Monday, November 9, 2009
This week I seek to push against my own edges.
I heard from Rusty Wells that it's worth it: "Most people don't even know where their edge is." This was part of the answer to a question I asked:
What is the relationship between Ahimsa (non-harming) and pushing beyond the limitations of mind in poses?
This question was born out of my experience in his workshop at Moksha Yoga this past weekend: Rusty really encourages people to do more than they think they can, and sometimes it hurts to go beyond what you think you can do. But you don’t know until you try it. And when you do go beyond what you thought you could there is an incredible sense of accomplishment. So the experience was empowering for me, and I was just a bit sore afterwards.
And in life I do tend to enter into experiences that I am familiar with, which is fine. However, I do feel the call to go beyond that, but how?
Rusty also said that he practices before he teaches, and that he pushes himself hard. Otherwise he wouldn’t be okay with telling other people to do this hard work.
Pushing beyond what I know to be limits IS painful and scary. It proves that I don’t really know what I thought I did. But this is the kind of pain and fear that is good. This kind of pain might not be himsa (harmful). In fact it might help me grow beyond my complacency.
How can you even approach going beyond what you think you already know? The easiest way is when someone else takes you there. Like, a yoga teacher might help you to see that you can do a pose that you didn’t think you could.
But in a personal yoga practice, I guess I do it when I listen to the sensations in my body. I tend to get more sore in my personal practice than I do in most classes, and I think it’s because I’m better at being at my real edge in the poses when I’m practicing on my own. I’m also a lot more flexible in my own space and timing.
In meditation, I also seem to get opportunities to see a new angle on things, or when I wake up from a dream I might also have a revelation.
In my daily life I’d like to be better at recognizing the opportunities to see new things in people and places I already know. And I’d like to allow these fresh insights guide me out of my cloying comfort zone. Or more appropriately, I’d like to expand my zone of comfort to include trying more new things. And maybe I can get started by looking for the pliable edges. At the edge I can experience what I know and shift to experience something new, and adapt to that using the language I already am familiar with to start to describe and embrace something new.
Jai! This is how the classes with Rusty Wells ended. It means victory, or right on! Something like that…