Go with the flow. Sounds great but what does it really mean… Am I going somewhere….will I be coming back??? On the yoga mat and even off it, I often feel the flow of energy through my body but in my daily life I don’t necessarily feel part of a cosmic stream.
What has brought me to ponder this particular mode of conscious transportation?
Well, as a recent traveler in India, where “go with the flow” could replace Satyameva Jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs) as their national motto, I came upon a situation where I understood it’s meaning physically, emotionally and most definitely viscerally.
I was minding my business, biking leisurely in a southern city, when all of a sudden a car came upon me from my left, a truck was honking to warn me he was going to overtake me from behind, and in even less of a hurry than me, a cow was quietly crossing the street in front of me! And there I was in the middle of this continuous flow. No one dared slow down in what appears from the outside to be a constant current of chaos. In India, going with the flow is the natural way to be.
How did I extricate myself from this very urgent situation. Well, with no perceivable future and the past a distant glimmer, a mirage, I was most definitely locked in the NOW. A Now of complete presence. In that very flash I realized I am never in the now, I am always one step ahead of myself or back stroking past some worry or thought.
At that very moment it was MISSION IMPOSSIBLE not being in the right now…. I would have been out of the game in a minute. What a great feeling, I have to say! Being present and feeling the excitement of being in the flow of life. In fact, India makes you feel alive!
What could we do to improve that awareness of the present moment and this flow of life?
My own experience shows me that I can improve that feeling through my breath. Being more conscious of my breathing is the beginning of being more present in the body and mind. Whenever I think about it (and the more I do it, the more I think about it) I bring consciousness into my breathing.
There’s a simple exercise that everybody can do everywhere and which does not take more than two minutes. Let me explain it to you :
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes (if possible… of course avoid doing it while driving) and observe your body. Feel your muscles, any tensions, feet, hands, head and start to BREATHE…
Taking a long deep breath by filling your belly with air, then your chest and lastly your clavicle and the reverse order on the exhale; clavicle, chest then belly. As a wave like movement, you can go on as long as you like…. no additives just a nice relaxing feeling of being in the moment!
The benefits of greater awareness and less stress are good for your general health.
It is said that the breath controls the mind, the mind controls prana (the life force in our body which is given at birth) and prana controls our 5 Tattvas (elements) earth, water, fire, air and ether each of which has a corresponding dragon; greed, lust, anger, attachment & pride.
So control your breath if you want to control your life!!!