GO WITH THE FLOW
Yoga has taught me so many life lessons and above all it has shown me how to go with the flow. When I apply the ‘flow like water’ approach to my life, I move and breathe with ease and enjoyment. If I choose to fight against challenging moments or events, everything feels much more unmanageable. As I prepare to move to a new city and begin teaching yoga at brand new studios, going with the flow is keeping me grounded and relatively calm.
FROM MAT TO THE REAL WORLD
My favorite style of yoga to practice is power vinyasa yoga, or power flow. I am drawn to the fluidity of this practice– how each pose is connected to the next through flow and breath. It reminds me of a beautiful dance that allows its practitioners to move through negative blocks into positive, open space. The more I hit my mat, the more I’m reminded of the benefits of pushing past stuck energy and discomfort. If I sit and wallow in complaint for too long I begin to see every event as a struggle and every action seems to require more effort than I want to afford it. If I go with the flow though, I am able to let go of what is no longer serving me and stay in the present moment.
Going with the flow requires us to be present to what’s happening before us. We must first be grounded in the now in order to move through it into something new. My go-to grounding technique? I look at my feet, spread out my toes and press firmly into the ground.
Doing this connects me with the current moment and rooting down into the earth keeps my mind where my body is in reality. It centers me and requires me to slow down my racing mind. Once I’m calm and present I can choose to let go of anything from the past that’s preventing me from living powerfully and happily, and I can flow like water into the next moment. My mentor, Power Yoga Canada Co-Founder Kinndli McCollum, uses the image of water running off a duck’s back to describe going with the flow and letting go. It’s a
powerful metaphor that has stuck with me.
DON’T FIGHT THE CHALLENGE
In my view, it’s not only counter-productive to sit there and complain about how things aren’t going my way, it’s dis-empowering. It removes my personal power, which allows me to act in the moment and move on from discomfort into decisive action. Instead of focusing on all that’s not going right, I’ll do my best to shift my perspective and set my Drishti or gaze on what IS working out. From that place of positivity, a new world of possibility opens up to me. I am able to see solutions to problems that were seemingly hidden before and I can move through a challenge, coming out on the other side unscathed and stronger than before.
TEST IT OUT
Next time you feel your body tensing up and your mind racing, ground yourself, breathe and consider dropping the struggle, and going with the flow. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You may find it hard to just go with it when you’re starting to take on this new way of being, but once you do there’s some incredible gifts waiting for you on the other side. If you go with the flow you may just end up finding out you actually enjoy something you never thought you would, you may feel more resilient than ever before for kicking crisis in the butt with grace, and you may cultivate lasting inner peace.
Eryl McCaffrey is a Power Vinyasa Yoga Teacher from Toronto, Ontario. She’s also a Freelance Writer, who’s passionate about health and wellness. Eryl believes in the power of love to heal and advance the world. Her blog:twofeetheartbeat.wordpress.com