Relationships

What Is An Emotional Edge And Why Do We Need To Respect it?

Emotional edge, what is that?

Annie Au Yin Yoga Teacher Training 2020

 

For many seasoned Yin yogis, you might be quite familiar with the physical edge. A famous analogy of the physical edge is the Panda vs. Black Knight. As famously coined by the founder of modern Yin yoga Paul Grilley, the Pandas are students who never lean enough into their physical edge in a Yin posture, thus never receiving the benefits of Yin yoga (the works of Yin yoga is to stimulate our connective tissues through passive hold over time). On the contrary, the Black Knights are those who believe in the mantra ‘No pain, no gain.’ They are the students that Yin teachers need to look out for, as they tend to push beyond their physical edges and put themselves at high risk for injuries.

So what about the emotional edge? What exactly is it?

Ever done a practice where you’re on the verge of crying? You might be feeling emotional that day or you’ve been going through some hardships in life. We’ve all been there. There are also times where you don’t even know where the tears are coming from, but they’re there. This, my friend, is our emotional edge. It’s an abstract line that divides you from experience hard human emotions. For some people, forward folds trigger anxiety and for others hip-openers are the doorway to sadness. It could also be irrelevant to the poses; you’re just feeling all the feels that particular day.

While we’re practicing, we must respect our emotional edge the way we respect our physical edge. Imagine our uncomfortable feelings are our connective tissues. We lean in just enough to maximize awareness and stimulate growth. We check in with ourselves to see what our emotional landscape is that day, and how we can navigate our discomforts through self-acceptance. If we never lean in, we’re always lingering superficially and never go to the depths where our highest potential awaits us.  On the other hand, if we over step our emotional edge, we are damaging our psyche and abandoning self-love.

Respecting our emotional edge is an act of non-violence (Ahimsa). We learn through our Yin yoga practice how to create healthy boundaries for ourselves. Overtime, you’d see that the awareness you have in your practice would transfer to everything you do in life. Establishing a symbiotic relationship with our intimate partner, family/friends, and coworkers requires us to respect our emotional needs and set clear boundaries.

Everything starts with us. Begin on the mat and slowly out into the world.

 

Namaste & LOVE

Annie

How to be more forgiving through your meditation practice

How to be more forgiving through your meditation practice

by Charlie Morley

How to be more forgiving through my meditation practice Annie Au yoga

 

Forgiving a person for something that they did wrong can either be very easy or extremely difficult, it all depends on the situation. For example, forgiving your spouse because they forgot to buy milk is a lot easier than having to forgive a cheating partner.

Quite simply, the act of forgiving might not always be easy, however, regardless of other's actions, forgiveness can be a very important step to take in order to move on to the next stage in your life.

 

A lack of forgiveness can foster anger, anxiety and ultimately a whole host of other negative thoughts and feelings that could have severe effects on your mental well-being.

Fortunately, regular meditation nurtures mindfulness, as well as a host of other qualities including gratitude, which in return goes hand in hand with forgiveness.

Let's take a closer look at how being mindful through meditation can help you to be become a more forgiving person and how you can incorporate a short forgiveness practice in your everyday routine.

 

Name it

Identifying the source of your anger is the first step on your journey of forgiveness. It is difficult to forgive if you don’t know who to forgive and why.

With the help of meditation and being mindful of the situation you can clear up the question of who and why. Write it down in order to make it even clear if needed.

 

Flip your focus

How to be more forgiving through my meditation practice Annie Au yoga

Meditation creates a space where you are able to process all of the relevant information in your mind without any outside influence or judgment.

Over reaction and premature assumptions are often times the main causes of anger. 

Place yourself in the other parties shoes, try to understand why the acted the way they did. Understanding their point of view, or their way of thinking will go a long way in the process of forgiveness.

 

Take action (baby steps are ok)

Confronting the person that wronged you can be very intimidating, taking action doesn’t imply that you have to do this, start small instead.

 

Take action by doing small deeds that empower you.

Regular mindfulness meditation is a great example of how to take action and empowering yourself. It is a lot easier to forgive when you feel empowered and confident within yourself. 

 

Find meaning through your pain

With the help of mindfulness meditation it is possible to find meaning through your pain.

Through meditation you are able to think about your pain in a clear and objective space and learn from what went wrong, you might find that this will foster empathy and understanding in the long run.

 

Guided forgiveness meditation practice:

 

Step 1 - Think of someone who has caused you harm, or someone that you may hold a grudge against.

 

Step 2 - Visualize the time that you were hurt by this person, feel the pain and emotions that this hurt brought about

 

Step 3 - Be aware of how you body starts to feel, focus on your anxiety levels, heart rate etc.

 

Step 4 - Now ask yourself the question, who is really suffering from this? Is it you? Or is it the person that you are holding the grudge against?

 

Step 5 - Are you ready to forgive this person and remove this pain from your heart and mind? It is ok if the answer is no, but if you are ready then acknowledge this pain and also acknowledge to yourself that you are willing to forgive and free yourself from this burden.

 


Author - Charlie Morley

Charlie enjoys both yoga and meditation and incorporating both as part of his morning routine is something that he strives for everyday. Outside of work, Charlie enjoys sports and other social gatherings. Follow his spiritual journey at Kenshō way.


 

Yin & Yang: How Balanced Are You?

Yin & Yang: How Balanced Are You?


The Yin Yang Theory is based on ancient Daoism. With darkness comes light, as we observe closer to nature, we realize that the universe is a delicate balance of the Yin and Yang energy. 

