The word power conjures up a multitude of images and visuals of what many of us perceive power to be. It could be the woman who has it all together, the woman who is strong, independent and can do it all on her own, the woman who has reached the top of her industry, academic achievement, sporting arena or career.
Power and the meaning of the word for many of us
has come from an external reference we have come to compare ourselves to
and most often don’t measure up to and fall short of.
Of course this sets us up for the most widely played game of all, which we know as ‘The Deficit Game’. That old familiar feeling of not being good enough, needing to know more, get more and do more to feel worthy of being who we are. Sound familiar?
This game has been played the world over by many women, it is a well-trodden path to take us precisely away from the power that we are. Particularly when we have a world around us that is constantly telling us how we need to look, the ultimate shape of how our bodies need to be, our hair, clothing, career, children, family, etc. If we don’t fit into any of these images, you can guarantee we have an issue about it that will plague us to not feel complete, or at ease being who we are as we are. It is the ultimate setup that deems there will always be something ‘wrong’ with us.
As women we have bought into all these external factors due to the fact that we have negated and denied our inner-most connection and relationship with ourselves and our body. We have traded the single most, highest commodity on this planet, to play a game that leaves us less than who we are. And there is nothing that can alleviate the emptiness of what we may seek externally to fill this inner void. There is nothing that compares to you being with you no matter how we may avoid this through distractions, pursuits, missions, family, work, etc.
As women we avoid the simplicity of being in our power.
The single most, highest commodity on this planet is not gold, it is a woman who knows that she is the gold. A woman in her power has the ability to change the world and guess what, she doesn’t need to put her body on the line or into overdrive, force or hardness to do so. The true strength of a woman in her power comes from her reacquaintance and reclaiming of the inner qualities she naturally holds. Her innate delicateness, sensitivity, grace and stillness are but a few of these qualities. It is her relationship with herself and in particular her body and the wisdom it beholds that is the gateway for a woman to come to know herself from her natural beauty.
A woman who subscribes to herself as her own inner authority,
and who values and honours the relationship with her body,
is a woman who knows the inner strength of her being.
It is our body that offers us a return back to knowing who we are from our inner authority. It is no surprise then that most women have body image issues to repulse her away from the very vehicle that reclaims her power.
The constant bombardment from external images and comparisons from our ‘lack of’, bring us back yet again to ‘The Deficit Game’ cycle. There is no escaping this cycle unless we choose to step off it and begin to make the steps inward to return back to ourselves.
An initial step inwards is the reacquaintance with our body and the honesty of what our body is sharing. This means taking a moment from which to stop, listen, observe and feel where our body is at. There is nothing greater than arriving at this honesty, no matter how devastating, in order to resurrect and continue making the steps needed back to oneself.
Esoteric Yoga known as the Yoga of Stillness offers such a space for a woman to begin the reacquaintance and reclaiming of her body back to herself. With an emphasis on gentleness, conscious presence and stillness, Esoteric Yoga invites us to explore:
Taking moments from which to feel supports a woman to return back to a common language of space in order for her to read and take heed of this much deeper aspect of herself.
Every step inwards lessens the hold of the outer world that many of us have subscribed to and strived to live up to.
Every step inwards builds a steady foundation of knowing who we are from within that has the ability to see through the outer perils, loaded images, beliefs and ideals.
Every step inwards is a woman reclaiming her power and step by step not only changing her world but the whole world around her.
Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women Presenter, and power-house
Let’s be honest… As women, we can very readily be dominated by thoughts and expectations that essentially lead us away from ourselves. We can be caught in the ‘what’s next to do’ in the day – from the preparatory steps involved in our morning routine, to a burgeoning to-do list that may leave us feeling perpetually pushed to accomplish it all…
Add to this the influences and images that project onto us from nearly every angle – how we should look (Is my tummy flat enough? Do my eyebrows hit the current fashion-defined mark?), the super-woman image of ‘doing it all’ and the rest – and we well may ask, “Where am ‘I’ in all of this?”
Being truly present with ourselves may seem an outlying consideration – outside of our scope of reference, and/or something only relegated to those rare quiet moments of ‘me time’ we may just manage to sneak in on occasion. Yet, what if it is something that is actually exceedingly simple, and in fostering our connection to it, something that can support us in the whole cycle of our day and all that we may encounter within it? Can we go there?
What if you gave yourself a moment – right now – to not just get through reading this article (so that you can then get to the next thing), but to actually feel your own body… its presence in your chair (or wherever you are placed), your hands at your computer/device, the delicateness of your own fingers…?
