art Yoga Play Workshop on May 7th. Details can be found on eventbrite at http://bit.ly/23gwuE0. (If you sign up online, you’ll be put in a drawing for a bag of delicious Guatemalan coffee and chocolates.)
How do you get creative?
For me, being creative is “making the divine a reality,” so I get creative in lots of different ways. I like cooking a lot, so I will try different recipes with new ingredients or experiment with plating and presentation. I used to create something out of clay every day also, and I really like working with my hands in that way. I’m also a dancer, so any movement with my body (dance, yoga) is creative expression for me.
Why is creativity important to you?
Creativity is important to me because it provides a sense of flow for me. It’s meditative for me, and it allows me to turn off my “inner critic” that is always so active, who likes to tell me I”m not good enough or I need to try harder. There’s no room for that inner critic in my creative work.
After attending an art/yoga/play workshop, what do you become present to in your life?
FUN! Art Yoga Play workshops open up lots of space for me to be fun and in community with other people. I become present to the joy and wonder that is around me.
Do you have any advice for people on how to bring in more creativity, yoga and mindfulness in their lives?
Start small and start daily. Honestly, that was my first endeavor into creativity with my clay project. I got some molding clay from an artist friend of mine and he said it wouldn’t dry out for at least 2 months (and he was right!). So, I told myself I would spend at least 15 minutes a day creating something out of the small ball of clay. Because I sought inspiration from the world around me (flowers, animals, every day objects), I became hyper aware and sensitive and present to everything in my environment. The best part was I would create something one day, and then I had to destroy it and start fresh with the same ball of clay the next day – there was no room for me to get attached to anything or “look back.” Something small and non-evaluative like that is my recommendation for others looking to practice creativity!
What do you look forward to with this upcoming Chocolate, Flow + Soul workshop?
Well for starters, I’m looking forward to Nicole being back in H-Town and offering these bad-a** workshops for our community again – I’ve been to every single Art Yoga Play workshop so far I think because they are all SO GREAT! And Carlos is also an amazing human being, and I’m so excited to support what he is up to in this world! Finally, there’s chocolate. Who’s going to turn down chocolate???? But in all honesty, I’m most looking forward to being open, receiving, and learning something new about a process (creative process? yoga process? chocolate-eating process? All of the above?) and myself along the way 🙂
Tell us a little bit about yourself (background/interests/ what gets you excited about each day?)
I’m originally from Austin Texas and I’m in love with Houston! I moved here two years ago to attend yoga teacher training on a total whim after losing my academic position in San Antonio. After a string of good fortune and hard work, I landed an amazing job teaching psychology at The University of St. Thomas! I get jazzed every day to teach students and inspire them. I take this energy into my CrossFit gym as well – for me CrossFit is about COMMUNITY more than it is the competitive aspect, and my CrossFit community is my family here. I’m a super active person, and I spend my time running, dancing, and doing yoga too. My next big project is I signed up for a writing course this summer and I’m working on a book!