Do You Even Flow, Bro?

One thing I’ve noticed over the past year teaching yoga classes is that most people want very specific directions. They want exact movements or want to follow each little thing you do. I did a whole class based on playing free like you would as a child and so many people had a hard time giving into this challenge. I can’t blame them though, looking back, I was the exact same way, and still am sometimes (I blame many years in gymnastics trying to perfect my skills).

I used to be the same way in the kitchen, too. I would find a recipe and use the exact measurements, never steering from the recipe. Now, I couldn’t even tell you exactly how I made something. I actually enjoy being in the kitchen and letting my creative side take the lead.

Many people are afraid to listen to their bodies and move freely. Is this because people fear being judged? Or they are uncomfortable in their own skin? This was something I struggled with for years, but the deeper I get into my yoga practice, the easier I find it to let go of those negative thoughts/feelings and be free. I always look forward to my 10-15 minute, post workout flow. I never have a plan, I just begin to move and keep in touch with my breath and body as I do.

One of my post workout flows.

I also tend to close my eyes when I’m attending yoga classes as a student. Being a former competitor, I used to always look around and see how I ranked against the rest of the class. This is something that {thankfully} went away during my yoga teacher training. What other people are doing, how flexible, strong or experienced they are does not effect my practice. I try to just stay grateful that I took the time to show up for myself and that those around me did too. I think that’s a great outlook on life as well; we should all be cheerleaders for ourselves and others.

A few months ago I learned a few basics about flowing with a steel mace, which is similar to a vinyasa style of yoga, but also very different. I also just listened to a podcast on flowing with kettlebells and gave that a try the other day. Both of these exercises combine my love for yoga and strength training. They also allow my creativity to shine.

Learning some basics of flowing with a steel mace with my trainer Eric Tooker of Tooker Sports Performance.
First attempt at flowing with kettlebells.

Now obviously, if you’re a beginner at something, it is important to get to know the basics and fundamentals to have a good foundation. But once you know how to move in a safe way, try to get out of your comfort zone and move freely. Flowing allows you to connect your mind and body and really tune into yourself. Being in tune can result in better health, sharper emotional intelligence, a stronger intuition, etc. What messages is your body trying to tell you? Take the time to really listen and see where that approach takes you.

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