Monthly Archives: December 2011

Vinyasa: finding a new state of flow

Dandayamana-Dhanurasana (Standing Bow Pulling Pose), photo by unknown

Vinyasa (def. sanskrit):  Sequential movement that interlinks yoga postures to form a continuous flow. It creates a movement meditation that reveals all forms as being impermanent and for this reason are not held on to.  It demands setting an intention in practice and taking the necessary steps toward reaching that goal.

I experienced something profound in my hot yoga practice today.  I was so moved in fact, that I cried.  I reached a point between all the positions, transitions, tensions, and releases, where I no longer could decipher the oozing beads of sweat from rolling tears.

It began slowly.  Rather than acknowledging discomfort, I embraced the relentless heat.  I focused inward.  I found my breath.  Instead of pain, I completely surrendered; I dove anxiously into each tensed posture.  With every new challenging poise I reached deeper inside myself, and I discovered something new – maybe not new, but an unexplored medium for connecting to the divine, to the life flowing within and around me.  I stretched, compressed, I pulled, I pushed; I explored the space and air surrounding my body.  I am not a flexible person, but I truly surprised myself.   By relinquishing any hesitation or sense of displeasure, I indulged in the extremes of positions I had never reached.

No matter how old I may live to be, I truly believe that life will never cease to amaze me.  I could climb the same mountain a hundred times, and every summit would be a new experience.  Every time you establish that connection from your internal roots to flourish outside you, beyond the measure of your own being, it teaches you something – you learn something new about yourself.  You learn by letting go; by releasing your preconceived notions, by submitting to your curiosities, by overcoming your conditioned fears and yielding to a childlike wonder.

There are few precious moments in life where you get to live outside yourself; where motion frees the mind to wander and connect with everything surrounding your being.  Where your energy is released from the weight of all white noise, distractions, and pettiness, and is able to focus soley on the art of the activity at hand, leaving the soul to explore and examine the true essence of each joyous moment.  On a mountain, in the ocean, running toward the endless horizon, and yesterday, for the first time – in hot yoga.   My breath and my movements merged together and my body transformed into raw motion, a constant rhythm pushing towards a goal; a vessel of pure kinetic energy.  Heart, pounding.  Breath, expanding.  Blood, flowing.  I was fully engaged in a beautiful state of flow.  Flow – where life surges through every pore in your body and you are overcome by a divine rapture filling inside you, blossoming into every hollow space.  Where acuteness of the senses enhances each moment, and you become everything by focusing on nothing but the art that is engaging you.

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”                                                                                                        

                                                                                                              -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 



Filed under Self discovery, Travel, Yoga