Get Into a Workout Flow State
Flow state is a mindset or a mood of effortless and inspired action. Being in flow during a workout can help you not just during the session, but also in practicing gratitude throughout the day, not sweating the small stuff, and in being more creative. A great way to inspire a state of flow in class is to partner the mind with the body by setting an intention. Sounds easy, right? Well, not so much, because many times setting an intention in class can get mixed up in the everyday thoughts you came to class with, and the monkey mind creates a murky soup with the natural anxiety of a very intense workout. There is hope, with a plan. Once you’ve given your mind a dose of patience, given your breath some notice, and set an intention for class, you’ll find flow state is a place you can access more often.
Many times you’ve likely arrived to the studio with buckets of mental problem-solving ready to be unleashed on your workout. Contrary to popular belief, mental chatter isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s incredibly human. The more patience you can give your thoughts, the more you’ll start to notice them dissipating throughout the workout. If giving patience to your thoughts sounds a bit abstract to you, think of your brain like a friend who enjoys gossiping about office politics – like your friend, your brain is seeking validation for it’s existence, which can be accomplished just by listening for a few minutes. After a while, if you decide you’re not interested in a particular topic (or your gossiping friend), the best part is, you can choose different thoughts or direct your social energy elsewhere.
While you’re letting mental chatter run it’s course, deep breathing can be used to slow your heart rate and reduce some of the natural anxiety associated with a high intensity workout. The ebb and flow of the breath with your heart is one of the incredible benefits of a moving flow state, which isn’t always accessible while sitting in stillness. The connection of your breath to your heart is a very powerful tool, which you can access anywhere, and at any time, to reduce anxiety and get back into a flow state.
Once you’ve connected to your breath and let your mental chatter run its course, you can create an intention symbiotically with your workout. If you think of your session as a metaphor for your life, what would you want to create? An easy way to set an intention is to feel what inspires you – not necessarily about what you want more or less of. Our society is driven by what we don’t have, when what we do have can be just as motivating. Plus, effortlessness in a flow state doesn’t come forth by thinking-up perfection… it’s effortless after all.