Beyond the edge

January 26, 2015

Do you ever have those moments when everything feels right? You’re in the place you’re supposed to be, everything else melts away and you’re left feeling like ‘yes, this is good.’

I had one such feeling last week.

After neglecting my yoga practice during the holidays (always a bad idea), I finally got back on the mat. As we started to flow through our warm up poses, my body fell back into rhythm with the familiar stretched. Everything was right.

I had the same feeling last night. It had been a very busy (and very fulfilling) weekend. After a late afternoon nap, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend an hour at yoga when there were dishes to be done and dinner to be made.

But I went, and I’m so thankful that I did because it reminded me to push past my edge.

You see, I’d gotten comfortable. I’ve started doing warm yoga fusion which takes place in a heated room (about 90 degrees) and flows through about 26 poses. The flow is the same each class, and I had become comfortable with each pose, simply going through the motions.

At the class two weeks ago, the instructor came over during one of the poses and simply held my feet. With her one small action, I could feel how the pose was supposed to feel, I could feel my muscles working hard, stretching and moving. It was the gentle nudge I needed to really heed the advice of all instructors: find your comfort level, find the edge, and push beyond.

So last night, taking the words to heart, I pushed myself, finding the edge of my capability and pushing past it. Yes, I fell out of many poses, but I also deepened each stretch. Only by pushing beyond where I was comfortable could I see what I was truly capable of accomplishing.

As I worked through the poses last night, I had another one of those moments where everything felt right. My mind was clear, my breath matched my movements, and my body was active.

I want to make yoga my lifestyle. One day, I want to become certified to instruct others, to walk them through their own practice. But for now, I want to learn from the yogis of the past, to fully understand each pose, to embrace falling when I’m pushing myself beyond my edge to find just how capable I am.

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