Yin represents softness, grace, Divine Mother, passive, darkness, and shade. Yang represents rising, power, action, masculine force, action, and brightness. As humans, we are in the ebb and flow of these two essential components of life. We rise with the Sun and rest with the Moon. We take actions in life and retreat into solitude to rest. Like the season, our true nature embeds this delicate balance.

When we're off balance, our body, mind, and spirit dwindle. Juggling too many things, we fall short on sleep, over-caffeinated, digestion slows down, and anxiety or depression sets in. In Yoga, life is a journey of reaching a higher state of consciousness. What does that mean? From the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, the Eight Limbs Path is a step-by-step manual showing us how to reach fixed concentration (meditation) and ultimately reaching Samadhi (absorption). 

How we do anything is how we do everything. Our yoga practice is a sacred mirror of our life. Are you practicing just power-based yoga and not balancing with meditation or Yin yoga? Are you rushing in life from one stop to another and never stop to smell the roses? 

Take a look. 

If you feel that you're out of balance, here are a few tips you can try:

1. Practice In The Morning

Morning is usually the best time to practice yoga. It can be physical postures, or seated meditation and breathing exercises. Starting the day with yoga can help harmonize the rest of your hectic day. If that is not feasible, do a 5-minute meditation before you eat breakfast and see how small actions can have a huge effect on your mind.

2. Mindfulness Time-Out

Every hour or so, take a mindfulness time-out. A mindfulness time-out is when you pause and tune back to your senses. Smell the air, taste your coffee, listen to the sound in your surrounding, and take a look at the fine details of a flower or painting. Mindfulness time-out can help take you out of your mind and back to the present moment.

3. Choose your yoga practice wisely

Sometimes we get fixated on the style of yoga we practice. The truth is, we have to practice to what our body truly needs that day. I am a supporter of discipline and feel that we should keep to a routine. However, if we're already having a super busy day, it's good to end the day with some gentle Yin yoga and meditation. 

4. No yoga is sometimes the best yoga

If you're constantly busy doing a million things from the moment you get up, see if you can take a day where you do absolutely nothing. Eat alone and enjoy the taste of the food, read or take a slow walk in nature; smell the air and appreciate the beauty of the people and things around you. 

Finding balance is a skill that we can cultivate. Try these tips out and see how it feels to be in complete harmony.

Love. What Does It Mean?

“To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.” – Mary Oliver

 

I find in most of my twenties, I’ve been chasing for love or being chased by love. The unbearable sadness that over washes me with every break up inevitably counters by warm comfort in new encounters. Weaving through this connectedness of sadness and joy, I tirelessly search for happiness. Slowly I come to realize that the true essence of happiness is absurdly fleeting. When grasping desperately to our mortal love, it essentially yields to nothing but sorrow, disappointment and pain, lots of pain. Not just emotional pain, also the physical pain in my heart that penetrates so deeply into my soul; it hurts on so many levels. Letting the tears fall freely, I witness the weaknesses in me. Though there is an underlying beauty here; I’m quite familiar with indeed. It is the grace that comes with every fall will and always followed by limitless opportunities; for that I courageously smile. 

There are two types of love, one that we dive in headfirst and another where we wade in the water. Which is fuller? I’ll let you decide. A friend once said, 'we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience.' If so, to love wholeheartedly with no expectations and conditions, that I believe, is the greatest form of human experience. Like a mother loving her children, can we also extend that infinite love to our partner? And when it is time to let go, can we detach from what we once proclaimed as ours?

The pendulum of emotions swings vivaciously as we tread through this life. If happiness is fleeting, so is sadness. As I recognize the impermanence of life, I also see beauty in it. In the end, whenever that is, having known that I have loved what is mortal, harbor that love with all that I had and graciously let go when it was the time, I’d reckon I have participated fully in this human life. 

 

This article is written by Annie Au. RYT 500, yoga teacher, vegan and traveler. 

Spirit Soul Surf

Flowing through the creeks and grooves of life, at times it’s smooth and at times it’s not. My spirit is my smile, witty jokes, ambition, handstands; napping on a blanket in a warm summer day and sipping chilled mango shakes under the swaying palm trees. I would ride that spirit wave high to elation and giggles; laugh until my stomach aches and my arms sore from doing too many cartwheels. Let’s radiate my positive light to my lover, friends and strangers. I am invincible, secured and bright. This is my spirit.

When the moon wanes and the tides are low, my spirit dwindles so thin that it flickers unnoticeably even in the darkest night. Who is there then? Who is there to caress my insecure heart and hold my trembling hand?


My soul replies: “me.”

Like draping a fresh warm towel over my stone cold feet or slowly dipping my overworked rigid body into a hot simmering bath, my soul soothes the wrinkles on my forehead and wipes the tear lines off my cheeks. It is my aloneness and quietness, a cup of hot tea and a good fictional book or to curl myself under the heavy blanket listening to the monsoon falling tumultuously outside. Like plugged-in to the blues music at an underground jazz lounge, my soul enwraps me entirely and transcends me into a self-healing plane of existence. 

spritsoul.jpg

This is my ride on my Spirit Soul surf. I know when I fall, it’s when I cling on to the sense of ‘foreverness’.  Nothing is forever. My perceived ever-lasting elation is fleeting and so is the last drop of tears before I helplessly smile again. 

So hang on to your dreams and goals when your spirit runs high; and surrender with grace when your soul sets in.

Sending out this Serenity prayer to the vast universe, I hope it will reach you, when you need it most:

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can;
 and the wisdom to know the difference.

 Oceans of LOVE

Annie