Talking about boundaries this week, the thought to my mind first was of how I start my yoga classes. As I contemplated what message I wanted you to have on this topic, I kept returning to the mat and how I start my yoga practice.
When I begin to teach a yoga class, one of my first instructions is always something along the lines of:
There should never be any pain involved in yoga. If you feel pressure, pain, or discomfort, please back off. With backing off I mean, for instance, to not settle into the pose as deeply or find a gentler angle, while always responding to your body’s messages as mindfully as possible. No quick movements. Breathe deeply and find a way out of the pose if needed. If you continue struggling, always ask for help, and we will find an adjustment, use some props for support or pick another pose. This is how I help you to protect your body from getting hurt. This is how I listen to the body's signals, which indicate strong boundaries of the body's abilities.
We all have our individual boundaries when it comes to our bodies. When we tune in and listen, our bodies tell us those limits. The goal, to not hit the pain point, to creep up to the edge, find our challenge, and then be. That's part of protecting your body and respecting your boundaries.
photo by Romy Eichner