Coming to the edge
In practice, we have choices to make when we come to an edge.
The edge could be fear of coming into an inversion. Could be a stretch that brings about an emotional trigger. Could be a reluctance to plaster all of your lower body radically into the floor for cobra. Could be a long hold in plank that the mind refuses to quiet into. The edge could be anything.
At first it’s a matter of actually coming to the edge. And noticing how close we allow ourselves to arrive. Then it expands to noticing what we do when we come to that edge. Where does our awareness go? What happens to our breathing? How do we position ourselves? What part of our frontal personality takes over? What stories or emotions arise? How do we love ourselves when we come to an edge?
In practice, there’s always talk about discovering our true nature. What IS our true nature?
I know one aspect of our true nature is being in pure, total, open Heart-consciousness. This is not dismissing the fact that we are human beings with bodies, emotions, histories, traumas, habits, and real-life circumstances trying to survive in this crazy world.
And this is where choice becomes evident.
To discover our true nature, we have to confront the truth and reality of where we’re currently at. Where do we close, how do we close, when do we close, to what do we close? Through what lens are we seeing? Truly, how open are we within our heart consciousness?
Hatha practice is so good because it shows you exactly what’s up. It reveals to you how you show up, how you choose to engage with life, what you do pretty much all the time and the impact this doing has on your availability to and relationship with Love.
If you actually practice real Yoga, you will get that pop of insight into what you’ve been up to. And with this comes the ‘now what?’
You have options. You can keep rehearsing the same closure over and over again, to which my teacher would say, you might as well bow out of practice right now and go have a cup of coffee. Or you can step into the fire of intensity and love it with your heart. Allow your breath to do its good work and keep outshining the limit you bump up against. As my teacher also says, no one has ever died from staying in an asana for too long.
But be careful. Make sure the reach is coming from the heart and not the mind’s striving for perfection. You know if this is happening because your frontal body softens.
Point being, are we in love? Truly in love?
Practice is about opening. Opening what is closed, contracted, knotted, doubting, fearful. Opening to the Light we are. The Love we are. The Beauty-Bliss we are.