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  • Why Yoga (Flow) feels so amazing!

    I am writing this Blog entry after a week of clear blue skies and beautiful sunshine. It's a joy to wake up to sunshine every morning, even if it means waking up ridiculously early...long may it continue.

    I've been wrestling with the idea of a proposed change to my class timetable for the past few months and I've finally decided to follow my heart and teach only Yoga and Pilates from now on.

    Although I would agree that we all need to do some aerobic exercise to maintain a healthy cardio-respiratory system; teaching wise, my heart lies with Yoga and Pilates. I've always followed my heart during the whole of my 25 year teaching career and never taught anything I don't love.

    Teaching Yoga for the last 3 years has been both a challenge and an absolute joy and that journey continues to evolve for both myself and my class participants. I'm studying for a further Yoga qualification and am excited to see where this journey takes me.

    This week, I've been trying to explain to people who haven't tried Yoga what it is that make you feel so amazing and happily I was reminded of the Hungarian- American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (thank you Lance Sullen) and his observations and studies on Flow: The Secret to Happiness

    MH describes the 8 characteristics of Flow as:

    1) Complete concentration on a task

    2) Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback

    3) Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down)

    4) The experience is intrinsically rewarding and has an end in itself

    5) Effortless and ease

    6) There is a balance between challenge and skills

    7) Actions and awareness are merged losing self conscious rumination

    8) There is a feelng of control over the task

    MH also states that people with autotelic personalities (people with a high interest in life, low self centredness and persistence) tend to experience more Flow....very interesting!

    Experiencing Flow is also deemed to be more enjoyable when experienced as a group. In Yoga Flow classes, we move slowly but time passes quickly, everyone is so immersed in the activity nothing else seems to matter, self consciousness is lost, our inner critic is silenced and we experience a feeling of wellbeing.

    Read MH's studies on Flow; his observations absolutely and eloquently explain why any activity where you are able to 'lose yourself' bring a sense of wellbeing and happiness.

    I'll be adding another Yoga class to the timetable in September. Core Focused Yoga will have a different focus to Yoga Flow; CFY will include strength and flexibility sequences, but more core focused work too.

    Both the summer and September timetables are on the Timetable page; have a wonderful Summer :-)

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