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What is Flow?

Posted by Anna | Sep 14, 2020

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Have you ever had one of those amazing conversations where time disappears, new ideas blossom, and you're so caught up in the moment, you don't realize you're the last two in the restaurant, with the staff itching to close?

Such an experience is called flow.

Athletes have it.  Creatives have it. Meditators have it. 

It's pretty common.

According to psychologists, flow simply refers to those wonderful moments when we're in the zone. Everything comes naturally, and we're feeling and performing at our best. 

I experience this occasionally when I'm playing pool. 

Suddenly, something comes over me: I become hyper-focused. Doubt disappears. And with hardly any effort, I can sink one ball after another, no matter how tricky the shot.

Flow feels magic. 

And it's often part of the reason we're drawn to a practice in the first place. 

If you've found yourself "bitten by the bug" of yoga, for example, perhaps it's because you've tasted that delight of dropping into a flow state: 

Self seems to vanish completely. You and the asana you're performing merge into one.


So how can we build more flow magic into our lives?

Well, one of several triggers for flow is deep concentration in the present.

And what stands in the way of that?

You've guessed it:

Our mobile phones.

Science shows: Just the presence of our phone within-reach distracts us. Even if you can't see it, and it doesn't beep! 

Just the temptation of the mobile internet lingering nearby is all it takes to jam our concentration.

Shocking, isn't it? 😳

So, if we really want to fall deep into that present-moment delight of a yoga practice, or a meditative absorption, or even an awesome conversation:

We've got to learn to leave our phones at home. 

Or in the car. Or in a cloakroom.

And when we're at home (which, let's face it, we mostly are):

We've gotta learn to favour our laptops: All apps closed, except the one we may be using for our practice. 

And we can just leave our smartphone in a separate room for the duration. 

It makes all the difference.

And of course, our beloved, useful, little phones will still be there waiting for us afterwards, when we complete our practice and emerge from flow, that delightful state of consciousness which is our birthright. 🙂

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