Bemused looks cross the faces of loved ones whenever I espouse the virtues of AF, which is often. “You crawl around on all fours like an animal,” they muse, metaphorically scratching their heads. “How is that life changing?” But if you know, you know…
Some days I wake up and I don’t automatically spring out of bed. Some days I wake up and I don’t feel like sitting at my laptop for endless hours or responding to messages or doing another Zoom session. I love my life; I love the people in it, and I am lit up by what I do. And yet some days I just don’t want to wade through the admin that goes hand-in-hand with being an adult.
I turn to Animal Flow to borrow firepower in the times when my own has fizzled out. It’s a melting pot, filled to the brim with the exact ingredients that help fortify me, in ways that far exceed the simple adaptations of physical activity.
Master Instructor, Alisha Smith, demonstrating a Front Step for workshop attendees.
AF reminds me to participate. It compels me; it helps me actually want to join in. I see someone in our community practicing a move that challenges them and it inspires me to reach out with a digital fist bump or do a few reps in solidarity. I watch someone perform a beautiful Flow and I’m encouraged to find ways to use my energy more gracefully and elegantly, not only in a Flow, but also in the way I interact with the world each day.
It has helped me seek out nuance, to appreciate the tiny details in life rather than bulldozing my way through them in pursuit of the bigger, shinier moments. It has developed my ability to see within the darkness of my own body, to feel when something is out of alignment, and to know what it needs in order to begin the work of bringing it back towards balance. It continues to do the same for my mind.
I could dedicate chapters to the humans of Animal Flow. They have become some of my dearest friends and my most trusted allies. They are the ones who have shown love to me in the moments when I have struggled to muster much for myself. This community, forged from humble beginnings, has gained a life, an energy, a personality all of its own. It has proven time and again to be a home to so many. It is an oasis of positivity and growth that is protected fiercely, not just by those at the top, but by the individuals around the world who invest in it constantly. If you are reading this, then you are part of it; know that your presence here is felt and valued.
Yes, I practice Animal Flow for the myriad physical benefits, however it would be scratching the surface to stop there.
I Flow to feel connected to something bigger than me, something that feels like it contributes positive energy to a world that needs all the positivity it can get.
I Flow, not to be the greatest of all time, but to be as good as I can be in that moment.
I Flow to remember that discomfort in Flow, as in life, is inevitable and yet it does not need to be synonymous with suffering. If I can choose to embrace the discomfort, then I can choose to reject the suffering.
I Flow because sometimes it is the only thing that can stop the intensity of the outside world from relentlessly forcing its way in.
I Flow because choosing not to is, instead, choosing to ebb, to recede, decline, decay.
Alisha performing a Reaching Underswitch.
There is a saying that those who are interested are perceived as interesting. I believe the same to be true of inspiration. And yet even if you’re not feeling inspired, you can still be inspiring. Often, to be inspiring, you just have to show up and do the things that light you up. In doing so, you show everyone around you that it is safe for them to be who they truly are.
Animal Flow provides every single Flowist–irrespective of level, location or language–with a space to do just that.
Perhaps that’s why I Flow.
Are you ready to become an Animal Flow Certified Instructor or dive deeper into your own practice? Join a live workshop in your area, or an online workshop from anywhere in the world. Visit the website for full details and to register.