Finding your edge

As we moved from asana to asana, the teacher wove through our mats and urged us to: “find your edge”, “push to reach your limit”, “ease past your comfort zone”. This is common language in a vinyasa class.

Hearing these suggestions, I realized where I was at – I had no comfort zone. I wasn’t living in a stable place of ease and routine and comfort that I had a need to push beyond. My existence since my son was born had already been past my limit and beyond my edge. I had been struggling to get back to a sense of home, of ease – to find my down dog in the middle of the vinyasa. I had been looking for that slow deep breath of stability in the midst of persevering through effort – that moment of stillness within perpetual movement.

In class that day I wasn’t looking to push further in the effort. I was resistant to the message. I wanted slow, steady, calm, comfortable, expected. I feel at home in a yoga class because it is routine and known to me. I don’t have to think or learn; I can just do and be.

I spent much of my daily life in resistance so I decided to not resist the message, to let go and not let my thoughts about limitations block my movements. I would just do. I would accept the challenge. I would trust that pushing myself, even though I felt like I had nothing more to give, would bring more ease in the end than just going through the motions in a comfortable way, without awareness, distracted by my mind.

I found that as I focused on my body, I got out of my head and my thoughts and into my body. I forgot about the diaper delivery that didn’t come, cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night, and how I struggle to not hold onto resentments in my life and instead focused on the release of tension from my hip in eka pada rajakapotasana (pigeon pose). I noticed where my imbalance was coming from in sirsasana (headstand) and how many breaths I could last before coming down. I felt my bone alignment and struggling flexibility in hanumanasa (splits).

I pushed – I wanted to feel the pain, the release of toxins from my muscles, and breathe it out of my body. I wanted to feel something that wasn’t heartache, frustration or exhaustion. I wanted to feel my own body again, not my body in relation to my child (a wonderful yet binding attachment) – just me. I felt like I needed a physical pummeling. In a good way!

The most profound moment of the class was in savasana (corpse pose) when the teacher massaged my shoulders and head. That healing touch let me know what I was missing. Baby hugs and kisses and tickles are like nothing else – the epitome of sweetness and softness and pure love. But I needed to be kneaded, I needed the tension manipulated out of my body, I needed physical help releasing all that I had been holding onto.

I needed to be challenged to push myself, to be guided out of my head, to be put into savasana and a deep level of rest, and I needed healing touch. I went beyond my beyond and it pulled me back to a place of ease.

3 thoughts on “Finding your edge

  1. Right now I need a moment with my archaic self … the one able to move freely, and at will across the divide of spirit and matter, touching the primordial, sensing the origin of things resonant and living in the ancient realms of soul. The one who listens deeply and responds to the echoes resonating across the riven landscapes of her own soul so that, unlike exquisite Narcissus, she is able, if only for a precious moment, to avert the self-absorbed gaze and take in the whole world … stillness, peace, truth, breath, and the sweet fragrance of heaven.

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