When I was growing up I didn’t have much exposure to traditional religion. What little experience I did have was made up of a few visits to Sunday school and what amounted to less than a handful of visits to church. To this day I remember the rather musty smell of churches, a smell that I assume was derived from a combination of ancient wooden pews and ancient congregations; I remember the feel of thin pages in well thumbed bibles; the hard cushions that we knelt on to pray, I also remember how our voices swelled in fleeting unison when singing the comforting choruses of hymns and then how we mumbled our way through the rest of the song, grateful that at least the organist knew the words. The other thing that stays with me to this day is that my encounters with traditional religion were boring beyond belief, to me it was a dry, lifeless experience that seemed to captivate very few. As a child my world was full of colour and yet when I stepped into church all the colour seemed to drain from life.
So what is it that we are responsible for? Our kids, sure, each other, sure, being responsible citizens, yes of course, the environment, as much as we can, but what if the quality and level of responsibility that we are able to take for the things outside of us, was dependent on the quality and level of responsibility that we are prepared to take for ourselves?
As a yoga teacher I believed whole heartedly that I was a very healthy person. I exercised most days, consciously pushing myself to my physical limit, I ate what I believed to be healthy foods and I ate them in large quantities, believing that the more of them I ate, the better it was for me. I lived what I believed to be a virtuous way of life, I was kind to others and would help others out even at the expense of my own body.
A bold statement you may think but allow me to elaborate. Last year I signed up for a basic four week computer course with Simon Asquith. Up until that point my relationship with computers had been, what can only be described as ‘rather strained’. My relationship was ok as long as I stuck to basic emailing and didn’t try to do anything new, but as soon as I tried to do anything new, I invariably ended up spending what felt like an inordinate length of time repeating the same dead end moves over and over again, getting increasingly more frustrated, until I eventually had some sort of minor breakdown.
When I was about 20 years old I momentarily pushed my pet hamster under water in anger because it bit me. I had bought myself a hamster because my best friend had a couple and it seemed like a really cool thing to have. I remember feeling disappointed that I got absolutely nothing back from my hamster… it didn’t make me look cool and neither did it love me.
Recently my sister sent me a photo of her and I as kids. I had not seen this photo before and when I looked at it, something about it made me come to an abrupt halt. What struck me so forcibly was seeing how naturally loose and relaxed our bodies were. There is an exquisite lightness and natural ease that seems to flow through both of us. When I look at that photo now, my body remembers exactly what it was feeling at the time. Firstly, I was upside down and my whole body delighted in being upside down; it also loved to spin, jump, run, tumble and roll.
In 1966 I was born into what is commonly known as ‘Middle England’. For those who are not familiar with this term, it is not a geographical location; Middle England is used to describe a particular class of people in England. People in ‘Middle England’ are characterised by the fact that they are neither rich nor poor, they are what is known as ‘comfortably off’. In fact, not only are they ‘comfortably off’ but they are ‘comfortably everything’. Comfort is a defining factor in nearly every aspect of life in ‘Middle England’. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but I shall talk about what makes up life for the majority of the people in Middle England, for I am one of them.
Picture this – a room full of people all moving to the beats of Glorious Music, each person moving in connection with their own unique body, big smiles on their faces and a genuine feeling of joy in the room. This is what True Movement classes with Beverly Carter look like.
True Movement classes are a low impact way to move and exercise your body, so what exactly is True Movement?
Looking back to the first few times that I saw Natalie Benhayon present at a Universal Medicine retreat, I have the distinct feeling that I was holding my breath, I think it was probably due to the spell binding quality that Natalie possesses. I was aware that my head was arguing that she was less than half my age but my senses knew that this young woman was also in many ways ageless.
Natalie Benhayon is by accepted world standards a very attractive woman but her real beauty comes from so deep within her that it’s starting point is not traceable.
I know before I even start, that words will fail me but none the less I would like to try to describe the profound effect that Serge Benhayon has had on my life. I feel it’s true to say that for pretty much my entire life I have had a feeling that there was something about life that was just out of reach, something that was both ‘there’ and at the same time ‘not there’. I often had the feeling that I was being given small clues and yet I never seemed to be able to follow the clues far enough to actually work out where they lead.
Alexis Stewart is the mum of a beautiful boy and the partner to an amazing man. She works as a yoga teacher and a disability support worker and is a dedicated student of the Way of The Livingness. Alexis has recently discovered a passion for writing.