The Threshold

Dec 27, 2023


It’s the point at which something begins or shifts; the cusp, the verge, and the boundary that marks the entry point.

I recently learned that in medieval times, the threshold was a plank strategically placed across the front door that prevented barnyard debris from entering the house. It’s related to the verb thresh, the act of separating the seeds of a grain from the rest of the plant.

For us as yogis, the notion of extracting what is most valuable and setting aside the rest has clear resonance.

The first thing you do when you come to your mat or cushion is the threshold of your practice. It marks the moment of separating your attention from the activity of the day and stepping into the space of yoga.

Consciously embarking on your practice allows you to center yourself in what’s most essential and temporarily set aside the rest.

Likewise, crossing the threshold of a new year is a natural time to reflect on what you hold most important, what you’d like to take with you, and what you’re ready to leave behind.

In the context of your yoga practice, you might consider what you’d like to welcome in this year. It could be qualities like consistency, self-acceptance, or compassion, or a physical focus like strength or balance.

Some of the boundaries I typically establish at this time of year are around the frequency of my practice. I commit to a minimum number of postural practices and meditation periods per week and schedule time for contemplative study.

But perhaps the most important thing about the threshold is that it’s not dependent on a particular time of year. It’s always possible to create meaningful boundaries that invite in more of what you wish to amplify and less of what you don’t.

How empowering it is to realize that you get to decide where the threshold is placed and when you wish to cross it.


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