A Sunday morning on the Gold Coast and the air was quite cold for late May. Session number four in a six-session Yoga of Stillness program had arrived and participants in various attire, from fluffy house shoes and beanies to heavy winter jackets and active wear, gathered and prepared their personal spaces for the early session.
The previous one had been mid-afternoon the day before and the deepening and increased level of stillness that two consecutive sessions over less than 18 hours offer is always magic and a wonder to behold. The human body just loves and immediately responds when we are present with it and easily goes into deepening restfulness and to a deeper level of stillness.
The air conditioning was not working and the room temperature stayed at 15.5o C, but everybody was well prepared as they disappeared under their warm blankets, arranged them so the whole body was covered when in a supine position, with consideration of the lower body, including the feet, being snug and warm when seated.
The magic was about to begin, although in reality, it had already begun, as nothing occurs in isolation – the unfolding of the Esoteric Yoga sequence starts long before we ever get onto the mat. It starts with how we are when we gather what is needed at home, includes how we drive to the venue, how we set up our mat and personal space when we get there, and even whether or not we react to the physical environment or surrender in the knowing that we have done what is needed and that everything has been and will be taken care of.
We began and there were long stretches in the supine position that were asked for that morning. Longer than ‘usual’ but then, what is usual when we are ever evolving, ever deepening into more of what we in truth are?
At the pace we were going, the last part of the session, which brings attentiveness to the different parts of the body, starting with the shoulders and then going up the body from the feet to the top of the head, would most likely stop somewhere around the stomach area, maybe get as far as the jaw – what would it be?
Nothing of this sort was in store that morning. Time dissolved in the eternalness of the present and space came on the scene as the session made a mockery of the limitations of man-made time.
We easily got all the way through the body and to the top of the head, with plenty of ‘time’ to spare – being present had given birth to space, yet again and undeniably so. The construct and tyranny of time as displayed on the clock in the room had disappeared and made room for space and a session that felt far longer and deeper than the allotted earthly 60 minutes.
And this is available throughout the day, every day, when we are present with our body.
Who then needs time when space is always available?
By Gabriele Conrad, NSW, Australia