Emotional edge, what is that?
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