We often talk about playing with our ‘edge’ in yoga classes but can the same be applied to our fitness classes? How do we protect and push ourselves at the same time? Both the body and mind need challenge to stay strong and healthy: too little stress and the tissues atrophy. However too much stress and the tissues degenerate. The ‘edge’ is when we learn to read whether it’s a physical or a mental thing that is limiting us.
Pre-conditioning, bad habits, ideas of perfection, not good enough-ness…these ‘monkey’ thoughts wave in and out of the mind on a daily basis, limiting our growth and progression. The physical body can be limited by stiffness, lack of strength and endurance. Our yoga and fitness practice should be equally about strengthening the mind as well as the body.
Knowing when to dig deep to push on and when to pull back can be the difference between great change and injury!! Distractions in the mind such as boredom, frustration and laziness limit our progression. However ego and competitiveness can throw us over the edge and that is when we harm ourselves. When we push ourselves and achieve something we didn’t think we were capable of, it fortifies the body, mind and soul…this is when growth and change occurs. However we must also become intuitive in our bodies and minds, and acknowledge where they are on that particular day, there is a fine line between pain and pleasure. In yoga it’s about practicing ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence to ourselves – being our own best friend and developing full health. Be kind to yourself!
The ‘edge’ is ultimately about mindfulness – anchoring ourselves into the present moment – feeling into sensations and recognizing your body, mind and emotional state will be different from day to day – teaching us to push ourselves mentally and emotionally off our mats as well.
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