This post is for Laura, who has been hearing about the Flow for years.
I was in a Vinyasa yoga class yesterday, when things started going badly. My hands were too slippery, I couldn’t hold downward facing dog for the full five breaths. Chatturanga (low plank) was so difficult to get out of, it was like I’d never done it before. My shoulders were screaming through warrior two, and my inner thighs complained all the way through wide-legged forward bends. Finally, before getting into pigeon (the pose that gives me the most problems) I realized: I was not in the flow.
I have defined the flow in the past as “things going right.” You know, the guy you like asks you out the same week you get a promotion at work and you found a pair of pants that actually fits properly and were on sale and you have a free weekend coming up for once? That, is flow.
More likely than not, you will recognize when you are OUT of the flow, as opposed to in it; when nothing seems to be going right; when it’s just one thing after the other; when you feel like you are constantly adjusting to plans falling through and bad news being flung at you.
Yes, I’ve been aware of the flow for a while now, but I had never really considered what causes one to move in and out of it. Last night, as I was muscling my way through an actual physical flow, I was going over what I’d eaten during the day, realizing that a few bad choices (ahem, chips and salsa for lunch? Really?) might be hindering my yoga flow, and it dawned on me. If my food choices so obviously affect my yoga flow, who’s to say they don’t affect the daily flow of life around me too? What’s so different between my body on or off the yoga mat? Isn’t it all just my body moving through life?
I know, is this getting too far out? Bear with me.
We find the flow when life is easy, when we aren’t stressing about our next move, when we can literally “go with the flow, man.” But maybe it’s also when our perception of the world is more positive. We can take what happens out there and see the good in it. And maybe when we eat a healthy plant-based diet, we are making positive choices for ourselves, which starts a chain reaction of goodness, which we then call “flow.”
Yesterday, when I skipped breakfast, had chips and salsa for lunch and didn’t drink enough water, my body didn’t have any positive energy to draw from, and my flow did not go.
If we fuel our bodies with goodness, goodness will fuel our lives. (That’s a Sarah-ism!)
And now for something I did not eat yesterday, but should’ve, one of my favourite fast food meals based on one from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet:
It’s just wild rice, with some olive oil, lemon juice (or lime, whatever you have on hand), chopped tomatoes and chopped basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Mmmmm…soooo good, so easy.
p.s. I apologize for using my scuzziest looking bowl. What’s with the giant chip, and why did I not notice that when I was taking the picture?!
Have a great weekend!