This morning, during savasana, I had a bit of an epiphany. Heretofore disconnected statements all of a sudden were hanging together. Here they are, slightly paraphrased from memory:
"Go just to your edge, but not beyond." - Joyce Owens (my yoga teacher)
"If you feel awkward, that's GREAT!" - Catherine Ehret (my Nia teacher)
"The loosest of the loose people have to work twice as hard as a beginner to achieve the same benefits." - Bryan Kest (of PowerYoga fame)
"Invest in loss. Celebrate." - John Peebles (my tai chi teacher)
Here's the connection. Awkwardness ... tension ... failure ... loss ... these things only occur when I dare to try something new, or to do something old in a new way, or to live on the edge of my comfort zone. Isn't that cool? The discomfort or pain just means I've bumped up against an edge. But the fact that I've bumped up against an edge means that I've been willing to explore and to try and to risk learning something or experiencing something new. I don't know if I'll be able to hang onto this, especially on the days my balance seems shot or when John can send me flying with just a subtle shift of his body. But right, for today, I get it. Which I think is pretty cool.