Within your practice you have to find your edge and that is DIFFERENT for EVERYBODY. Too often I see people pushing themselves beyond what they can do for the sake of their ego and how the posture looks. They then can’t cope and really to start struggle in the practice ….this is not yoga!
I say in class all the time, “Do a bit less and get more out of what you’re doing.” Break things down for yourself so you can actually experience what’s happening to you internally as you’re doing it. This also helps you to start experiencing the Present moment much more during the class, which is the key to having a powerful practice. “Yoga is happening on the inside….. Not on the outside” As well as all the health benefits from the heat, it also makes your practice more meditative, as you start to connect more intuitively with it.
Pulling out of a posture slightly instead of going full pelt at it will help you to find your limit and then when your body is ready, new edges will start opening up to you.
In Yin Yoga there are a few main principles which you can apply to any yoga practice:
1. Go to your first edge, where your body naturally stops.
2. Remain still. And observe.
3. Then allow your body to find your next edge.
4. Enjoy the space rather than struggling with it!! Simple but very effective.
By not going as deep as you possibly can right away, you give your body the chance to open up and invite you in. The more you work with your body and listen to it, the more you’ll find your practice deepening.
For beginners and those trying new classes, its really important to look for your boundaries.. “If you’re feeling it, you’re doing it”. That might mean your shape isn’t as pretty as the guy in the front row. It might mean you have to miss out the odd posture while you catch your breath. The shape is the vehicle for you to connect with your body and feel what’s going on.”We don’t use our body to get into a pose, we use the pose to get into our body”
So while performing the shapes with the correct alignment is important, what’s really crucial is what’s happening to YOU in the process. Its where the rubber hits the road. Its also natural to want to avoid fear and discomfort for what you’re experiencing, which is why moving towards your boundaries is so powerful because as you move towards them the fear/discomfort lessens. Our edges are always changing too, because our bodies change from one day to the next. And it is not always forward..sometimes we have to wait for awhile, or maybe go back a little bit and then move forward again. Discovering patience in our practice is such a gift.