When I enrolled in my first on-line Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program For Women session, I had just retired from a very hectic and very demanding teaching career. I always had deadlines to meet and well-regulated tutorial sessions to prepare for, deliver, assess and evaluate. My mind didn’t know how to relax, nor did my body, and as a result I was in constant motion and drive to achieve ‘something’.
In reality, not only was my professional life in constant motion of doing things, my personal and family life operated with the same busyness.
I grew up with my mother’s words ringing in my ears: “An idle person is a lazy person and no-one likes a lazy person!” These words became a very much imposed belief that I carried throughout my life. I was totally immersed in the consciousness that for others to ‘like and value’ me I had to be continuously busy and achieving recognition for being a busy person!
In the years leading up to my retirement from my educational career I used to continually wish that there were twenty-seven hours in the day so that the extra three hours could be used solely for ‘me’ time – the time when I could close the door to the outside world and reclaim the being that was hiding under layers and layers of false beliefs about being an ‘idle person’.
On reading the principles behind Esoteric Yoga, I immediately enrolled in a six-week program as I knew I needed help, supportive encouragement and guidance to feel into my body and importantly, to connect with it in a in a manner that was deeply appreciative of the value of stopping to surrender to the stillness that my body was aching for.
I knew I had to develop a relationship with my body that I had long forgotten how to have.
Within the structure and format of the Esoteric Yoga program I found each session immensely supportive in allowing me to feel the potential of my body to be tender, gentle, delicate and precious. The sessions were confirming, reassuring, alive and revelatory in gaining a deeper understanding of how our bodies have an intelligence of their own, and being in stillness is an important aspect to their health and well-being. I learnt how to establish a quality of presence that is more natural to our body and closer to our natural way of being and living.
This in turn allowed me to develop more openness and a new honesty in valuing just how powerful it is to stop, surrender and love the feeling of my body when I allowed it to be still (not ‘idle’!).
Finally, I was gaining a greater and deeper connection with my body.
Through my yoga sessions I became more aware of the quality of my breath and the importance of knowing that we can consciously choose at any time this quality of gentleness and therefore the quality of energy in our body naturally supports a closer and deeper connection. I was soon able to reflect on, and feel, the difference between this stillness and quality of ‘me’, to the momentum I had been in before the start of the Esoteric Yoga program. I realised that when I allowed this connection with me inwardly, it actually felt super intimate.
Turning my focus inwards, connecting to my breath and to ‘me’, became the beginning of an intimate and beautiful relationship with myself.
After establishing this first marker of gentleness and connection with my body, I realised just how this is a great form of medicine in itself and one that I can easily practise daily.
I also learnt how I could feel this continually, not only in the programmed yoga sessions. I soon developed the awareness that if I lived in a way that honoured my body more in regards to my daily choices every day, I could feel and connect to my body 24/7. Stopping and re-connecting allowed me to feel, observe and read just how harming my continuous rushing and doing had been on my body. Yes, my body was full of stress, tension, altered moods and anxiety, which were all contributing to lower back pain and other physical symptoms.
Through participating in the six-week Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program For Women, my body changed dramatically as I no longer made choices to cause it harm.
Instead, I was now able to discard the long-held belief that ‘idleness was laziness’ and stillness became my new true state of being that enabled my body to be in a beautiful state of well-being.
This state of well-being was one that was free from tiredness, exhaustion, stress, anxiety, tension or any hint of illness or disease – my body was in a perfect harmonious state with all my organs working together as one – at last I was listening to the needs of my body and nurturing it as the beautiful and awesome being that it is.
Esoteric Yoga assisted me in fine-tuning my relationship with my body, with my being, with my soul – indeed, with ‘me’ !
Educator, Writer, Elder
Photo credit: Dean Whitling