When we talk about Yoga, the language we use is one of practice. We practice yoga. We don’t complete it, we don’t nail it, we simply practice it. It is through the practice that we improve, we extend and we grow.
As a philosophy, Vinyasa yoga recognizes the temporary nature of things. We enter into a posture, we are there for a while and then we leave. What matters is the flow. Unlike Bikram which offers 26 standard postures or Ashtanga which has the same sequence every time, Vinyasa moves through different postures each time, seamlessly moving energy forward using breath.
The Sanskrit word Vinyasa comes from a prefix “vi”, which means variation, and a suffix, “nyasa”, which means ‘within prescribed parameters.
Variation within prescribed parameters flowing from one posture to the next. . Sounds a lot like productive creativity doesn’t it?
Provocation | What if we thought about intellectual and creative productivity in the same way? As a deliberately unfinished act. Why not practice the art of creative productivity as an act?
No eye on the endgame, no “results-orientated” business speak. Simply the act of creative production — whether it be thinking new thoughts or writing new ideas or building new conceptual frameworks. A focus on the practice of the act and a forgiveness for its necessary imperfections; which is why we call it practice. It is meant to be incomplete, what matters is that we are in flow.
How do we build that into our lives? People tell us to “Go the extra mile, there’s less traffic there”. Which is a fun way of encouraging us to look at opportunity-focused action, but it still focuses on the destination — which is the opportunity. What’s great about going the extra mile is that we’re practicing creative productivity in a new realm without fear of failure or fear of incompleteness. We’re allowing ourselves to find flow outside of the day-to-day work pressure of deliverables.
Provocation | When did you last have a sense of flow in your thinking or writing or work? What were you focused on? What were the circumstances and environment? If you attempted to recreate those circumstances, what would you do? What does flow look like for you?