Chatting with other yoga teachers over lunch today, I asked: What is your learning edge? The question just popped out, and then I heard the echo. Playing the learning edge may be one of the organizing principles of my yoga teaching and practice, if not my life in general!
For me, the learning edge is where I find an open question in my teaching or personal practice, or even in a single pose. It’s where I feel just out of my comfort zone. It’s a bit of beginner’s mind, the area with the steepest learning curve. You know, that place where you feel out of your element and yet engaged and curious about what’s coming next?
I love this edge. As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned the fun and joy of doing new things awkwardly. (Hmm… as I write this, I realize that this in itself could become material for perfectionism, to be good at doing new things badly yet with aplomb…! Gonna keep an eye on that one.)
Just like yoga, the learning edge calls for moving continuously with direct experience, and then the pathways for exploration become endlessly creative.
Following this edge in recent years, for example, and not at all in this order, I’ve silently retreated, printed letterpress books, trained as a birth doula, embodied anatomy, ran a business, spoke Spanish, lifted into Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose), started teaching yoga, laughed and cried more easily, learned to snap (finally!), and made many, many new friends.
How have you found ways to keep yourself creatively off-balance?
What is your learning edge?