Flowing into the 50’s

by Ethical Emily
Finding your flow.

When I turned 40 and found my love for yoga. I knew it was something that would benefit me, in many ways, as I got older. Now flowing into my 50’s I want to share my thoughts and experiences and inspire you to find your flow. 

The most powerful thing anyone can do to make positive change in the world is to work on themselves, emotionally and spiritually. As things change through the course of our lives it’s important to keep an open mind and a willingness to learn. The practice of yoga is a way to open ourselves up to new opportunities and connect with our innermost thoughts, feelings and goals to ensure we are living in harmony with our values. 

What’s a ‘flow’? 

I refer to ‘flow’ as a form of movement in the body and as a state of being in life. Flow in yoga usually refers to Vinyasa yoga; a style of yoga that links the poses or ‘asana’ in a sequence with the breath and fluid movement. 

The movement from one posture to another is just as important as the asana itself. Focusing on where we begin initiating the movement within the body and how this manipulates the rest of the body is something we don’t want to miss out on in our yoga practice. This conscious effort to feel the subtle changes throughout the body as we move, is all part of the experience. 

How yoga influences our life 

If you have been practicing yoga over the years consider how your experience has influenced you in life and how your practice has changed as you have grown. Yoga isn’t just a form of exercise, it’s so much more. 

I never felt very comfortable in my body and I suffered from eating disorders from a very young age. Suffering from emotional trauma meant certain attitudes about myself and the world around me manifested. I was angry and I had a very pessimistic attitude towards life in general. Yoga gave me the opportunity to work through my emotions, reflect on my past and build a better future for myself. 

Greater mental and emotional balance

The yoga poses or ‘asana’ are challenging at times to say the least but that’s the point. The challenge of holding or staying in a yoga pose is not only physically challenging but mentally. This is the body and mind connection. When we are in a state of being fully engaged and present in the moment the experience gives us the opportunity to explore our mental attitudes and emotions. 

What we experience on the mat is basically a reflection of our very own lives. Our behaviour, habits, and attitudes about ourselves and life either help or hinder our yoga practice. 

Notice how you feel and the thoughts that show up during your practice, reflecting on this can lead to insights about how we generally deal with life. It’s important to consider the style of yoga you choose too. Does it reflect your needs? Is it what you need right now? Does your practice give you room to grow, learn and reflect as an individual? 

Self-inquiry can make us feel vulnerable but by opening up to certain aspects of our being we deepen our awareness of the real nature of ourselves and reality. The more open we are to change the more likely we are to discover new strengths. 

Self-care and a sense of community 

As we progress with our practice our observations become more astute. The increasing sense of self or strengthening of the spirit also increases our sense of others and our sense of connection with others. A commitment to self-care and self-nurture allows us to tune into our intuitive wisdom and connect with others on a deeper level whether this is with our family members or our global community. What we practice in our lives through yoga will have multiple positive effects on the world around us.

Self-care means respecting our physical limits and nurturing an attitude that allows us to learn and grow with natural curiosity and joy.

Getting motivated 

If you are a beginner, there are so many yoga styles, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Finding the right class and teacher can be a real challenge. The best way to start is to find a beginner’s class and then work from there. You won’t like all the teachers nor all the styles but you won’t find what you like at all if you don’t start somewhere. If you can’t get out to take a class now is the perfect time to look online and practice in the comfort of your own home. Or if you’re living or holidaying in Menorca, why not try out my morning vinyasa class by the sea (suitable for all levels).

Everybody and everybody is different. What flows for you won’t flow for someone else. You need to work at finding what works for you! This takes time and dedication.

Disciplining yourself to do this is another challenge but you won’t reap the benefits if you don’t make that time for yourself! You need it, you deserve it!

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