There is a lovely phrase within the yoga teacher world … "finding your edge". It encapsulates the moment where you challenge your body whilst also respecting its natural limitations. As we know, today's society is all about striving for the maximum output and as a result, we tend to feel that more equals better.
We look up to world-class athletes, CEOs and Directors as the ideal of people who have it all and do it all. We often forget that the people we aspire to aren’t doing it all. Take the marathon runners of Kenya for example who literally eat, sleep, run, repeat. Or the top business people who eradicate all social media and distractions from their life. These people are not running on empty and pushing themselves to exhaustion, they’re choosing their focus and working skilfully within it.
The idea of finding your edge can be transferred from yoga to all facets of life. Of course, we need to work hard and stay on top of our game, but do we really need to aim for maximum capacity when skimming the space between effort and exertion yields more results? In my own life, I've found that my edge is often the sweet spot where the magic occurs after all no-one delivers their best work whilst running on empty.
I remember working with a particularly highly strung group of corporate clients in a workshop on time management and I remember one attendee becoming quite frustrated by my approach. He could not understand how my suggestions around slowing down could be the solution for increased output. When I suggested he add 15 minutes of meditation into his day he told me he couldn’t possibly spare the time when of course that wasn't true. When we analysed his schedule, it turned out he spent well over an hour a day on social media as well as another hour playing video games before bed to "wind-down".
Often, we’re so used to being at 100% that the thought of anything less feels like a threat when more often than not it’s exactly what our mind and body needs. If you find yourself pushing past your maximum and are struggling to find your edge, I invite you to ask yourself these questions:
1. Is my current situation challenging or overexerting me?
2. I know I can push through and get more done right now, but should I?
3. How would my life look if I slowed down for an hour/day/week/month?
4. When is a time that I worked to my edge?
5. What is my greatest success to date? How did I achieve it and how did I manage my energy levels?
This article is written by BYP writer, and fitness and wellness instructor, Lildonia Lawrence