“How Flow Literally Shapes Who We Are”
September 27, 2021
When I started my (fitness) flow journey in 2019, I can pretty much tell you that I went in without any intent of finding flow, more so finding freedom through flow. In fact, I was only attracted to the idea of “flow” due to my lack of interest in, generally speaking, “conventional training”. Up to date, I still have very little love for lifting weights. Doing deadlifts or bicep curls still do not excite me. My heart doesn’t beat faster from the thought of it, but that’s a ‘me’ problem. No lie.
Throughout my time exploring rope flow, I have found so many theories that I enjoyed building just to break. And perhaps, that is for another discussion to document. Today, I had an epiphany that got me to tie all the bits and pieces of flow. For the longest time, it was so hard for me to put into words why I am a stronger person, in every capacity, through rope flow. For me, rope flow has opened up a path that, in my own opinion, woke up the beast in me. This cannot be stopped. That is why “Slush Flow” resonates hard. If you don’t know what that is, I definitely recommend that you Google it. “Slush Flow”, when it happens, cannot be stopped. Law of Nature.
Before I can even go on with this theory, I want to establish a general snapshot of my journey. When I started rope flow in September of 2019, my intention was to continue my love for jump rope without provoking any more injuries I had from excessive jumping… jumping rope. Yeah, that was my fault. I was addicted to the amount of weight I was losing. When you’re getting results, it’s hard to stop. I finally stopped after going through a week of insane pain, needles prickling through my feet and ankles. I hated that time of my life. I couldn’t even get out of bed. I was so broken, feeling like it was the end of my dream of becoming a professional jumper.
When things end, beautiful things start. This is when I learned how to rope flow. What is super interesting was during this time, in 2019, Instagram didn’t really have a huge rope flow community. I remember getting trolled online, comments such as “LOL you didn’t even jump the rope”, you know… stuff like that. 2019 was a time when rope flow was super tiny. I only knew one guy named Joe who did it, and he was my only source of information. It was such a new thing online, though this practice was established by David Weck, founder of Weck Method, in the early 2000s. I just learned about this 2 weeks ago by the way. I mention that to establish how long this practice has been around, while the “general population” not knowing too much about it. That includes me.
When I got my RMT rope, I had no clue what “Weck Method” was all about. I literally thought that the site was just your average fitness website that sold fitness products. I was led there by Joe. I’ll have to take a pause here and mention that at that time, I had zero knowledge in anything. I was your average “gen pop” person. Zero clue about fitness, nothing. I wasn’t even interested in being a better athlete. That was irrelevant for me. Fast forward to receiving my RMT rope that was on backorder for what felt like a lifetime, I finally received it. Knowing what I knew from jump rope and having zero clues where I can get information, I approached the RMT rope with an open mind. I treated it like it was a jump rope, and removed the jumping from it. Going back to the guy named Joe, I watched a lot of his flows and tried to replicate it. At that time, I was literally this person who could not wrap their head around biomechanical terms. Til this day, it’s still not english for me. I verbally don’t understand it, but I can definitely replicate it.
Two months into following Joe, he disappeared online. I was left for the rest of 2019 to figure things out for myself. Again, 2019 was a time when the rope flow community barely existed. I didn’t know where to get information. With that said, I had to go hard on exploration.
Fast forward to today, my strong understanding of rope flow has allowed me to pick up other (fitness) tools with ease. 2020 was my time of exploring with other (unconventional) tools. Sometime this year, I leveled up hard. I started to realize that all of this “flow” stuff is the same, just delivered differently. Throughout this year, I was able to dive deep into my steel mace flow journey. My mentorship with Leo Savage has helped me so much in gaining insight that plays a huge role in this article. When he took me on, he pushed me to get certified to get some formal learning in. In my steel mace journey, I realized how beautiful it is that we can make shapes with our body.
This is where the real theory starts. I left my Steel Mace Certification with so much appreciation for shapes. Like wow, that is so beautiful. I started to realize that in every form of “flow arts” (from pois to rope flow, and everything in between), that it is literally all about the shapes we create… that all geometrically align one way or another. Hence why when someone understands flow, they can pick up other (fitness) tools and adapt.
The shapes our body makes when performing flow arts vary depending on the tool, or must I say toy, you’re using. So we’ll leave this here for now.
There is an American social psychologist named Amy Cuddy, and her life’s work is specializing in “Power Posing”. At this point, I need you to hang tight because it might seem like all of this can be nonsensical. She believes that “power posing” , standing in a posture of confidence, is a way to feel confident even when we’re not feeling confident. In her study, she shares different levels of power poses. To make it simple, there are 2 tiers of a power pose: (1) High power pose and (2) Low Power Pose.
- High Power Pose - Think of ANY superhero, and look at their stance. You will find that their body posture is bold and wide. Think of SuperMan or Wonder Woman. Moreover, high power poses look a lot like creating a V shape with your hands, putting your hands on hips, or having your hands crossed behind your head to name a few.
- Low Power Pose - Having your arms crossed over your chest, one arm self hug, hunching, one hand touching your neck to name a few.
Posture is nonverbal, and body language is a form of communication. When we change our posture, we change the shape of our body which ultimately influences our mind at least on the surface level- but that’s not to minimize its importance.
In flow, specifically in the fitness community, we create shapes that require instant changes in postures. In my theory, I believe that these non verbal movements are so powerful and play a detrimental role on who we eventually become as a person, and not only as an athlete. This is why I have always felt that “Soul Flow” is important, that flowing to express is so detrimental for one’s soul. It’s taking some time to put in the words for it, and I’m glad that I’m understanding more.
Indian Club Flow, in my opinion, ranks the highest in power poses. Whether we are simply creating full circles with both clubs or creating synchronized patterns. Indian club flow is home to creating patterns that end up having our arms in a V shape. And not only that, it is quite difficult to use the clubs without standing tall.
I don’t think it’s important to rate all the other modalities in the unconventional world, because that is not the point. The point is, every modality requires the person to create shapes with their body that ultimately leads to a shift in how we see ourselves. We all can agree that movement is medicine. I am hoping that this realization elaborates on that.
In each movement there is posture. There are inherent power poses in every modality of flow. And my God, this changes the way I see life. I hope that it changes the way you see life too.
If body language is a form of a nonverbal communication, then it makes me think about what type of message we send ourselves when we flow. I bet it is nothing but ELEVATING.
If creating shapes with our body is required to perform specific moves in our modality, then it makes me think about the subconscious influence it has with our mind. I bet it’s nothing but a game changer.
In every modality, every “drill” requires the user to be in a specific stance. The body posture required to execute such drill hides in plain sight of power poses. With that said, in whatever modality we flow with, we are only bound to shape ourselves in ways that only elevate us. Every time we flow, it literally shapes who we are.