Yoga + osmosis. Yosmosis. I guess it could also be Yogmosis or Yomosis.
I didn’t make it up. I just sent two words on a blind date and it was a love connection. Yosmosis is what you’ll hear yoga teachers call working at our edge. Or working with our edge.
The edge is the point of resistance we naturally encounter as we move into a pose. The moment the body asks us to stop even if the mind thinks (or knows) we can go further.
It’s a pause in mild discomfort, not pain, but when we are slightly uncomfortable. The pause at the edge is conventionally taught to manage our discomfort well enough to prevent injury. But the edge is more than a safety measure. It’s the also the place where yoga becomes emotionally productive and this is not conventionally taught.
The physical benefit of holding a posture at the edge is to stay long enough to gradually and safely release a muscle, or open up a congested joint, or ease tension held in the vise grip of fascia. The spiritual or emotional benefit is to stay long enough to encounter unresolved psychological issues or hidden wisdom. The gateway to these issues and insights, which are stuffed deep into soft tissue, is the edge.
If a pose is not physically challenging the edge may not be discovered through the sensation of physical resistance. It may be discovered only by holding the pose until we encounter irritation in the mind. Hearing the words stupid, boring, and hate are good indicators we have found the edge in a pose we find physically easy.
The cool thing about the edge is that it is a permeable barrier and it is not fixed. As we practice our edge moves and it doesn’t only move in one direction. Even when it doesn’t move we are able to communicate through it. We receive information from beyond it. The information we send through the permeable barrier of the edge affects whatever lives on the other side and we receive feedback on that information.
In biology osmosis equalizes the concentration of something on each side of a permeable barrier. In yoga this serves to essentially dissolve the edge. Then we can move on to another one. And thrive. Harmonizing the body and the all essences of our existence. The point of which is still to thrive.
But it all requires a pause, which is what makes a movement a pose. We call them yoga poses or postures but without pauses it’s all flow. And flow is good but the edge is found in the pause. The pause is still work vital to our practice. And to thriving.