There are many ways to find happiness, but I believe part of the equation is to include moments of ‘flow’ in our lives. We’ve probably all experienced them. When you know what to do and how to do it, you know where to go and what’s coming next, the challenge is high but you know you have the skills, you’re free from distraction and can focus completely.
There are many ways we can train our minds to access this state. Some people do when they run or swim, climbing, perhaps at work, or perhaps on the yoga mat.
For me, a key principal of a yoga practice is to use it as a tool for reflection, for self analysis, and having models to inform this aspect is very helpful. One model I use is the ‘flow model’, described by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Working to train the mind to experience ‘flow’ during asana practice, sensing when we need to switch to ‘arousal’ as we learn a new skill, noticing if we’re too in ‘control’ and not being challenged, and then consciously moving to ‘relaxation’ when taking rest after practice.
And if anyone says a whiteboard isn’t a good yoga prop, send them to see me!