Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action.
What does it feel like to be in the flow?
I came across this question on facebook today.
One thing I can point to right now is, it doesn’t feel like this – me scratching my brains wondering how I can pull off a blog post about water as it relates to yoga. Or yoga as it relates to water.
Here’s the blockage: I don’t know enough.
Oh there are some easy clichés for me to fall on here; I’m in over my head, jumping in the deep-end. All useful references to the paralyzing and suffocating ideas I ascribe to stepping out of what I know.
So I need to start from a place that I do know.
I know me at least. I know what it feels like for me to be in the flow. It’s that moment I let my mind flop into repose. I’m not contemplating my next move; my body is moving me. I am open and changing to the next moment, and the next. Everything arises spontaneously. And because of that, I am in that slightly gaping, awed reverie in response to life.
And so confidence creeps in, and the movements, the gestures become bigger and more self assured. When that space is held open for me to find my sure footing, I roll with the waves. I see other people and enjoy their beauty of movement and expression. That’s what my flow feels like.
I have noticed the biggest obstruction to getting in to my flow is that griping need to compare, to judge; she’s doing this better than me. That seriously sends my body into a spasm. To be in the flow, I need to be centered within my own experience.
It comes down to this for me; my experience is valid and worthwhile. To think otherwise, is the dangerous rip.
My most physical expression of being in the flow is dancing. Get Trinity Roots booming out and my body knows where to bend and bow and extend and embrace. It knows its own medicine.
Can I say that about yoga?
I’m still following and learning. I’m only now becoming aware of alignments I’d skipped over in my early days. I have a lifetime of unlearning basic stances like standing, or sitting or bending. I noticed it doing the dishes recently, as I arranged myself to evenly stand on both feet. I noticed it when sitting on the floor, and then rearranged my feet out further so as not to compromise my knee joints. I noticed it being cold, my shoulders touching my ears. I notice lots now. It’s awkward.
I’m pre-flow baby. I’m that part of life that’s building the awareness and inch by inch, correcting all those not-quite-right habits. I’m propping myself back into alignment, clunck clunck clunck. That’s not the sound of flow. But it’s not the end of the show either.
Recently I’ve developed a home practice that works for me; getting to that point has taken some time. The practice acknowledges that my body is crap in the morning and yet, I want to start the day with yoga. So with instruction from Lynda (at Yoga Unlimited), I start with the friendliest ever sun salute. It’s very yin and it incorporates chanting. After 3 cycles of that, something subtle has reset itself, and then I ask myself; what asanas do you feel like doing today? Some days I stop there, and other days I carry on for another hour.
Even more recently, I’ve noticed a greater capacity to flow. Under the patient eye of my teacher Kelly Fisher (YU), I’ve picked up some body knowledge that is allowing me to trust my body. I’ve started to self correct; to find my midline, my point of balance, and where I need to extend. It’s information that week after week is dished out in class, and now my own body is sending these messages out in my own practice.
I confess, when I offered to write this blog post, I thought by turning up to a couple of classes focused on the water element, I might gain some stunning insights for the blog piece. So I emailed Lynda and Kelly to ask if either of them were up for teaching a class that incorporated the water element.
Strangely, spookily, and in their own unique ways, they were both working through a series that happened to coincide with my request.
Lynda wrote back to say she was teaching a Svadhisthana chakra focus in her classes that week; and guess what? Water is the fluid theme we are exploring for the Saturday class. Indeed.
Kelly, turns out, was also exploring the water theme that week (read her brilliant blog post about water and potentiality).
A taste of universal flow indeed.
Both classes were incredible. I wanted a tape recorder to capture the wisdom, but I realized that what they were offering, while touching on the same theme, was completely unique to them. I would burn my self out if I tried to parrot their brilliance. So I flowed with their practice, and opened to the energy generated by each class.
And a strange thing happened.
I felt so opened that I couldn’t handle being in the city. I was feeling fragile. My husband took one look at me and told me to go bush; Jay, our flatmate was heading out for a 3 day tramp to Mt Holdsworth. The flow said Go. My logic said you’ve made ambitious plans this week, there’s too much to do.
I was in the flow.