So, I’m in line at Whole Foods and there is a display of magazines. My eye is drawn to the lady on the front of Yoga Journal. She is demonstrating the pose, Eka Pada Sirsasana (One Leg Behind the Head Pose). It’s not so much that her leg is resting behind her head, but I’m more drawn to look of ease and peace on her face….not even one little tight spot in the brow. I think to myself….I guess she has found her edge. But what does this mean? Often time in class you will hear the phrase play your edge, but does anyone really know where their edge lies?
Let’s first define this imaginary space called the edge. Your edge is that place of feeling a gentle stretch. The edge is bookend with a feeling of nothing, and a feeling of pain. Remember if you feel nothing there is no action, but if you feel only pain the possibilities for growth has been squashed. I refer to this as working your edge which only pays out in aches and frustration the next day. The goal in yoga is to create a gentle stretch in the body that in time will create space. Allowing for greater range of motion and flexibility.
The next time you’re practicing yoga ask yourself….am I feeling nothing, playing my edge, or working it? There is a clear difference between the three. Ok, if you feel nothing than you’re most likely doing nothing. Just begin to move a little deeper into your practice. If you move too fast you will go past your edge on into working your edge. If you arrive at the place of working your edge you will feel pain, tension, frustration and have an absence of breath. Oh yes, and your face will tell the story. Pull back! It’s alright, just pull back and find that place in the middle. When you pull back you will feel a pleasant stretch, developement of strength, a sense of calm and a flow of breath. This can also be refered to as the moment of Goldilocks….playing your edge just right.
I can understand wanting to do a pose that you see on the front of a magazine, but we must be mindful that the individual in the pose played their edge to arrive at that destination……yes, it was a journey. All of our journeys will be different. If we stay true to our edges…. not trying to work, or push pass them….. all poses will unfold in our bodies eventually. And yes, your face will tell that story too.