What if you gave yourself this moment to feel the movement in your own breath, the rise and fall of your chest and abdominal muscles, the spaciousness in your lungs… What if, you said ‘yes’ to being with you – body and being as one – right here, and right now?
Is it possible, to connect with the ‘you’ that is always here – in the centre of it all, the myriad influences in your day, and all that is there to be done? To stop, feel and deeply appreciate the ‘you’ and the beauty of the woman you are, that is always here?
Essentially, this is all that yoga – meaning union – is about… the union of body and being, in which presence is key… It’s actually simple, yet in giving considerable power away to that which is outside of ourselves – that which is yet to be done, that which we feel we need to live up to, and that which we drive ourselves to be, we may have lost a sense of this union, and live caught in things that may not truly reflect the true nature of who we are.
In losing our natural sense of presence – body and being united – we thus diminish our ability to move and go into the activity of our day with all of us in sync and intact. The quality of the beautiful, wise and delicate beings we actually are is lessened, for without being united within, is it not a fragmented self that then goes to the next task, or meets the next encounter of our day? We write the email, we groom ourselves, brush our child’s hair, we commute to work, do the shopping, wash our dishes, talk with our colleague… but do we bring all of us to this, or is a part of us consumed by the what’s next, or other things that take us away from ourselves?
The simplicity of the moment to feel the delicateness of our own hands and the movement in our breath is indeed something that can stay with us. Our ability to bring all of us through attentiveness to our bodies when we shower, brush our child’s hair or talk with our colleague is something we can indeed harness. And this is where the modality of Esoteric Yoga can support us immensely, in its oh-so-simple movements and the space offered to return to our bodies – here and now – once again.
In this world that has not fostered such connection, we are presented with the opportunity to essentially re-educate ourselves to move and be in the yoga (union) of body and being as one. We are offered the space to breathe our own breath, amidst the spin of the world that surrounds us, and build our relationship with our own presence once more. For the most of us, we held this innately as young children. It’s not hard to return to, it simply takes a bit of unraveling of that which we’ve taken on…
Though we will never be perfect in being absolutely ‘in sync’ at all times, we can indeed bring a re-education to our body and being that can change things significantly. We can bring this awareness of our own bodies to our everyday, and with great simplicity return to a sense of being truly present and connected that holds us.
For in this – the woman or man in presence and in union with all that we are (oh so simple) – we are empowered to move and interact in this world in a way that offers something else than the influences which largely dominate. By our own way and movements, we can bring ourselves out of the fragmentation and deepen our relationship with the beautiful and delicate being that we are, our wisdom and our Grace…
In the beauty of our own Presence we are essentially whole.
Where else would we want to be?
Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women Presenter
Like to hear more? You may like to explore our recent Podcast on the subject of Presence.
As modern-day superwomen, we can perceive messages from the body as an inconvenience or annoyance. Being told you are tired, pre-menstrual, anxious or bloated is not what you might want to hear when you have a million things to get done and still look like you have it all together! Like an honest friend, you may not want to hear what they have to say and might even stop hanging out with them. But like a best friend, the body offers it all, the ‘good, the bad and the amazing’, and for as long as we’re prepared to listen. Our bodies know us inside out as they have been with us every step of the way.
So what is our relationship with the body’s wisdom? Is it something we only listen to when forced to when things get uncomfortable or is it something we deeply appreciate?
What happens when we judge, criticise, negate or override what our bodies know and are willing to share? Instead of putting our honest friend on loud speaker, we press mute, so we can carry on with what we want to do or think we should be doing. This can happen as we push through at work to complete a task, stay up late even though we are tired or avoid having a conversation we know we need to have. Even with attending an Esoteric Yoga program we can have expectations around how our yoga programme will unfold, what we should or should not be feeling, whether we had a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ session, or comparison when others share their experiences. We may not hear the wisdom of the body at the time but like a best friend, the body never stops communicating and will wait for a moment of stillness so it can be heard loud and clear.
Stillness allows a quiet inner space for our awareness and relationship with our body to be real and alive.
Getting to know your body’s wisdom is totally personal, it comes absolutely tailor made to the finest detail for each of us. It is a very real and tangible relationship, one that is constantly asking and supporting us to be more aware, and more respectful of our body and being.
Our bodies are the text books written specifically for each of us, full of wisdom, and there to be learned from. No grade, no mark or certificate from this learning, but a knowing of our own true worth. As this relationship grows, it becomes our reference, our guide and one of the greatest resources in life that we could ever have.
Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women Presenter
Did you know that simply being a woman is a risk factor for developing thyroid conditions? You could explain this in a purely physical way, as it commonly occurs after menopause, during pregnancy, or at times of added stress when it is no surprise our hormones – with the endocrine system out of kilter – affect the whole body’s function. However from my own experience, I know that I contributed to the thyroid disorder statistics, by living a life where I was fighting my body, my own sensitivity and stillness. I had become a war machine against my own innate nature as a woman.
