Esoteric Yoga – an invitation to Stillness
Esoteric Yoga – an invitation to Stillness
I had been practising yoga for many years – all sorts of styles – before I came upon the yoga that I practise now.
I have lived in different countries and always went to yoga classes wherever I lived, so experienced yoga in Japan, Canada and the US, Italy, Australia, and within those countries again so many different styles. I was well acquainted with the writings of Patanjali and various other Yoga Gurus and teachers and considered, in its essence, the practice of yoga to be sacred.
Nowadays there are more varieties of yoga than almost any other modality including yoga with babies, yoga with cats, yoga while drinking champagne, naked yoga, yoga in harness . . . but is this really yoga? It seems a long way from the origin of yoga that I feel, in the beginning, was very sacred.
It was not until I came across Esoteric Yoga within the teachings of Serge Benhayon that I woke up to the exquisitely religious intimacy or spiritual depth or soulful connection that true yoga really offers.
At last there was a yoga that felt like it was true in a very practical sense, sacred in a very simple way: a yoga that brought one deeply in touch with the body from the inside out, one that brought a depth of gentleness, then tenderness, and then an exquisite delicateness to one’s movements and a feeling of connection and awakening aliveness to the whole body.
After practising Esoteric Yoga for a while there can be big shifts in awareness. For example, after one particular session I had a new experience, one of conscious presence as I brushed my teeth in connection and was aware of feeling the detail and quality of my movements. The usual grasping of the toothbrush and hardness in the way that I brushed my teeth was not there anymore, there was instead a gentleness about how I was moving. It may sound strange but I actually loved the feeling of brushing my teeth in this quality and my gums seemed to reciprocate. There was a new-found grace and stillness in my movements that had not been there before. The delicate sensitivity and grace coming from within my body was felt to be a direct consequence of the quality of stillness I had connected to and moved in the yoga session.
I experienced a new way, although it is actually a very ancient way for my body to relate and respond to anything (or anyone) outside of it. Here is a yoga practice that brings realisations and many aha moments, not always during but often after the session has finished . . . a yoga that can spill over into life and allow the everyday experience of living to change in a way that it becomes a learning experience that ever expands and deepens one’s awareness, one’s consciousness.
This is for the seriously committed one might think, and in a way it is. However, it’s not a commitment to the yoga per se, it is a commitment to ourselves and to our friends and family and all those with whom we come into contact. How is that? Because it allows us space and the ability to change the quality of our movements, which can in turn inspire others whether consciously or not: they get to feel a different vibration, a vibration born of stillness, a quality that we connect to in Esoteric Yoga that is the essence of this modality or form of practice.
For some this awareness happens straight away and for others it takes longer, but everyone I know who has given Esoteric Yoga a chance has felt this potential.
An increasing awareness about ourselves and life can lead to changes made on the tiniest scale; a small choice to adjust your posture, to realise the things that are making you feel drained or tired, or saying yes when you really want to say no. These can all have an impact on the body and consequently our relationships with those around us.
I have been practising Esoteric Yoga and also offering classes for several years and I have seen such wonderful consequences from these sessions. I have observed in some people an apparent letting go of life’s burdens and a greater confidence in dealing with challenging situations. People also seem more confident and settled because of the connection that is deepening with their body and within themselves.
But all these ‘results’ are really the consequence of coming home to oneself and the stillness that is there in our inner core but is often hidden by the anxiousness or nervousness that is running at whatever level in our bodies and in our daily lives.
The tension that is held in the body can release in an Esoteric Yoga session and there is often a feeling of spaciousness and clarity that may not have been felt for a very long time.
When I connect to everything that Esoteric Yoga is, I feel how I was missing being present with my true self, my essence.
Esoteric Yoga allows us to feel the Sacredness that we are, the Harmony that is there in the body, so often smothered by temporal concerns. It connects us to the Truth that we didn’t know that we knew – and yet we did – and offers us an unfolding and deepening joy that is at once both exquisite and very ordinary.