A great run, ride or a great yoga experience transforms life perspective and attitude profoundly. It helps break through the mind clutter or negative thoughts that distract us from what’s important in life. A great run can open up a space in your heart and mind, which you can fill in with your choice of the best energies life has to offer: strength, gratitude, inspiration, fire, endorphins, humor, guts, compassion, grit or moxie. Every time you enter this space and nourish these qualities, your life and your practice will flourish. This energy can alchemize doubts, fears, and insecurities in your head and even help tune it out of your environment.
How does that space open up into a magic elixir of good stuff and how do we break through the clutter to get there?
CORE Strength, Rhythm, Flow and Soul
These are the 4 key foundations of “breaking through” the clutter of the mind and body to enter the space where things become effortless.
CORE strength is the magic key both physically and energetically, it is the essence of your strength. You are poised for greatness when you align your body and support it with the groundwork of core strength and balance. All movement in your body originates at your center. Your power is the source around which arms and legs, muscles, facia, bones, tendons, ligaments can all work. Without a strong core foundation, everything has to work twice as hard, and work as separate entities. With all focus and energy gathered at your center, you can stop “trying” so hard to move your limbs. Your limbs will relax, and you feel harmonious in the flow of movement. You can be in sync with your breath and your body.
This creates the magic of rhythm. It doesn’t matter if you are moving fast, slow or not at all. When you tune in to your breath and feel a rhythm, you can relax into it. Rhythm comforts the uneasy, chattery brain, and it soothes the nervous system. Rhythm of breath, no matter how fast, keeps you in your sympathetic nervous system where the body can relax. It becomes easy to find the space for gratitude as your body lifts, lengthens and practically levitates. This is how to “break through” and find the soul of the run, or the soul of yoga.
This is the magic of flow. Flow is the difference between enjoying aerobic efforts and dreading them. Stressed out, shallow breathing and erratic form triggers chatter in the brain and the parasympathetic nervous system, or the flight or fight program. The brain starts saying, “I hope I’m burning calories, I hope I fit into size 6 jeans, I hope I’m beating that other guy. What will the scale say? I’m heavy, this hurts, I’m slow…” Going through the motions with the wrong intentions zaps the soul, extinguishes the rhythm, and diminishes strength.
The formula of flow is to begin by focusing on the core, relax your limbs, let power and energy flow through them. Find a rhythm with breath and movement, quiet the chatter in the brain, and tune in to the experience of the dynamic and soulful space right inside of you.