In Yin Yoga, a common instruction is “Find an appropriate edge.”
What this means – “Find a place where you can hang out. You are slightly uncomfortable, but you can sit with it a while.”
Yin yoga has you stay in one pose for an extended period. It can be very uncomfortable. However, in this process, I find that I leave one of these sessions feeling more peaceful.
Appropriate edge changes daily.
Some days I better tolerate sensation and discomfort.
Some days I can stretch more.
And some days, I have to ratchet WAY back – supporting EVERYTHING with props and reducing the time spent in pose.
I have found that life works this way as well. Some days, I’m in a space where I am looking to “stretch myself” and can tolerate the discomfort that entails. Other days – I’m already so uncomfortable that I just can’t.
I’ve noticed, in both myself and others, that we assume that our “appropriate edge” is both much further than is truly appropriate (no pain, no gain = invitation to long-standing injury) and is based on our best days when we are at our most flexible and pain-tolerant.
We forget that we are organic beings with variable energy.
What is your “appropriate edge” today?
Melissa West – Yin Yang Theory, Episode 497 – I’ve been following Melissa West’s yoga for at least 8 years. She’s the online yoga teacher I point most beginners towards. Her workouts are very do-able for everyone, she has wise recommendations for replacement exercises, and she combines theory/story and practice in a beautiful way – demonstrating how yoga (or, really, any physical practice) can integrate mind and spirit with body.