Go With the Flow

flow of a river

 

“Go with the flow. Whatever you resist persists. Take the path of no resistance. Be like the river; live your life in the flow.” ~ Unknown.

There are many ways we can go with the flow in life. The term body-mind-soul/spirit has become quite a clique and yet most of my themes can be applied to this exact clique.

Body - In a yoga practice we can find flow in our bodies through vinyasa, which up until now I actually thought translated as flow. However, the more precise translation of vinyasa isto place in a special way. Like many Sanskrit words, vinyāsa is a term that has many meanings and some of those are listed below:

· Linking movement with breath.

· A type of yoga class.

· Used as a noun to describe the sequence of poses that are performed as part or in full of a Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara).

· A special sequence of movements that interlinks postures to form a continuous flow and moving meditation.

To say vinyasa means flow isn’t incorrect, it concisely wraps up what vinyasa is. We can have flow through merging breath with each movement and through merging each pose into the next. We can also find flow in a sustained pose by being conscious of every breath flowing through our bodies allowing prana (energy) to also flow with ease.

We can find flow in other activities that move the body in a smooth and easy way such as dancing free-style or to a set routine. Other activities that create flow in our bodies might be skating, surfing/body-boarding, tai chi and I am sure you can think of many more.

Mind - How do we find flow in our mind? That might be as simple as imagining the mind as a vast blue sky and every thought we have as a white, fluffy cloud. Instead of staying fixated on each white cloud (thought) we let the cloud just float on by in the mind’s sky.

By absorbing yourself in something that you like doing or that gets you into a meditative state you can achieve flow consciousness. Also referred to as flow state or being in the zone. Being in this mental state of flow is said to be a strong contributor to creativity. “When in flow, the creator and the universe become one; outside distractions move away from consciousness and one's mind is fully open and attuned to the act of creating.” ~ Mihaly Csidszentmihalyi.

 This state may be found during meditation, vinyasa, fishing, and knitting, gardening or playing an instrument. According to a Japanese study those who enter flow state regularly are more likely to have higher levels of self-esteem, a sense of fulfillment, life satisfaction, better coping strategies and lower anxiety.

Soul/spirit - To go with the flow spiritually we can follow the quote above. “Whatever you resist persists. Take the path of no resistance….”  Sometimes we try to avoid a situation because it may be painful, difficult or requires effort and still somehow it seems to keep re-appearing perhaps within a different relationship, situation or even town. Yet if we can let go of the resistance and go with the flow things seem to run with ease, a valuable lesson may be learnt and new confidence gained. As Buddha says, “Resistance leads to suffering”. 

Where can you find more flow in your life physically, mentally and/or spiritually on and off your mat?

 

Article by Martine Ford

Profile photo of Martine Ford of Spirit Yoga, Port Macquarie, Australia

Martine is a qualified yoga instructor and owner of Spirit Yoga in Port Macquarie, Australia. She moved back home to start anew and spread the joys and benefits of yoga to this coastal town. She doesn't pretend to have everything worked out perfectly, and openly shares any mishaps and insights she may have along the way.  Just like a mature hen she is about to experience all that an 'empty nest' entails.  

A former professional dancer, she has an extensive background in ballet, contemporary, character, jazz and yoga studies. Martine trained in Power Yoga to Advanced level with Duncan Peak in the Baron Baptiste style of Power Yoga. She also has certification in Yin Yoga (Jo Phee), Kids Yoga, Pre and Post Natal Yoga and has a Diploma in Dance.

 

Her series of e-Books, Yoga for the Seasons & The Spirit Yoga Health Series are available on Amazon.
 
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