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Going With The Flow / Being In The Zone April 18, 2009

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Changing Perspectives, Fitness, Food, Health, Meditation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Music, Philosophy, Texas, Twin Cities, Uncategorized, Yoga.

Since I started teaching 4 new classes, I’ve been using the meaning of vinyasa (“to place in a special way;” “to flow”) as the theme of the week. It’s also been a handy reminder for myself as things change, or don’t go as planned. Naturally, some of the things I come up with as I explore a theme won’t fit into a 60 or 75-minute class – at least not if I’m going to guide the asanas and finish in 60 or 75 minutes. So, just for you, here are some thoughts on going with the flow and being in the zone.

(Take a deep breath. Breathing as you read can make this a guided meditation.)

Imagine two people – two people who seem very much the same and enjoy similar activities. Of course, they are individuals, and one of the things distinguishing them is the way everything seems to fall into place for one person, but not the other.

Both encounter a detour when they’re hungry: one discovers their new favorite restaurant; the other gets home too angry and hungry to cook. An appointment canceled at the last minute enables one person to catch up with an old friend, or meet a new one. The other person fumes, because someone was inconsiderate enough to stand them up; and the anger keeps anyone from getting close enough to talk.

The more one goes with the flow, the more they get in the zone, and the more things fall into place. The more the other fights the flow, the angrier and more frustrated he or she becomes. (Deep breath in. Deeper breath out.)

Maybe you know these people. Maybe you are one of these people. Either way, have you ever considered that the luck and good fortune, what some may call blessings, experienced by one person is more than randomness? Have you ever considered the possibility that the difference between these two people is simply a matter of perspective? What happens if you consider that everything, even the annoying stuff, happens in a special way? (Take a deep breath.) Consider what happens if being lucky or experiencing your blessings is simply a matter of going with the flow, instead of fighting it.

(Take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day. Sigh it out.)

Let’s alter the scenario slightly. Imagine the two people are athletes playing team sports. (I’m thinking football, basketball, or soccer – even team cycling. If you’re from the north, you may be thinking hockey.) Whether you are trying to score with the ball (or puck); trying to stop the person with the ball (or puck); or just trying to cross the finish line first, there are obstacles (read: other athletes) in your way. When an athlete is in the zone, he or she sees the obstacles – as well as the holes opening up as the play moves from one moment to the next. Treating life like the sweetest of running backs means you go with the flow, finding the holes and going through, even around, the obstacles; taking whatever detours are needed to reach the goal or the finish line.

It looks like magic. But, it’s just perspective.

Meanwhile, the athlete who fights the flow doesn’t go very far, is constantly frustrated and engaged in conflict. Just imagine what happens if you treat everything in life the way a lineman treats the other team. It’s not pretty. And, even when you win, it’s painful.

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone struggles with things that seem to block their path. Going with the flow won’t eliminate hardship and challenge from your life. There will still be places you’ll never go; things you’ll never do; people you’ll never meet; and (as my teacher Paul reminded me) people you’ll never see again. Just don’t spend too much time thinking about such things – unless you’re thinking about how you can change them. Most importantly: Don’t let such things keep you from living and loving your life.

Instead, think about the places, things, and people who enrich your life. Think about how you enrich the lives of others. (And don’t forget to breathe.)

Take a lesson from people who make life look easy. Remember, they still experience loss, heartache, heart break, debilitating disease, and failure. They’ve had bad days. But, they keep moving – and try to enjoy whatever comes their way.

On a playing field, on the mat, in your life: Everything is vinyasa. Everything is placed in a special way. We just have to remember, we haven’t seen life’s play book. We don’t know what’s coming. All we can do, is breathe into the possibility, go with the flow, get in the zone, and find the hole. Swoosh.

Vinyasa Class Notes

Key Asana Sequence: Twisting Lunge to Utthita Parsvakonasana (“Extended Side Angle”) to Reverse Triangle to Virabhadrasana II (“Warrior Two”) to Reverse Triangle.

Song(s) That Had To Make The Cut: “Static in the Flow” by the Devlins

Song(s) Played Loud For Motivation: “Fix You” by Coldplay

Song(s) Related To Theme (if you think about it): “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake and “Life in a Northern Town” by Dream Academy

(If you or a friend suffers from clinical depression, including postpartum, ask for help.)


1. briancolborne - April 18, 2009

way cool blog! i also really like the style of it.

ajoyfulpractice - April 18, 2009

Dia dhuit a Brian! Thanks for surfing over and stopping by. I just added a footnote about seeking help for clinical depression. As a Reiki practitioner, any suggestions on a helpful link I can embed?

Be well and be great,

2. Amy - May 27, 2009

Great writing Myra! I love your message and your style is very accessible.

ajoyfulpractice - May 28, 2009

Thanks Amy! I’ll be posting more soon.

3. Jinjer Stanton - September 19, 2010

Somehow, my search for my own articles on the web brought me to your blog. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and efforts to bring the deeper aspects of yoga to your practice and teaching!


ajoyfulpractice - January 11, 2011

Namaste Jinjer,

I just bought your book as a present for one of my private students! Maybe one of these days I will talk her into coming to one of your classes. I am glad we’re virtually connected. Hopefully we can connect in the real world soon.

Be well and be great, Myra

Jinjer - February 7, 2012

I hope your student enjoys it! I’m really bad at keeping up on line. Sorry I haven’t replied sooner. I love your passion and dedication.

Blessings and joy, Jinjer

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