YOGA IN A WOMEN'S BODY
Recently a new womb yoga movement has risen which acknowledges both the sacredness and the limitations of women's bodies. Encouraging women to craft their physical and spiritual practices to both suit and honor their current stage of their cycle or season of life, this womb yoga is an empowering way to find your inner authority and move from there.
Yet, honoring the brilliance and vulnerability of women is not a new thing. Throughout time women have been revered and worshipped for the deep spiritual connection that is available to us through our bodies.
If we choose to journey with our cycles and seasons, honoring the body with what she needs, she will guide us back to our source, and the sacred power that resides there. This is yoga in a women's body.
The sacred and fluctuating nature of women was well known and protected in ancient times in India. Due to our fertility cycles and the delicate nature of our awareness during her menses and after birth, women were not encouraged to practice yoga like men - the severe daily practices and penances and the powerful chanting of the scriptures would create too much disturbance at certain times of life. More about this..
Of course modern yoga in the West is more focussed on conscious movement, breath and meditation practices - practices that can easily be modified according to your cycle or season of life so that your spiritual or physical yoga practice is supporting you rather than impinging upon your health. But in order to modify your practice so it supports you, you need to understand your cycle as well as the practices of yoga and the way they affect your body and energies.
Chaitanya's style of Womb Temple Yoga incorporates movements and practices that bring awareness and energy to the sacred feminine aspects of our being. It is sometimes gentle, sometimes stronger as it moves and flows with the seasons of the womb. It acknowledges that women are vastly different to men and therefore benefit from a yoga practice that reflects each woman's individual needs..needs that are changing from day to day and year to year.
If you would like to deepen your awareness of your womb and cycles you can start by tuning in every day to how your womb feels and try to honor that in your practice.
By engaging, honoring and energising your sacred feminine, you can move into a deeper understanding and experience of yourself and bring balance to polarities of your being. A womb centred practice can enhance fertility, pelvic health and helps you blossom more into your feminine integrity.
Creating a more womb centred practice is a simple pleasure you can indulge in. If you take the time to notice how your energies are feeling and make a little promise to honor that in your practice and in the activities of the day that follows, you've made a brilliant start. Then any movements that involve moving or stretching your hips like circling or bending, lunges and flows are going to bring circulation and vitality to your womb centre. Allow your awareness to be centred there whilst you're flowing through the movements..allow yourself to make your practice a little more feminine, the movements more like a sacred dance.
Womb Yoga says:
How do I feel deep down in my womb?
What kinds of poses will nourish me today?
Bringing the awareness and the flow of energy to your feminine organs is going to enhance their well being but to really boost your womb's wellness you'll want to include inversions (when you're not bleeding) in your regular practice. Inversions flow the blood and prana to the hormonal centres in the brain which can then begin to rebalance, with the effects flowing down into your womb centre. Inversions are a girl's best friend, no matter how simple or small they will help your reproductive health.
In fact, each pose and each type of pose can help or hinder you depending on what your body needs on a particular day!
Therefore, understanding your body, her cycles and capabilities as well as having a general understanding of the poses and practices of yoga and their effects on the body helps you to modify and deepen your practice greatly.
Remember there are no hard and fast rules about how your practice should look, your practice can nourish you deeply if you feel into it and experiment with what feels great to you. My teacher David Frawley says the most important aspect of asana is not how you make the pose with your body but the energy that you fill it with. If you can fill your poses with nourishing feminine peace and change the pace and intensity depending on how your inner world and your body feels your whole being will benefit.