The Eight Universal Principles for Stepping Up to the Edge

Photo Credit: Unsplash / leio-mclaren

Photo Credit: Unsplash / leio-mclaren

The edge is  where we come up right up against ourselves and what we can do and be. It is the boundary between where we are and where we grow, the place of comfortable discomfort, where all the growing and healing happens. The edge is the point in every pose when you are still within your capacities but are challenging yourself to go just a little bit farther. Stepping up to this edge and daring to leap is how you break through and thus break with old ways of being.
— Baron Baptiste

Where in your life are you sitting on the edge? 

My edge is standing on the edge of my balcony on the 23rd level, and looking down.

My Edge is the finding the tipping point in Crow Pose.

My Edge is writing about Baptiste Yoga.

My edge is sometimes learning to do less and being more compassionate about myself.

What is your Edge?

The edge really is where fears, worries, doubts and uncomfortable emotion thrives.

I’ve been in a limbo with feelings of unworthiness and shame. It’s not new, because my Lie (or the so-called truth I have been telling myself for the past 40 years) is that I’m not good enough.

The newness is in the anger at others and at myself.

I usually have my Baptiste trainings to fall back on, to be in inquiry to sort my “shit” out. But this year, I had to be a strong No so I can a be Yes to more important matters in my life.

Baron says we have what we need right here. I don’t need to go searching. I don’t need the Baptiste training.

And for a long period, I was lost. I was in hiding and I was masking my real feelings. Because I didn’t think it was the “Right” feeling to have. Like I don’t have the right to be angry. I’m not angry person.

I did discover in Level 2, that I have perpetual sadness and I accepted that. But anger?

I was listening to Jack Kornfield’s meditation podcast where he talks about responding to emotions that show up - with kindness and understanding rather than to react harshly. And that reminded me of Principle No. 5 - “in order to heal you must be feel" - which then inspired to open up Baron’s book - “Journey in Power” and empower myself to live the 8 principles, one principle at a time.

There are 8 Universal Principles to Stepping up to the Edge, according to Baron:

Principle 1: We are Either Now Here or Nowhere

Principle 2: Be in the Now and You’ll Know How

Principle 3: Growth is the most Important Thing There is

Principle 4: Exceed Yourself to Find Your Exceeding Self

Principle 5: In Order to Heal, You Must Feel

Principle 6: Think Less, Be More

Principle 7: We are the Sum Total of Our Reactions

Principle 8: Don’t Try Hard, Try Easy

I could use all the yoga tools I knew in the world like meditating, getting present in the moment, forgiveness plus escaping into my world of romantic novels, to drop the anger, but in actual fact, in not facing my fears, I can’t get away from it.

The more you acknowledge the emotion whenever it comes up, the more friendly it comes and has less hold over you.
— Jack Kornfield

The real work is to stay in the discomfort and see what comes up.

I acknowledge there’s more work to be done, and I’m grateful that this work will also allow me to share more of the Baptiste Methodology with you here.

Right now the 8 universal principles maybe just words for you on this page and as Baron says, they may not resonate with you until you are ready. And then suddenly when you are at your edge, one of this will click.

I will slowly share my thoughts on the principles as they come up but for now, can you choose ONE that make sense for you at your own level of understanding? Choose one that resonates with your heart space, and not your mind space.

And write it down somewhere where you can be reminded of it, in your meditation space, before you do your yoga; on your phone or stick it on the bathroom mirror, fridge or teeshirt! 😛 If you are yoga teacher, it can be a theme for your class.

If nothing comes up, it’s ok. Let it be.

You can buy his book and read more about each principle and you don’t have to. You don’t need to. You have all you need right here at your fingertips.

Are you ready?

I’m ready.

I’m ready to acknowledge my fears.

I’m ready to commit to growth.

I’m ready to play with my edges.

Are you ready?


Would love to hear which principle resonates with you and what your edges are, in your life, teaching and practice. Please share in the comments below. x

Bonus: Click Here to Download a Printable Quick Reference Card of the 8 Principles or scroll below to save as jpg.

So many of us are striving so hard to be better, to know more, do more, be more. We have been conditioned to believe that we are not good enough the way we are. We are afraid that if we do less, we’ll be less, so we read all the latest self-improvement books, take the seminars, follow the diets, go to the gym, but nothing seems to really get us where we want to go. We still weigh too much, worry too much, and race around searching for something that will soothe whatever it is that we see as our problem.

But I believe we all have just one problem.

Yes, you read that right: Every single one of us is suffering from the same problem. Of course, your life looks different from mine, or your friend’s or your neighbor’s. You might even think your problems are completely unique, but for those of us who feel dissatisfied with our bodies or our lives, there is only one explanation: We are not living from our authentic selves, from our truth. We are asleep to who and what we really are and can be.
— Excerpt from Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste
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