Have you ever been “in the zone”? Have you ever “found your groove”? I bet you have, but just didn’t know what to call it. When an athlete can do no wrong, hits every shot, and is playing her sport perfectly she is “in the zone”. Same with a musician. Hitting every chord just right, every note is perfect and flows into the next, he has “found his groove”. In the golf movie The Legend of Bagger Vance, Bagger teaches Junuh how to find that “perfect shot”. If you don’t know this movie, or its been a while, watch it after reading this blog.
It’s all the same thing. When you somehow sync up with the world around you, when you are in harmony with the flow of energy that yogis call prana, when that magic happens, you are balanced and in a perfect flow. It can happen with anything you truly love to do, work or a hobby. Everything is easy in that moment, you belong with your surroundings. You are happy and confident. In that moment, no one can take it away and it is wonderful.
Finding your perfect flow is finding your natural state. That feeling of completeness is what life is supposed to be. It is what we all strive to find and hold onto. When you are in that moment, time stops and nothing else matters. It is easy, no conflict, no angst, no negativity. Junuh found it on the golf course, the world faded away as he became one with his surroundings. For me, a perfect analogy is the flow of a crystal clear river. Image yourself in the middle of that river, simply floating on the surface, flowing along, sometimes fast through the curves and sometimes slow in the flats. From your perspective the water is still because you are moving with it. You have found your still point, your perfect flow. You can see the shore passing along side you, but it is easy, restful. No effort is needed, you are being carried by the water around you.
However, when you are not in balance, when you are not in that perfect flow, it is hard. The water fights against you. Maybe you are trying to hold onto a root next to the river bank, or you are caught on a rock in the middle. It is hard to move as the water tries to push you downstream. Other things in the water bump against you as the water carries them past you. It is a struggle just to breathe and stay above water. Nothing you do seems to make your struggle any better, the water just keeps coming…you can’t win.
Isn’t that what life feels like much of the time? Every step is a struggle and no matter what you do you can’t seem to get your head above the water. Our ego tells us we have to fight , we have to make the river bend to our individual will. But what happens if we let go? What happens if we become one with the water around us? The struggle ends, the water becomes still, we regain a perfect balance and flow as we move down the river. This is our natural state in the energy flow we call life. Holding on to that root doesn’t slow life down, it just makes it hard. All the struggle, conflict, and angst pushes us to remember our natural state and find our way home.
When was the last time you were in that state of perfect flow? We all have experienced it. When we are balanced and in the perfect state of flow it is glorious. Can’t get no better! Maybe it was a long time ago, maybe it was just for a few moments, but you can find your way back. The first step is to consciously recognize that the state of perfect flow exist. Remember the feeling. Close your eyes and go back to that time, feel the ease, the joy, the effortlessness of life in that moment. What you are experiencing is balance within your being and balance with the energy or prana that surrounds and is a part of you. Imprint that feeling in your memory and call it up every time you find yourself in a difficult situation.
Yoga asanas, those crazy poses, is another way to practice calling up perfect flow. That is the main reason we do the poses! Asana practice, up dog, down dog, tree, stork, crow, pigeon, etc are all designed for the yogi to explore the flow of energy, the prana, that flows through and around all of us. As we learn how to recognize that perfect flow and then embrace it in all the different and challenging poses, we learn how to remember and embrace our perfect flow off the mat as well.
Feel the energy as it flows from the earth, through your body, out the crown of your head and then cascades down to form a cocoon or sphere of energy around your entire body before it turns inward and up through your chakras again. Now you are balanced, at one with the “waters” that surround you and in your still point. You are in your perfect flow. Break it down in your favorite pose and feel the energy as it flows through your hands and feet, up your arms and legs, past your shoulders and hips to join at your spine and continue through the crown of your head. Your breathe helps move the energy through your body.
Continue visualizing the energy flowing through your body until you feel your body hum and you see the energy flowing in your third eye. Remember this place that is your natural state. Consciously return to this place whenever you begin to struggle with the fears and pressures of life. You know you are loved. You know you are simply in this world, not of this world. Remember who you are in your perfect flow.
Now we are doing yoga….
Blair is the co-owner of Yoga Daily in Mt. Pleasant, SC. He is a certified yoga instructor, recovering lawyer and a spiritual student. The content of this blog is what Blair considers to be universal truths that span all dogma and religion and it is offered to you in Love and Light. Check out The Daily Yogi for additional blog entries. You can contact Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yoga is but one path to the knowing that we are all One. Please take what resonates with you and leave the rest without judgment or offense.