Life for me then was: not being able to sleep because my physiology was running at such a fast pace, where I was breathless at the simplest task, where I felt depressed and unlovable, yet convinced that I had to keep going as best I could, running my own business and bringing up a young family.
What brought me out of this and restored my health and vitality?
The realisation that I could have a relationship with myself through my body – rather than ignore the delicacy, sensitivity and innately nurturing qualities of my womanly body – changed my entire perspective.
Simply admitting that I could actually feel things in my body (as opposed to turning a blind eye) was the first step to knowing what was needed in my day – a shift in awareness that included consideration and care of ‘me’ in the equation of the day.
Once I became aware of the fact that I could feel things, by the conscious choice to not shut out those initially faint communications from my body, I was able to listen intently to them and actively invite them to speak up and inform me of what was needed in any moment.
Through this seemingly simple choice, we can understand and relate to the world differently. It is much easier then to accept that we matter, that our feelings are valuable, that we are worth listening to.
It was from that point that I started to care differently for myself, being led not by what I ought to do or what was on my list of things to do (and I’m sure I would have had ‘must wash hair’ on that list once upon a time), but instead guided by a natural care for myself where I could be responsive to what my body needed.
The surrender that we experience in an Esoteric Yoga session is the antithesis of the drive and the push that is so common and can automatically take over our lives and impact our health and wellbeing. We are not designed as women (or men) to live with that heightened physiology, completely wired and living at odds with our natural state of stillness. It is no wonder we are making ourselves ill when we divorce ourselves from what our body is telling us, constantly.
I learned the hard way as so many of us do, but there always and forever remains that tiny, guiding voice inside, that we simply need to become still enough to let it be heard and then to be our compass.
The restored awareness of what our bodies are communicating introduces caring points within the day which naturally develop as we become much more specific about what it is that supports us throughout the activity of the day. From simple foundations we get to build into our lives a way of being with ourselves, that instead of driving us to a point of exhaustion, allows us to blossom and thrive from the quality of stillness developed through Esoteric Yoga and through its application in daily living.
In those loving choices I began to restore my body to leave behind the devastation from just pushing through.
Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women Presenter
Listen to Rosanna as she shares her experience of the support Esoteric Yoga has offered to her when she was dealing with a thyroid condition (8min 51sec).
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Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below or if you have questions for Rosanna who will get back to you.
What does it mean to ‘live yoga’ – that is, to live in union with ourselves and the light of our soul – and bring this to a meaningful practicality on our everyday lives?
For true yoga in our times is in no way about seeking the seclusion, retreat and isolation of the mountains or cave. It is, in fact, about the union that is there to be lived – without perfection in this world of ours – in and through all that life presents.
And so, what if, living yoga is about our responsivity in particular, to all that our bodies present and speak to us? What if, living yoga is to live in and with a deep and intimate relationship with ourselves – the being we are – and our own body, and allow the body its true voice?
Hmmm… What does this mean, you may well ask – to hear and respond to ‘the voice of the body’? Well… it’s no rocket science at all, and you will already be well versed in its language (if not also well versed also, in putting this voice ‘on mute’ at times in your life).
Our bodies speak to us every single moment of every single day. They let us know when we are tired, they let us know when we are holding tensions and stress, they let us know at times through illness and accident, that we need to take stock, and take far deeper care than we well may have been honouring.
In a culture that encourages if not rewards us to over-ride the voice of our own bodies, this is a big deal. For as women in particular here, we are paying the price of our own negation, seen in our health statistics and ‘new normals’ of living with one or multiple conditions and/or stresses that impact upon our well-being enormously.
Esoteric Yoga offers us the opportunity to be a part of turning the tide for women, and thus for all, through all that it brings to us in establishing and deepening once again, an intimate, enriching and ‘listening’ relationship with our own body.
Put simply, we are offered a return to ourselves.
One where, through our own experience, we learn to honour the body’s voice, that we may deepen our awareness of not only our bodies, but how we – as the ‘beings’ that run them – are in relationship with ourselves, with life and with the all of which we are ever an integral part.
For with Esoteric Yoga, we are offered the opportunity to get to know something special beyond measure – the living stillness within, that once re-connected to (and yes, it is within each and every one of us), sets a foundation and developing framework for us to yes – ‘live yoga’ in our daily life, and move, work, relate and nurture ourselves and those around us from a basis that does not negate the beauty of who we are, but rather, cherishes and allows it to expand.
Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women Presenter