Not so long ago I was having an Esoteric Yoga session when we were asked to be aware of how we were feeling that morning.
As I lay there I thought, “That’s easy, I feel angry this morning”. I had felt this way since I woke up but couldn’t work out why, and looking back, I can see a pattern of how I magnify these thoughts by trying to figure it out.
As I lay on my mat with my blanket covering me, my head gently supported on a pillow, and starting to really allow myself to connect with my body, what suddenly came to me were the words “Anger – what Anger? I feel lovely.” This made me smile deeply inside and really struck a chord with me, as I knew this was how I truly felt. The anger had been something that was not part of me, something I thought I felt, from my head, but in truth when I allowed myself the time and the space to stop and truly connect to my body, I could actually feel how lovely I was.
It was amazing to observe all the things that came up in this Esoteric Yoga session – little things like how I would go into comparison with everyone else. Even though it was an online programme and I was lying in a room on my own, I still compared myself to others somewhere in the country or on the opposite side of the globe – judging myself in how I moved or when I moved – and then critiquing myself, thinking others would judge me if they saw me, when all along, none of this was actually true. I was being held in absolute love and truly supported to honour and feel what was true and right for me, and was able to give myself as much time and space as I needed to move.
There came an amazing moment (actually there were lots, but this one still stands out) when it was presented to us that, “how you are with yourself is how you are with everyone else”. At this moment tears rolled down my face as I realised I was being hard on myself and that the judgment, critique and hardness I often hold myself in, is how I am with everyone else. I knew this through and through, but it was just such a blessing to feel this in my body with tenderness and grace, and not beating myself up and claiming I did not want to be this way. This brought humbleness and allowed me to feel how I had been treating people who I cared about so much, myself included, and realising I had done this for years.
As I worked through the Esoteric Yoga session, allowing myself a deeper connection to my body and self, I let go of all these thoughts that were not me. What I was left with was the stillness and joy as I could feel the truth of who I really am. There was no anger, no judgment, no hardness, blame or comparison, just a feeling of absolute deep contentment, joy, connection and space; I could appreciate and feel how lovely, sweet, tender and pure I am.
By Gyl Rae, Scotland
What is Esoteric Yoga?