I have always believed that when we are ready for something, be it a challenge, a delight or a new pathway, we find our way to it, or it to us… So it was with Esoteric Yoga.
I had known of Esoteric Yoga for some time but continually dismissed it as ‘not being for me’ until one day that changed. I became consciously aware that when it was mentioned I felt something different inside and when I heard about the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women and its accessibility online, I absolutely knew that this felt right and that I needed to follow this through. Imagine my frustration when I realised the program ran in six-week blocks held at intervals throughout the year, and I had to wait! I can be very patient or, as I realised, want instant gratification – the learning had begun…
I was apprehensive at the start, having pre-conceived ideas that Esoteric Yoga would entail bodily contortions, as I understand is the way of ‘traditional yoga’, but, not so. The Esoteric Yoga – Yoga of Stillness program that I joined was just that – STILLNESS. I could never have imagined finding an inner stillness as I moved, but this is what I learnt during the program. I found that being present and staying with myself as I moved from sitting to laying down, moving a leg gently, or opening and closing my eyes, engendered a gentleness of movement that was no less strong and purposeful, but that brought with it a grace and connection to me in a way that I had not felt before.
I began to get to know and acknowledge me and feel worthy of extending care to myself, by truly listening to what I was feeling within my body and what this meant.
At times this was very ‘in the moment’ and practical – e.g. becoming conscious of reaching for food when I wasn’t hungry, allowed me to really feel what was going on in my body beyond the known, such as being thirsty or suppressing feelings. The revelation was, “My body was cold!” The instant remedy was then to put on a jumper which in itself I found nurturing, much more so than eating – probably because that was what my body really needed.
At other times, listening to my body unveiled where and why, held tensions and discomforts originated, so I could let go and stay connected with myself, bringing that gentleness, that I have come to know that Esoteric Yoga is, to those parts of me that I have ignored.
One of the most awesome physical changes that occurred for me during the program, was the pain and discomfort I felt in my hips causing me to walk ‘listing to the left’ completely disappeared – my hips felt more aligned and I walked in an upright position with ease.
During the program, I found a new confidence in who I am and in making more honest choices that support and nurture me. This was reflected too, within the group and to be able to be part of such a group, just by being, as was apparent from the second Esoteric Yoga session. Taking the opportunity to share by contributing to the weekly online blog for participants, was in itself confirming and supportive.
It is hard to describe the felt connection to everyone during the live sessions but it was tangible. It was as if we were all being held and yet were all part of the holding and this support and connection was there no matter where we were in the world and could be felt too during the time between sessions.
Participating in this course with the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women has been amazing. There was no pressure, just a gentle invitation to take the opportunity to embrace all that was on offer at one’s own pace in one’s own way without judgement or criticism or expectation (this latter was a hard one for me to acknowledge and realise, but it was absolutely so – the only expectation was from myself, NOT from anyone else).
To feel present in me, and the gentleness I can be, brings a lightness and – the best bit – I am finding joy in being me. This is its simplicity – just by staying with me, in my body, feeling connected, being able to feel from that space and to begin to acknowledge the ‘all’ that I am.
Looking forward to the next Esoteric Yoga program and continuing the journey of discovery.
Speech and Language Therapist
Kent, United Kingdom