“Explore your edges”… “Play your edges”. I'd heard this queue many times and silently questioned what it meant for years. Those who know me know that I enjoy dangerously hanging out on the edge of a cliff, I find it exhilarating. But, what do our teachers mean by edges in the body? This didn’t become clear to me until I really slowed down my practice and discovered Yin Yoga. A typical Vinyasa class flows rather quickly compared to the slow, focused, attention we allow ourselves in the practice of Yin. On the surface, Yin may appear like you’re not doing much at all, but on a cellular level, we are actually quite busy. In Yin we hold the body in different shapes for several minutes. Typically in my classes, 3-5 minutes. Some teachers will go as long as 12 and even longer. Holding a posture for several minutes at a time may sound excruciating, painful, and to some, down right boring. And to be perfectly honest, I thought so too before I… got it. In Meditation, we are taught to find our most comfortable seat, and most of us know that if your seat isn’t just right, all you're going to be thinking about is the pain and discomfort of your imperfect seat. The same is true in the practice of Yin. If we dive deep into the full expression of a shape in the first 10 seconds, all we’re going to be thinking about is… get me the heck out of this pose! However, when we take time out to explore our soft edges, as we do in Yin, it’s a game changer. Learn to live on the edge.
I’m not talking about the adrenaline boosting dangerous edge of a cliff, or the edge of despair. Nor, am I referring to our maximum edge in a posture where if we go too deep we risk injury. The edge I’m talking about is soft and found subtly within the body. It’s that velvety, blissful edge. The first edge. Yin is practiced with intention while paying close attention to what we are feeling in the body. If you move to fast, you might miss it. Yes, this is the edge of glory. The edge where you just begin to feel something happening within the body. It’s the edge in a wide leg seated straddle, while simply sitting upright, you feel the inner thigh muscle just begin to stretch. Yeah, that. When you notice it, pause right there, close your eyes, breathe. Witness and observe your body and what you’re feeling right now, in this very moment. Take your time, there’s plenty of it. This is Yin. You have 3-5 minutes to explore this sensation, meditate and breathe. Then, if it feels right, if the edge has softened, go a little deeper and explore the next soft edge, and pause. Then the next. Pause. Oh that glorious pause, where the mind, body and spirit merge while the chaotic world around you continues, but you’re indifferent to it, at peace, and living on the edge of glory.
Explore your edges with me in Yin Yoga on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:15am at the Stroudsburg studio and witness how Yin Yoga can transform your entire yoga practice. The Chinese philosophy of Yin/Yang describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. In other words, yang grows and flourishes because of yin, and yin grows and flourishes because of yang.
Tracy Gross 200 RYT, Restorative CTY, Yin CYT, Reiki Master, & Studio Mural Artist
Tracy received her 200hr Yoga Certification from Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC in 2015. Since then she has gone on to refine her yoga teaching skill set with advanced studies in Yin and Restorative Yoga. Tracy co-teaches the Advanced Studies Programs for Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga and is currently enrolled in the 300hr Teacher Training program at Boundless Yoga Studio with Chris Loebsack.
A native of the Pocono region, Tracy is thrilled that Yoga has come to the Poconos with such and amazing lineup of Yoga educators and is humbled to be a part of the Boundless yoga community. Her classes are light hearted, fun and at times, down right hilarious with the perfect balance of meditation, asana and pranayama. As a teacher, she truly enjoys the balance of Yin and Yang with the many different types classes she has on the schedule. Weather you’d like to heat things up in an Open Level class, Relax and unwind in Restorative Yoga, find intense stretching in Yin, or perhaps you’re new to Yoga, take the first step of the journey in a beginners class… Tracy would love to connect with you. A graduate of the American Music and Dramatic Academy in NYC and retired singer, Tracy loves to occasionally bring the gift of song to Savasana.
Tracy is a Reiki Master, artist and jeweler and painted the mandala murals at both of our studios. Check our website under “workshops” and “Teacher Training” for scheduled training programs in Reiki Level 1 and 2, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga in the coming year.
Find joy, follow your heart and have as much fun on this wild
journey through life as you can! Find Tracy on her
Facebook pages Tracy Gross Yoga and her artist page Traé
Be True Design, and keep up with Tracy for upcoming class information, festivals and special events!
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.