In the flow (part two)

Are you allowing our resisting the river? Because of the challenges we face in our humanness it sometimes feels like resisting the river is our only choice. When something horrible or horrendous or unexplained happens we can’t possibly feel sane choosing to be in flow. The pain of being human or (our disconnect from the flow) is where negativity and resistance makes sense. The limitations of this time/space reality become more obvious in our stuckness. This is how we usually show up to the yoga mat, stuck in the resistant state of fighting against the river.

Because of when I started questioning my limiting beliefs I’ve probably given them more airtime in this lifetime. The beliefs that hold us back from the flow of the river are seemingly harmless phrases like “life is hard”, “everyone has it easier than me” or beliefs that give our power away to unexplained forces. Feeling powerless we try desperately to find security in the external world.

I’m beginning to notice when my world seems small and limited, to question the truth of my fear based thoughts. I hear the words of Mike Dooley saying something to remind me of the magnitude of life such as:

The sun rises and sets everyday without question

7 billion people are living together on some level of sophistication

There’s an estimated of 8.7 million different species on the planet co-existing

The planets move in perfect proximity to one another and we’ve done nothing to make this happen but something has

In this reminder I feel the truth that there is something bigger going on here than the stuck place I find myself in. On the yoga mat we are given the opportunity to experience this truth first hand by flowing with the rhythm of the breath. In yogic philosophy it’s said the breath is the bridge between this world and the next. It is controlled by the body’s autonomic nervous system like our digestion and heartbeat but we can also regulate it. You can hold your breath right now, speed it up, slow it down. It’s controllable and yet it sustains our life without us ever having to think about it.

The breath connects me to my internal rhythm, a pulse, a beat that guides me if I allow it. Moving dynamically through a sequence of poses, the breath as our guide, we get the sensation of being in the river, in the flow of the force that spins planets. But this isn’t my habit yet. Because we have been trained to be exclusively externally focused we see the world around us and try our hardest to match or at least keep up the external rhythm. In doing so we have lost touch with our internal rhythm. The mat becomes the place we practice being in the flow, becoming familiar with this new rhythm and eventually trusting in it, having faith that it will guide us. Coming home to the breath is the realization that not only will the river carry us but the river is a part of us. Allowing the body to move under the instruction of the breath we feel we are a part of the flow of the life, it is within us. We let this rhythm guide us and we are no longer swayed so dramatically by external forces. Instead, we become conscious creators, learning our role in using our inner flow to direct the world around us.