In general, I see two broad strokes across the styles of yoga – those that move, and those that embrace stillness. Sure, vinyasa may move quickly or slowly, but there’s still the general idea of moving with the breath and not holding the postures too long. Same with flow. As you move toward styles such as Iyengar, Yin, Restorative, you move toward stillness and toward holding the postures for a much longer period of time for a variety of reasons. I’ve found in general people are drawn more to one or the other. They can’t be still, they want to move and begin to fidget when they have to stop. Then there’s those that are happy to hang out in stillness, that feel flow and vinyasa classes move too quickly and instead they stick to what they love. Classes that move at a slower pace.
Of course, that is grouping people into buckets, but for the most part we lean one way or the other. For me, I tend to lean toward being more still, slower-paced, and I have a love for long-held poses where I can find some comfort. That’s why for the most part my flows are a bit more vigorous, because that’s what is needed to counteract the stillness, though on days like today when it is cool and the energy is lower, I will opt for a slower flow to ensure I get some movement in as opposed to giving into my aversion and skipping the thing I don’t think I care for.
Another reason to move through both, whether you prefer one or the other, is to explore what there is you CAN love about this. Instead of focusing our minds on the negative, looking for the positive, reinforcing the positive, falling in love with the positive, until you actually begin to like, enjoy, love the things you once didn’t. Training the brain to let go of its tendency to dwell on the negative and reinforce the negative, and instead dwelling on the good, the thing you can embrace and run with.
Once we begin to change our mindset and flip our inner monologue, the aversion can become something different. I alluded to this when talking about challenges. If I approach every arm balance with an “I hate it” attitude, or an “I can’t do it” attitude, the likelihood is high that I’m getting nowhere, thus reinforcing my disdain for this group of postures. If I approach each arm balance with a curiosity of what is the element here I am drawn to, why am I practicing this particular posture or this particular way. With Flow & Hold®, it’s quite likely one part of the practice might not be your cup of tea, but it also gives you the chance to rewire your brain, and in doing so, changing the way it shows up in life.