Finding Your Edge in Yoga

Finding Your Edge in Yoga

Finding Your Edge in Yoga

Disappointment is just unrealized expectations. We only experience disappointment with an outcome if our expectation is greater than the reality which manifests. Thus, satisfaction is not realized by accomplishing a goal because of the goal itself; but, rather, satisfaction is relative to an outcome as measured against the desired expectation.

Each asana (or pose) you perform during your yoga practice is perfect if done with intention and focus, and takes you to your edge – regardless of where your edge is at that time. “Your edge” is the limit to which you are able to push yourself within a given pose. First thing in the morning your edge in a forward bend might be reached with hands to knees, while by the afternoon you might not feel challenged until clasping your feet.

Your edge is determined based on feeling. You should feel challenged in each pose, but not past the level of discomfort at which you can still remain calm and keep your breath steady. Not only is that place going to change based on where you are physically, it is also determined by where you are mentally when practicing.

The point is, setting expectations of what each pose should look like will sabotage your practice. Commit, instead, to reaching your edge in each pose. If this is difficult, experiment with closing your eyes while in stretching poses (not balance poses). This will encourage you to focus on how you feel instead of how you look.

Yoga is a personal practice because the only person who can determine if you’re performing to the best of your current ability is you! An instructor can offer guidance and correct technique, but only you know if you are at your edge. So let go of your expectations concerning what the final pose should look like, and concentrate on what it feels like. Be satisfied after a session during which you did your best at that time and carry that mindset throughout the rest of your day. Our best at any task is not constant – it fluctuates due to many variables.

Thus holding onto expectations will not serve you well. Not only will you feel disappointed if you don’t reach that expectation, but you might also fail to push yourself past that point if doing so is attainable.

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