The Precipice

In yoga, we often talk of the razor’s edge– the precipice– that the yogi treads. What is the edge? What lies on the other side of it?

Which side is real? Is there a real side?

Which side is the illusion?

Which side am I treading or falling into?

In the immersion at Ojai, Erich Schiffmann talked about things starting simple, getting complex, then simplifying again. He was referring to asana specifically in the moment, but I see this principle playing out in many arenas.

Life. Babies. Middle life. Waning years.


Teaching yoga, I find similar rhythms establishing themselves, particularly when we explore a topic in-depth over weeks or months. In the beginning, we are naming and describing, then diving deep into philosophical and psychological underpinnings, then distilling.

The distillation period can be pretty trippy for me. One word carries so much energy-meaning that if I retreat to ego-identification land, I become quite self-conscious. At other times, it is pretty amazing to hang out in that space with a room full of people who may not “know each other” very well outside of that room.

I felt that really profoundly as we wrapped up our work with Yoga Sutra 1,33. By the end, it all sounded very circular. Which it is, but maybe it sounded pretty out there to the ants crawling across the floor, just waking up from their winter’s nap.

Jai. Loves.

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