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Playing the edge or on the edge?


For a week now, I've been working on updating my website, integrating booking, payment and zoom for virtual yoga. I've been "all-in", super focused on creating a beautiful and well functioning website. At dinner, BJ asked me if I was alright, "You seem on edge", he said. Oh my, yes...I'm on THE edge...determined to fix the glitches or die! If you've taken a class or had a yoga therapy session with me, you've heard me ask, "where is the edge now?" Merriam-Webster defines edge as a "an outside limit of an object, area or surface", like a boundary...the part furthest from the center.


In Pheonix Rising Yoga Therapy, edge refers to that place of body sensation, it's a range really. When moving into posture, there is the beginning of sensation and as we establish the posture the sensation can deepen or change. The question is meant to draw you inward to notice what is happening in your body now. As we sense the sensations, we discover we have choices to go deeper and experience more intensity, or, we can back off and experience less intensity. This is what is meant by playing the edge and one of the greatest benefits of practicing yoga. Playing the edge is what enables us to grow and expand beyond where we are now. It is also what keeps us safe from injury and harm.


Amrit Ray says, "Yoga is not just repetition of a few postures, it is more about the discovery of the subtle energies of life." Ayurvedic medicine, the sister philosophy of yoga, teaches that there are generally 3 kinds of people who energetically approach life differently, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata-types are always like the wind, in motion, love change and typically flit from moment to moment. Pitta types are fiery, approach life with intensity and determination. Kapha-types are earthy, tend toward slowness, groundedness, and stability. While this sounds like a gross generalization, it is important to remember that there are infinite expressions and combinations of each type and this energy is subtle, meaning often operating in us below our conscious awareness. We have all three types in us in different combination, and all expressed in the world as well. One is not better than another. And yet, suffering arises when there is an excess or depletion of this energy in our lives. This is where yoga therapy can support rebalancing this energy to health again.


In my case, my Pitta-nature was driving me to perfect my website. Realizing I was at my edge, my morning practice became an opportunity for playing with that edge and discovering that what can rebalance me is learning to let go. Even more so, asking for help is way to grow. Playing with the edge with a trained yoga therapist becomes the place of discovering the way you approach and interact in edges which is important because life is full of edges!



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