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· · · Mastering the art of flow


Mastering the art of flow

Taking your life and Martial Arts/Yoga practice to the next level 
by following the meaning of triskelion and natural rhythm in life


The meaning of the triskelion

The triskelion is a beautiful Celtic symbol. Exploring the meaning of it can, in a refreshing and profound way, help you to take your martial arts or Yoga practice an essential step further.

It represents the trinity of mind, body and soul, in perfect harmony and balance. It is a moving form of spirals that shows us the evolution and detachment to situations. It moves the individual from their common mental, spiritual and physical center. Where the three spirals arise, they join the outer circle in representing a human being, evenly composed of all its elements. 
The first spiral represents the limitations and capacities as well as the feelings and senses of the body; the second represents the way of ideas and thoughts, reason and conscience; finally the third spiral is known as the path of the soul and spirit. In short, the triskel represents the perpetual learning as well as the evolution of being and universe.

The meaning and symbolism of the triskelion gives rise to many interpretations. The rotating curved shape of its branches would be a symbol of dynamism, movement and enthusiasm in opposition to all that is straight and fixed. You could also see it as a symbol of life and the natural rhythm in life of coming and going.


Following the law of rhythm in personal growth

We are all familiar with these rhythms as they are visible in a.o. the tides of the ocean, the wave of our breath and the pulse of our heart. Following a basic principle of flow: the continuity in transitioning between the three phases of a cycle that create a wave or spiral structure (beginning, middle and end). We humans have a similar spiraling process of growth. 
The more we are able to recognize the rhythmic waves of spiral development consciously, the more we will be able to move 'with the flow’. And grow in the most easy way, the way of the least resistance. In other words, paying attention to rhythm (beginning, middle and end) in our practice is the open secret to flow in movement (which creates effortless movement).


Executing drills and exercises on 3 levels

In many martial arts the practice of drills or exercises is to develop certain and specific qualities, attributes and understanding. There is a common problem that many students and instructors repeat/copy drills from their teachers. In their own interpretation and understanding, they believe they will achieve good results because they follow instruction. But this interpretation often leads to a dissapointing result. Or worst in something different or in the opposite direction of where the person wants to go and learn.

“Once you understand the purpose of a push up and you do it right, 
you don’t need to do it anymore. One repetition will be enough”. 
Vladimir Vasiliev (Chief Instructor of Systema)

What is unique about Systema is that many (if not all, can’t assure until my masters confirm it) exercises/drills work and challenge you on the three essential aspects of human being: Body, mind and spirit. Many people grow in some of these aspects, depending on their first aproach. Nevertheless, growth will tend to stuck after some time if they keep on working only on 1 aspect. The more they start to consciously work on three levels (and follow the basic principle of rhythm and flow), the more easy and natural they will grow in their practice.

Consider the basic push up, known in every practice. You can consider it as a “body” exercise, for example good for developing strikes. You could also consider it as a way to feel and deal with your emotions and “self pitty”. Or maybe, someone will experience it as a drill for connecting with your spiritual zone, for example praying during push ups. Reality is that a drill like that, doing it in the  proper manner, will work on THE 3 LEVELS, not only one.
We often have no idea about the meaning of them and how to apply the exercises correctly. We repeat them without any consciousness of what we are doing. Or worse, our thoughts are wandering off to our daily concerns and ‘to do’s’. Doing the drills, without mindfulness and selfawareness immediately lengthens your path of growth. And repeating them in this way tends to deteriorate in other things.


Consciously choosing drills and exercises

Some drills or exercises you only need to execute for a certain period of time. Then it is not necessary to repeat them anymore. They have accomplished their objective. Others stay with us almost forever, like certain core themes in your personal growth. You grow in practising and working with it, and in time you’ll find growth in consciously deepening it out on the 3 levels. 
And then there are many combinations possible. You need to choose which ones and for how long you will devote yourself to it. Some you have to do by intuition, others need personal guidance. That is the way it is. no matter if we agree or not. 
In the old mystic traditions it is said that every person knows from within what is right and wrong and what choices to be made. But it requires to go within and really listen to what your heart and intuition is telling you.

For many people this is a big challenge, because they tend to follow others or analysing from a busy mind that tells them to work harder, doing the same over and over again.  The result is often that they repeat exercises for a long period (or their whole life), without noticing and feeling if these are the exercises they really need to reach better quality of movement.

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