What Drives My Dharma?

The other day I was asked, “What drives you?” It caught me off guard and I had to sit with it a while.

I’m definitely driven. I feel that I am living my dharma, doing what I came here to do and fulfilling my purpose, but what is fueling that?

Whenever I think about why I love teaching about mindful movement, what comes up is that the experience of vibrant embodiment, even for a moment, can shock us into a new awareness.

The first time I had this awakening was when I was 5 years old. My dear father would “play gymnastics” with us on the lawn and we would try all kinds of “tricks” – sort of like acro yoga. One day he held me over his head while I stood up on his hands and opened my arms wide. I woke up suddenly. “Oh! This is who I am!” was the thought that struck me.

That awareness never left me. In that brief moment I learned decades worth of lessons. I was intensely focused inward and outward at the same time. I watched myself choose to not be afraid. I saw I was expandable, spacious, I could do things I hadn’t even imagined being able to do. And I felt “myself”, my being, the thrill of a spirit being embodied and full of potential.

I was able to return to this state of awareness during activities like walking in nature, swimming in a lake, writing, giving birth, and finally asana practice.

Flow State in Yoga

Nowadays, we talk about this being the “flow state”. That sense of fluidity (or union) between the body and mind, where you are totally absorbed by and deeply focused (dharana) on the task at hand. Your senses are heightened. Action and awareness sync to create an effortless expansion. The mind slows down and the chatter fades away, putting us in a non-distracted hyper aware zone (dhyana).

This state reminds me of who and what I am, and because I am who I am, I can’t keep it to myself.

Many people today practice asana for exercise. But as we all know, we can have that experience of union in our practice, the fluidity of mind and body, the movement from pratyahara to dharana to dhyana associated with the flow state.

And that is what often makes the difference between someone who is passionate about their practice and one who dabbles in it occasionally.

I have found that what is true for me, is that the flow state is generally less common during periods of relaxation and makes itself present during challenging and engaging activities.

According to Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (a pioneer in researching the flow state), “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… the best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

In the aftermath of an experience like that we feel ecstatic, inspired, joyful, and fulfilled.

Taking Students There

In Activated Asana we use other tools like pranayama and meditation to assist us in attaining this state. I want to meet my students where they are at. I know I can provide an experience where they are so absorbed by breath, asana, and deeply, searchingly feeling their body that they enter a higher state. A quiet, expansive state of potential.

And I know that my method creates this expanded state while taking exceptionally good care of the sacred vessel – the body.

My 5 year old self wants this for everyone, for the sheer joy of it! My 62 year old self sees this as my dharma.

My area of expertise is in applying the laws and principles of the body to asana. I feel called to bridge this gap so that teachers are not in a position where they have to worry about whether they are harming their students. They don’t have to avoid student questions after class. They know exactly how to help a private student or teach a special group.

But what fuels my fire is my wish for humankind. I want people to know they can heal and adapt, they can do things they never imagined, they are full of potential. Activated Asana is my way of bringing this to people of all abilities.

What fuels your Dharma?

Scroll to Top
one more step

Get instant access to the free lesson

Learn the first “mindset” shift that sets you on the path towards Anatomy Samadhi.