How often do you find yourself scrolling through Instagram and watching endless videos and clips of Insta-yogis flowing through gorgeous yoga sequences and wishing you could move like that too? I know that I do, and I definitely feel as though I am lacking in creativity sometimes with my sun salutation and vinyasa-inspired flows.
Of course, most of these little yogic clips will have been carefully pre-planned, but full immersion in our practice is known as the “flow state of mind”. According to Ester Ekhart, this is a feeling of energised focus and is both creative and productive -sounds ideal, doesn’t it? If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation whereby you become so absorbed in your task that all outside feelings fall away, and you’re left feeling positive, then you’ve already found the flow state. To my mind, it is why enthusiastic surfers or runners describe their training as their form of meditation -it is a state of moving mindfulness.
So how to achieve this flow state? Elkhart recommends referring to three of the eight limbs of yoga: Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana. First, aim to connect with your breath as you dissociate from distractions: this is Pratyahara, the withdrawal of the senses. Then, engage in Dharana as you concentrate on the practice and the present moment, with no expectation or aim. Finally, be sure to remain alert in your activity as you tune in to the state of Dhyana, or complete awareness. The aim here is not to zone out of your practice, but remain mindful.
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