The threshold is the point at which something begins or shifts – it is the cusp, the verge, and the portal.
The word is related to the verb thresh, which means to separate the seeds of a grain from the rest of the plant.
This relationship between the word threshold and the act of extracting what is most essential and valuable, and discarding the rest, has clear resonance for us as yogis.
The first thing you do when you come to your mat acts as the threshold, the entry point into your practice. It signifies to the mind and body that the time for yoga has come.
The threshold marks the moment of separation, where we break from the activities of our day to embark on the journey inward and turn our attention toward what we hold most essential and sacred in our lives.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be formal or ritualistic. Perhaps it is just a breath, a brief close of the eyes, or a moment of centering presence and the recognition of what is to come.
Likewise, what we do at the end of practice is also serves as a threshold, this one back into our day. It is a time to collect ourselves, to gather what we’ve received from the practice and take it with us out into our world.
However we do it, it is worth becoming conscious of stepping through the gateways into and out of the space of practice.