Flow with Yoga came about as a result of my love and interest for this ancient practice. The word flow resonated with me as it encompasses everything that my yoga practice means to me from movement, being present to mental stillness. The definition of flow is the action of moving along steadily and continuously. It is also known in psychology as a mental state in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity, is truly engaged and present in the moment. In yoga, flow is known as vāhitā, it refers to the mind reaching a state where it is continuously uninterrupted and free of any thoughts or visions. All of these meanings of flow are embodied in yoga.
Flow ensures our bodies stay supple, our organs healthy and our immune system strong.
Flow helps our minds stay clear, enhances cognitive functioning, improves mood and reduces anxiety.
Flow keeps our emotions in check, keeps us calm, minimizes stress and promotes happiness.
Flow can transcend us into a space where we are so absorbed in the moment that time doesn’t exist and everything falls away.
Flow creates a sense of freedom where there is no fear, no ego, no expectations, no pressure, just you being in space.
There are many forms of exercise and ways to bring movement into our lives, and yoga is just one of those forms available to us. It may not be for everyone but for me it is the only one that I have consistently maintained in my life and found truly encompasses every facet that makes up the human being - the body, the mind, the emotions and the soul.
Yoga is not just physical movement, it is meditation, it is about using all the tools at our disposal to bring stillness to the mind and reach a state of tranquillity. For many in western cultures' and the modern world yoga is just physical exercise and even though many of us may start out doing yoga for the physical benefits it may with time become more than that. If you have ever experienced a state of flow, a state of just being, it is a wonderful feeling, and it is a state that many devoted yoga practitioners experience. It is this state of stillness, peace and calmness of the mind that brings me back to my practice and both challenges and encourages me to find it in every moment in life.
If you’ve never felt or encountered this mental state of flow while doing yoga, it’s okay, because every yoga session is different. With regular practice that state may come, until then enjoy growing, learning and practicing it, you still get the benefit of flow and your mind, body, perhaps even soul, are grateful for it.
I was 12 years old, in a book shop, going through a pile of books and came across a Hatha yoga book which caught my attention. Without much convincing my mother bought me the book. I read through it from cover to cover and was fascinated by the exercises and the benefits it mentioned. I worked my way through the pages learning the various poses and sequences described. I found myself doing it every day and it is ever since then that I came to love it. Over the course of just a few weeks I had noticed how my reactions changed when provoked by other kids at school and that’s when I realized that yoga was in some way changing me from the inside. Honestly, schools should make yoga compulsory for all students, because of the mental, emotional and physical benefits, as well as the philosophical teachings and discipline that comes with it.
Over the years I found myself regularly coming back to yoga, when I went through tough times in my teens, multiple immigration's, changing schools, jobs and all sorts of other life challenges. It became the one thing I consistently turned to for guidance during stressful events, for introspection, and I often turned to it when struggling to make decisions. It eventually opened up a more spiritual path for me, a way of finding a connection to something intangible and a means to take time out to give thanks and be grateful for the good things in life. I have found it to be the perfect tool for finding balance as it aims to bring harmony between the physical, mental and emotional aspects of our bodies.
One day I was doing some exercises from a book I was reading and out of this materialized this unexplainable force to become a yoga teacher. It’s not something I had ever thought of and out of the blue it appeared when I put pen to paper. I was surprised and then thought nothing of it, but later that same day I logged into my computer and there it was, a teacher training course that seemed to speak to me. I ended up inquiring, no idea why, met my teacher whose classes I had done before and loved, realized this is it, I needed to permanently commit to it. At first, I registered to do the yoga teacher training purely to dig deeper into my own practice but when I completed it, I had a feeling that this is not the end. This is taking me somewhere, I didn’t know where and actually still don’t, but I am so at peace with it and enjoy sharing this practice with others that I am happy to just ride this wave and see where it goes.
I look forward to continuing my yoga journey, learning, growing and sharing this ancient practice in the hopes that it too may benefit you and others.