Go With the Flow (If you can find it.)

Flow

(a psychology definition)

an intense focus on an activity accompanied

by increased creativity and near-ecstatic feelings

The other day in my psychology class we briefly talked about this while discussing motivation and goals.  You may recognize this phenomenon as when an athlete gets “in the zone” or a musician or artist gets lost in their work.

My text book says, “people achieve this state of mind when absorbed by some problem or activity that makes them lose track of time and become oblivious to events around them.”

wow.

Seriously, I have to admit I am totally jealous of people that have such a deep passion or purpose that they experience this amazing feeling of being one with their craft.  I think it’s safe to say I do not have this.

It did get me thinking about yoga and how this description of “flow” really is the ultimate goal of yoga.  I’ve always been attracted to yoga for the physical benefits, but in my yoga teacher training I learned a lot about the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga (I always hesitate to use the word spiritual because most people associate it with religion and yoga is NOT a religion).

If you’ve been reading Live, Run, Grow for awhile, you may remember when I started my teacher training I posted this graphic:

What goes through my head when I get bored with doing the same practice over and over and over!

My Brain on Yoga (before teacher training!)

This is really how I felt doing yoga.  My body was going through the motions, but my mind was making my grocery list.

While I can’t claim to have experienced the mystical “flow”, I’ve managed to calm my mind a bit while practicing and now I feel a bit more like this:

Om Mermaid Squirrel

Not quite there, but almost!

The beautiful coincidence (or not a coincidence?) is that the style of yoga I practice which links fluid movement with breath is often called Vinyasa Flow!

Ever hear of a “runner’s high”??  Same thing! (And also something I have yet to experience.)

I definitely don’t get lost and “lose track of time” while running, but I haven’t given up yet.  I’ve made progress with working towards “flow” in yoga and maybe one day it’ll come with running too!

Have you experienced “flow” or “Runner’s High”?

Do you think if this doesn’t come naturally

it’s something you can practice or learn? 

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5 thoughts on “Go With the Flow (If you can find it.)

  1. I think I experienced the runners high during the Mickey Marathon. When I reached mile 23 and was singing Sweet Caroline very loud, I felt euphoric. The remainder of the race, I had a ridiculous smile on my face because I felt so happy! In Epcot when I was nearly finished, I felt like I could run forever….nothing like my training runs!

  2. I get runners high every now and then, its special. I get a high in most yoga classes, I usually take vinyasa style. Although the teacher scolded me a few weeks ago. I was singing along to a song (clearly not linking breath to movement) but what she doesn’t understand is that if I’m just singing along, that means my thoughts aren’t on other things. I was 100% present.

  3. I’ve definitely never experienced a “runners high” yet or anything similar in any other thing. My mind NEVER seems to shut off and zone out. I’m definitely jealous too of those who achieve it. Maybe someday!

    And maybe you’ll get it during the Dopey! If not a runner’s high, maybe some delirium from running almost 50 miles that will make it seem like it is lol

  4. Pingback: Yoga: A New Point of “View” | Live, Run, Grow

  5. I’ve made some progress with flow in yoga but I have never experienced a runner’s high – maybe someday!

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