I’m not the same woman today, as I was when I joined my first program with the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women. What’s more, today I feel that I am a woman, whereas when I first began I felt as though I hadn’t grown up in many ways. I was reactive to so many situations, and felt that I was a bit of a chameleon, changing the way I was with different groups of people to fit in, and to be what I thought they expected me to be.
Today there is an evenness and consistency that feels very solid and strong within me – and this is what I take with me, wherever I go, into any situation or experience. What Esoteric Yoga has supported me to accept and appreciate is that I hold so many qualities within; there’s a steadiness and dedication I feel, in how I approach life.
Rather than coming from a lack of worth, I now acknowledge and confirm those qualities within myself. If and when I wobble and fall back into old patterns, I can sense this and know how it makes me tired, conversations become awkward and things generally don’t flow. This is where I can bring myself back to the simplicity of connecting with my body and my breath and bring my awareness to how I am moving.
Esoteric Yoga sessions have really supported me to come to know and feel myself in full. When I first commenced participating in the Esoteric Yoga programs, I very much had a perception of myself from the stories I would tell myself in my head. There was a lot of mental chatter, self-doubt and judgement, usually because I was not measuring up to who or what I felt I should be.
With each Esoteric Yoga session, these thoughts began to dissolve and in the process the way my body felt began to change. Rather than feeling rushed, restless or anxious, what began to emerge was the ability to not only feel each part of my body as we moved through the template of the session, but also an underlying steadiness and depth of connection to my true essence that continues to grow.
Over time, the connection with this essence has strengthened and goes beyond just being felt in the actual sessions. It’s something that I take with me into every aspect of my day. It’s as though I’m able to observe situations more clearly and to know what is being called for – and that I have within me everything that’s needed in response. Be it attention to detail, holding myself steady in a stressful situation, bringing dedication and commitment to a project or most surprisingly, being playful and light-hearted!
My body and how I’m feeling within it, clearly shows me whether I’m staying true and connected to my essence or not.
The moment I catch myself comparing myself to others or criticising myself, I know that there is another possibility. What I am coming to understand and observe is that judgement and appreciation cannot co-exist in the same space. So, when I feel myself slipping into judgement of myself or someone else, it’s a simple choice to stop and know there is another way. If there’s a choice between hard, judgemental thoughts or the sweetness of appreciating and accepting myself and others, I know what to choose.
I have had conversations with women recently, where I've have been on the receiving end of very honouring comments about how much my qualities are appreciated. Through my presence, and my willingness to continue to deepen and know myself, the grace and power of a true woman is there to be felt by others. My response to these comments is that I feel that I have lived with a knowing of these qualities, yet had not fully acknowledged them or truly appreciated them – they were just there as part of me. When I look at how I am stepping up in many areas of my life, I can see and feel that this is an outer reflection of being able to fully appreciate myself – a sure confirmation of the letting go of many sabotaging and self-doubting behaviours.
It has also been said to me quite often that people feel calm around me and that I carry a depth of wisdom and understanding. It’s through me stopping to appreciate and confirm these qualities that I have built a steady, loving relationship with myself as a woman. These qualities have always been there, yet I was not valuing them, often preferring or wishing that I was more like someone else in some way.
This has shown me how powerful it is, when we do come to embrace who we are as women, and nurture a loving relationship with our own bodies. When we hold ourselves in full appreciation and acceptance of ourselves, there is an understanding that we needn’t be like ‘anyone’ else – we need only allow our true selves the grace to shine.
Accepting myself and the beauty of my presence as a woman has been a huge gift, and it’s through bringing what I have explored and become aware of, through regular and ongoing Esoteric Yoga sessions, that I am able to truly celebrate the woman that I am today. This is a gift that can then be shared with the world, in every interaction and in every relationship.