Flow. We encounter the notion of flow associated with yoga a lot and, I have to admit, I had never really understood what was meant by it. Frankly, I thought of it simply as a great marketing tool - until now. I think I may actually get it now.
I was out walking my dog the other morning and it struck me: my life is in flow. My life is like water.
Think about a stream: the water is constantly moving...flowing...it is alive.
Yes, there are always rocks, fallen tree trunks, and other obstacles in a stream but the water keeps flowing. The water flows over and around those obstacles.
And the water is more powerful than the rocks and fallen tree trunks. It doesn’t happen quickly, but slowly over time the water breaks down the tree trunks. It even wears down the rocks, polishing them almost, smoothing out their rough edges.
Kind of like what Kaiut Yoga does to the blockages and restrictions in our joints. Kind of like how Kaiut Yoga helps us smooth out the rough edges and obstacles in our lives.
Now think about what happens if water stops moving - it becomes stagnant. Even the word itself sounds kind of ugly: stagnant. And in stagnant water, not so good things happen. Bacteria begins to grow, which in turn attracts mosquitoes who are simply out to bite us!
Kind of like life. Life is movement. Where there is movement, there is life. Our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, our blood flowing.
Sometimes, in addition to the rocks and tree trunks, debris falls into a stream. Leaves, twigs, and so forth. But the water keeps flowing - carrying this debris along with it and eventually pushing it up onto the banks of the stream, getting it out of the way. The flow of the water is more powerful than the debris too.
Kind of like life. Debris gets into our flow and we carry it with us for a while. But yoga can help with the debris of life too - eventually pushing it to the side. Our flow clears.
A stream doesn’t do all this work quickly. As Francisco would say, nature only moves quickly when it is destroying. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis. When nature is healing, it needs time.
So perhaps that is what is meant by flow in yoga. In Francisco’s words, yoga is a chronic state of presence with emotional coherence. And perhaps that is flow.
My life is flowing like a stream. Thank you Kaiut Yoga.
Heidi Philip, Kaiut Yoga Teacher, Toronto, ON Canada