In many a yoga class I’ve heard it. “Play your edge.” What does this mean?
To play your edge means to always teeter on the brink of your comfort zone. I think of this like a circle. In the middle you’re warm, cozy, safe, not doing anything too risky (or fun). Step out a little further…and a little further and you’re at that painted yellow line.
You’re still safe behind that yellow line, but not quite as comfy as the middle. Go past the line, maybe stick your toes off the edge of the circle.
Here is where you kind of freak out a little, you’re not feeling safe, but you are doing something worthwhile. Eventually, the circle grows past your toes and there you are, ready to step out a little more, lesson in hand.
I decided to run a half marathon in January 2017. Apparently, my “I’m over races” attitude is gone and I’m excited to take this training a little differently than last time. This season I’m going to be working on speed, strength (lots of yoga!), and playing my edge. Since my marathon in June, I’ve been anything but keeping up my endurance. Of course, I’ve ran, but not more than 2 and a half miles.
So this week began training and my current schedule has me at racing distance (13.1 miles) about 2 months before the race. I really want the challenge to be in terms of speed, not distance, and make it a fast one! So to start it off right I decided to really push myself. Tonight during my run I was super uncomfortable.
I was huffing and puffing towards the end and wanted to stop! But, I kept reminding myself that I was just playing my edge and that’s okay. I visualized the circle growing and knew I could get through it. I feel great and know that I can finish the race in my goal time. I also know that I can push through that discomfort, physically and otherwise.
Playing your edge is not just for yoga, or physical activity, it’s for everything.
I admit, there are times when I want to cower away to the middle of the circle and hide (and there are times I do). But, I know that if I consistently do that I will consistently stay there. For example, I used to get super nervous meeting new people, but through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and the blog I’ve met so many awesome people and made amazing friends.
If I sat at home amidst the comfort of my roommates and hid behind my computer I would’ve never met them and that would be just sad. I can safely say I am more confident around new people now more than ever and I think that’s important when you are on your way to being a health coach.
Playing your edge looks like:
- Leaving the comforts of your hometown and taking off to a totally unfamiliar city because you’ve always wanted to
- Trying new things in the kitchen, or getting in the kitchen at all, so you can start building your health even though you’re intimidated
- Being shy, yet going out and meeting people to find like-minded friends
- Quitting your job because you’re unhappy and sick of complaining about it
- Confronting a friend, family member, or significant other because there’s a problem in the relationship
If the thought of doing any of these makes you want to cry, then you are not alone. It doesn’t take some crazy fearless person to do uncomfortable things, it just takes someone willing to live with the discomfort. Here would be where I would tell you how to do that, push past your boundaries and be all the more better, happier and awesome because of it. I can’t. Nothing I can say is going to make it easier and that’s the point!
All I can say is, JUST FREAKING DO IT.