In Tigress Yoga, we speak of the opportunity to silence the mind through our whole body prayer and sensuous feminine approach to yoga. By focusing on your body and accessing it’s womanly gifts, you get to effortlessly slow down your thoughts, without even trying to make that happen. When the fast moving train of the mind is slowed down, it affords you the chance to feel deeper than emotion. The simplicity of sensation and the beautiful realm of pure feeling come alive, guiding you into connection with your ‘inner teacher’.
Women of integrity respect the unique approach of Tigress Yoga and hold it as sacred. However, there is no cleaning of my toilet, praying with my photo in hand or any other guru-student relationship activities required. Instead, we let this deeply transformative yogini practice itself, help keep us aligned to the heart’s humility. Instructors and some students receive personalised mentoring from me as well, to help them stay on track or learn how to navigate the frequently turbulent pathway to inner alignment for real personal evolution. In the Taoist tradition, it’s known as the 3 brains: intellect, heart wisdom + sensual or instinctual intelligence, all in harmony with each other so we can even hear the voice of our ‘inner teacher’.
While walking this path, many students get temporarily distracted by or in some cases completely lost in following their negative inner voices, mistaking it for their inner teacher. Following the negative spiral seems to be all part of being able to distinguish our pretender voices from the true voice of our soul – our inner teacher.
So how do you know which is which? Firstly, lets look at an example: a student has had a life long pattern of suppressing their anger and therefore their orgasm. She has a very dominant mind that is almost impossible for her to switch off at the best of times. Even with encouragement to give herself permission to process the anger, she ends up being so unskilled in contacting this untapped orgasmic power lodged in her body as anger, that she misinterprets the signals inside. Without the experience of navigating her deep inner world with more awareness, she manufactures reasons to discharge the emotion of anger towards those around her, mistaking it as an expression of being authentic. “I’m giving myself permission to be angry” she says, as her once passive-aggression stance turns into outward emotional projection. Without taking the time to develop the strength of her container, her nervous systems’ capacity to expand and ground the energy, she creates scenarios to vent her inner rage. Instead the alternative would be to learn how to sit through the enormously difficult task of facing the massive build up of energy and acknowledge it without attacking others, to really own it.
‘Pretender voices’ is a shamanic term I learnt via a medicine path I’ve explored based on Native American teachings. It’s great terminology because it’s so descriptive of how it feels inside. Pretender voices have an agenda. They are based in separation, pushing against someone or something, often for personal gain. In women, it can show up as her ‘masculinisation’, a covering up of her real vulnerability, a scrambling over the top of other people to feel worthy, often with a negative kind of competitiveness. Pretender voices will try to talk you into justifying what they want so your ego can take control and have what it wants, at all costs. And often it is successful. But it feels like shit. It feels ingenuine, cunning, heavy, dishonest and lacks true respect for others. It involves a lot of internal dialogue to justify it’s mental position and can only exist in the thinking mind because it has no depth or reality in the body. Therefore, a feeling of emptiness is known underneath it’s scrambling, to pretend that it is the voice of your inner teacher. Awkward.
You know it’s the voice of your inner teacher when it’s calm, centred, consistent, truthful and not born out of emotional reactivity. It doesn’t need to be in contrast to something else for it to exist. It’s the still, quiet voice that often doesn’t need to yell or make a big song and dance about itself for you to appreciate it’s significance. It doesn’t need to be incessantly dialogued with other people. It’s coming from a higher plane with an ancient wisdom about it. It isn’t entwined with any of your human desperation for survival, image or worldly gain. It’s Truth with a capital T. It’s so obvious that it has no sneaky agendas like the pretender voices, because often your own ego won’t like it. And that implies awareness of being able to witness your own ego mind (separation). The vibration of it in your body feels pure, connected and grounded. Within it is an appreciation for others, without the need or desire to push against them in any way. It elevates you and them.
We all need to feel what it’s like to make the premature assumption that the pretender voice is the inner teacher, by doing so. By fucking up. Although it may have the effect of crossing the boundaries of others, it’s essentially a transgression against one’s own integral wellbeing. And it isn’t easy or much fun to recognise where we’ve gone against our own soul.
It is possible to distinguish pretender voices from the voice of your inner teacher. It takes time to feel the difference. It takes trust. It takes humility. It takes commitment and devotion. It takes being willing to be wrong. And once it’s more defined, you feel more free. The pretender voices won’t necessarily stop happening, but you can see them for what they are and track them to discover parts of you that haven’t seen the light of day. And the voice of the inner teacher becomes so beautiful as a sensation in your body, that it won’t have to be a mental argument to know who’s talking to you – you can trust it as an experience, as sensation in your body.
Have you had the experience of being able to distinguish the voices in yourself?
What if nothing was more important than the quality of your relationship with YOU?
Next time it comes up, feel deeper than the story, into the level of sensation……and become curious to find out.