Dec 24, 2020

Vinyasa Transitions / How To Experience Flow In Your Yoga Practice

The state of flow is described as being completely “involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one (..) Your whole being is involved." (Mihály Csíkszentmihályi).

Maybe you have experienced it: when you read an intriguing book, jogged through beautiful nature, were indulged totally in your work or spend time with someone without ever feeling the need to pick up your phone.

Seeking this experience on our yoga mats in our ‘flow’ or ‘vinyasa’ yoga, however, we often struggle through the poses, feeling like we lack the flexibility and strength to gracefully move from one pose to the other, unable to be present in the moment and enjoy the practice.

Whether you are a beginner or if you are working towards more advanced poses, whether you practice for mental clarity and relaxation or to get rid of you backpain, the keys to progress in our physical yoga practice and ultimately experiencing flow, are always presence, practice and patience.

BE PRESENT

When you are fully aware of each step of your practice, you see the effects of your dedication and you not only learn to enjoy the journey, but you also understand how much influence you have on the outcome. This applies to other areas of life as well. We need to be fully present to understand and enjoy experiences and we can determine their development by directing our energies and efforts intentionally.

When leave all your thoughts, ideas, worries and other ‘mind-stuff’ aside, you begin to really connect with the body. Activating small supportive muscles, you move in an integrated way making for a completely different experience in your practice. Just being present and intentional in your movement makes a big difference rather than forcing and rigidly moving in and out of your poses.


PRACTICE ACTIVE MOBILITY

When we don’t build a solid foundation in strength and mobility first, we tend to move too fast, rushing from one pose to the next, merely engaging the large outer muscles of your body. This not only increases probability of injuries and abrasion, but it also guarantees that you never really see any improvement.

For example, stepping forward from downward facing dog: You can bring the foot forward only by using your hand (passive flexibility) or you can step it forward without the help of the hand by engaging the muscles in your core (active mobility). If you use your hand each time, you will never actually activate the muscles you need in order to step forward and not see any development over time.

To accelerate your progress, you can incorporate and repeat simple and repetitive exercises to build a larger range of motion. Ultimately that will also help you with advanced poses like headstand and other inversions.

CULTIVATE PATIENCE

Remember, yoga is not a competitive sport, even if your main reason to practice Asana and Vinyasa is to improve your physical health and fitness. We all enjoy seeing progress, feeling strong and light in our bodies, yet the practice has so much more in store for us. It teaches us acceptance, self-reflection and self-love. Cultivating patience allows us to continue our efforts even when we see little or no progress. Without patience, we would abandon our practice before the longed-for results show up. When we continue with our efforts, however, the beneficial results will appear, in our body and in our being.



I have recorded a free video for you to practice your strength and mobility in order to improve your body awareness, build strength and improve your transitions in and out of the poses and from one to the other. Include this video in your routine to observe the progress!

I would love to hear how you liked it and if you could feel the progress in practice! You can leave me a comment on Youtube below the video and feel free to ask any questions, too!

Be present, patient and enjoy the journey! Happy practicing!


Link to the video: https://youtu.be/02loyFpNg08

Link to all practice videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQVV_7urplOWcHe3lfiHIaA

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