The Edge


Happy Halloween! Check-in & let us know what active things you’ve been up to.

Today I wanted to share the concept of the edge, as explained by Baron Baptiste, who is an eclectic yogi out of Boston.  He’s pulled bits & pieces from personal training, weight lifting, martial arts, iyengar & ashtanga yoga, etc. to create a style of yoga coined as Baptiste Power Yoga.  I just recently finished his book & really liked some parts of it.  I apologize in advance for this being kind of a long quote.  If you’re not into yoga, no problem, substitute in “running” or “lifting” or whatever workout you’re into; this applies across the board:

Opportunities for transformation lie at a place called the edge. “The edge is where we come right up against ourselves and what we can do and be.  It is the boundary between where we are and where we grow, the place of comfortable discomfort, where all growing and healing happens.  The edge is the point in every pose when you are still within your capacities but are challenging yourself to go just a little bit further.  Stepping up to this edge and daring to leap is how you break through and thus break with old ways of being…It is only when we are tired and ready to come out of [a yoga pose] that the pose really begins for us.  You come up against fatigue, resistance, fear- all kinds of head trips.  Your instinct may be to flee … But that is precisely when you have the chance for a breakthrough.  That is the edge.  The moment of truth, when you can transcend your boundaries and grow.  You know you are on your way when you feel resistance… welling up in you.  It is so powerful when you really start to get that and begin to view those moments as opportunities for growth rather than signals to quit.  These moments are precisely what develop strength and serenity… Playing your edge in yoga doesn’t always mean ‘going for it,’ or pushing yourself to do something that overwhelms you. That’s ego stuff and it can lead to injury.  We’re talking about peeling away your layers like the layers of an onion, not ripping them off through force.”   -Baron Baptiste

In the audio book version he even relates this to weight lifting, and how after you feel spent, it’s taking 1-2 extra reps at the end that make such a huge leap in building your strength.  After sharing a few bits of the quote above with a group of yogis in my class this past Saturday, a veteran student of mine came up to me afterwards and shared a similar insight about holding onto a pose just a second longer than you thought you could.  He said a navy seal once told him that when your mind thinks it’s done and 100% spent, your body is only at about 40% capability.   Just something to chew on.

Do any of you have any thoughts to share or comments about hanging in there an extra few moments, an extra few reps, and extra few laps?

Make it a phenomenal week!  Push against the edge.

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