Surfing your Edge
In yoga class, you’ll often hear teachers instruct students to “find the edge” in a given posture. The edge is not the point where you can’t breath or the point where you feel nothing at all, but somewhere in between. I like to teach my students to look for a point of mild discomfort where you can still breath deeply, but there is definitely a sensation of challenge. Pigeon pose is a great place to experiment with your edge.
In pigeon, we focus primarily on relaxing our muscles so that we can allow gravity and our own body weight to open our hips. Usually when I first enter into pigeon my body is a little surprised by this sudden stretch, therefore my muscles contract. At this point my edge is very apparent and very near. However, after a few deep breaths my muscles will relax and my edge will have shifted. I may need to stretch my torso forward and reach my forearms ahead to get back that sensation of challenge. By surfing the edge, you’re able to not only gain optimal physical benefits, but also to keep your mind steady, a practice that offers mental clarity and fresh energy to the mind-body-heart. –Michelle Laxton