Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann
Chapter 8 – Playing the Edge – yoga requires experience, skill, and creativity in sensing how far to move into a stretch. Where is the challenge without setting your yoga back. Finding the range, the normal length, the right alignment, thinking where to stretch, where to relax, keeping your interest.
Intensity and Pain – yoga should never be painful especially if it causing trauma, muscles are tightening, reacting negatively, When I started doing pigeon in my first yoga experience (more than 20 years ago) I felt a sensation through the leg and hip. This from the very beginning felt therapeutic. I had been doing a lot of running and biking and hip openers is what I needed. When I look at particularly long distance runners they could use some stretching/yoga.
Minimum and Maximum Edges – Maximum edge is the edge where you can not go further without pain. Minimum edge is where the stretch first is felt.
Edges, Breathing, and Wholeness – Breath into the stretch, feel length. Relax the pose when you exhale (generally). In forward bends I like to lengthen the spine, inhale. Then bend at the waist, exhale – let the shoulders arms, head relax. There is a sense of where to stretch/lengthen and where to let go/relax. Takes practice.