In yoga, there’s a space in which every yogi is encouraged to enter. Every pose can be modified to either intensify or simplify. When arriving in a yoga position, all yogis, regardless of experience level, is encouraged to meet their edge, to find that delicate sweet spot in which the pose is fierce and challenging yet comfortable enough that the yogi remains complete control of their breath and the asana retains its full integrity. Holding an asana and learning to lean in to the discomfort when your legs are burning, your arms are shaking, and your mind is running and collecting every reason to convince you to unravel out of the pose is one of the biggest challenges I have while practicing but also the same reason why I keep coming back to my mat.
I intend to apply the lessons I learn on my mat to my every day life. Similar to my practice, I want to push myself to constantly meet my edge. To be willing to surrender to the pose (or situation) and to accept the benefits it offers. To be open to fall, to shake, and to stumble. I want to open myself up to the discomfort and learn to sit with it, to acknowledge the struggle, yet being fully aware of its impertinence.
A few weeks ago, my brain decided that meeting my edge means participating in a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training.
I N D I A.
For a month.
Days following my decision to leave my job late this year in order to complete the 200YTT program and to backpack Asia, I kept trying to find a way out of it. Impostor syndrome began to creep in, and I was marinating in my own self-doubt, fears, and insecurities. Do I have what it takes to complete the training? Will they test me if I can do certain poses? Can I deal with the homesickness? Will it be safe for me to travel by myself to all those countries? How will this affect my marriage? Can I actually afford it all?
All of this is basically to say I’m afraid to want what I want. I have a tendency to play it small, belittling my goals and ambitions and shying away from admitting what I want out of fear of failure or rejection. I’m afraid to want things because what if it doesn’t work out? What if I’m not enough? What if I invest in this emotionally, physically, mentally, financially… and it falls through? It’s still a challenge quieting that nagging voice inside my head that constantly badgers, “Why YOU? Who do you think you are?” It seems as if the bigger the goal, the bigger the doubt.
What I’m still in the process of learning is that there is no antidote to stop the self-doubt and insecurities. It’s not the answer we want to hear. It’s not the sexy solution, but it’s true. There will always be an underlying hum of anxiety and fear before doing anything scary and new, or anything so different from your normal routine and out of your comfort zone. Nike’s motto is “Just do it.” It could’ve been “Do it”, but why add the “just” in the front? Because deep down, we all hesitate. Our brains always try to talk us out of anything terrifying, anything out of our personal bubble of comfort. The trick that’s always worked for me is to recognize the fears and negative self-talk, and just do the thing anyway. To meet your edge. To have the courage to bet on yourself. Even if it means being in a fear pit for a while.