I recently completed a six-week online program with the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women. After many years of being an active participant in a few different styles of yoga including hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Bikram (hot) yoga, I can say that Esoteric Yoga is like no other yoga I have ever experienced before.
Back then, I was looking for something to arrest the unease I was feeling in myself a lot of the time, and yoga was recommended to me as something that could support. It seemed like the ‘cool’ thing to do and a lot of my friends were participating in it for stress relief amongst other reasons, so I gave it go.
I always really enjoyed doing yoga, not only because it meant for me getting exercise, but also because I associated it with a connection or union with a deeper part of me, and this is something I really craved.
But, as great as these modalities were for me at the time, I didn't truly get to experience this aspect of yoga – an actual sense of union with myself – until I discovered Esoteric Yoga.
Esoteric Yoga really brings this home. It isn't about the exercise, or how deeply one can sit in a pose, but rather about the depth of connection we can feel with and within our body. We then move very subtly and naturally in connection with our body.
There is no right or wrong in Esoteric Yoga, no one is more advanced or better than another (as I experienced doing other types of yoga), because it is such a deeply personal experience intended purely to nurture our connection to our body, and from there our relationship with ourselves and the universe.
When participating in the Esoteric Yoga for Stillness Program for Women, a general theme is nominated that governs all the programs running together in a particular time period. These programs are presented online so women from all around the globe connect at the same time each week for just over an hour to discuss their experiences and participate in the yoga sessions together. The most recent program led with the theme of 'worth'.
I have struggled with knowing my own worth for a long time, continually looking to things outside of me to confirm who I am, even though time after time this has proved itself empty of the true sense of worth I have been craving. Whether this be confirmation from another, or even just identifying something I do well as being what makes me worthy, I have been well aware for a while now that this form of worth given to me from the outside never lasts, and can never fill the longing for a true sense of worth from within.
More recently there has been a calling in me to go deeper. Not only with knowing my own worth, but truly living it everyday, in all that I do.
What was beautiful for me on this program was that it wasn't difficult at all to connect to a very deep sense of my own worth during the sessions, and throughout the days following. It was, however, the moments I chose to step away from this that I found challenging. It might have been through a thought where I put myself down, or went into self-doubt, or the choice to eat something that ended up in my feeling heavy and bloated. Each of these things confirming the opposite of all that I had connected to, and know myself to truly be.
Over the course of the six-week program I got to see all the different ways in which I deny knowing and living my worth in and through my every movement. Putting myself in the position of teacher and student of my own body and worth, I now have everything I need to work with.
Perhaps the biggest thing I gained from this particular program was a very clear feeling of the difference between appreciation from outside of me – i.e. from another – as opposed to a deep appreciation for myself, from my own body.
For so many years I craved the former, however I can now feel there really is no comparison, for it is the deep appreciation of ourselves that I am discovering to be the true foundation for love in my life, and Esoteric Yoga is supporting me to deepen this.
I have found these programs and this style of yoga to be life-changing. I highly recommend them to anyone who is feeling that sense that something is missing, or that there is more – because there is, and it is beyond words.
Social Media/Marketing Professional
Northern NSW, Australia
Photo credit: Matt Paul