Tag Archives: Change

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

Engineers Without Brains? So begins my Walkabout…

In a few short days, I moved my queen bed, hand painted table set, and dilapidated college futon back into my parents’ place (thank you mom and dad).  I grabbed my backpack, and said goodbye – to friends … family… my loving boyfriend … to my home … to that chapter of my life.  Maybe I was crazy?  Brainless? Maybe I was going through ‘a phase‘?  Or maybe I was impulsively acting on a surge of inner momentum, drawn out by the primal call that had been festering inside me all these years.  Whichever the case, it felt like I was closing more than just a door behind me.

So I raised my head with vigor towards a bright new sunlight and passed through a window that was once out of reach.

My dedicated involvement with the Engineers Without Borders volunteer group seemed like the perfect launch pad.  Our Portland travel team was heading back to Ecuador to construct the composting toilet we had been designing since our site observation trip in march.  It would be a good take off point to begin my walkabout in addition to providing closure for the on-going project I had helped nurture over the past year.  My initial objective was to see Project Bua through its final phases over the first 2 weeks in Ecuador and then head south to roam Peru.  I had always been captivated by the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu; but travel plans aside from that were minimal at best.

I knew only one thing for certain: the captivity of my routine had been revoked and it was time to run free.

I was to live the way I had always imagined: free of all commitments, with no phone to answer, with only my own company to enjoy.  Free to experience, reflect, and consider all life had to offer with no strings attached. To spend my time as I pleased, to interact with whomever I chose, with no obligations, no social considerations or inhibitions.   I was a drifter of foreign lands, a seeker of wisdom, a judge of truth, a worshiper of beauty in all forms; a nomadic spirit.

The destinations and landmarks were merely a side note.  It was the ever changing state of being; of getting lost every day in the world at hand; of rediscovering the core of my being; that formed the roots of my walkabout.

The trip itself evolved as I traveled, and so did I.

Leaving Portland

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Filed under Family, Society, The Deliberate Life, Uncategorized