Next year celebrates 10 years since the birth of Goddess Yoga, what started off as an idea has grown and evolved, originally I wanted to connect my love of ritual, seasonal celebrations, following the Lunar cycle and Goddess worship with my Yoga – hence the name Goddess Yoga – I knew Yoga meant to unite with the Divine and I wanted to unite with the divine in Her feminine form.
Since then my work with Red Tent and Womens circles has continued to enhance and evolve to what Goddess Yoga is now today.
Goddess Yoga is more than just a yoga class – it’s a Womens circle, a ritual, a sacred celebration, a coming together of Women – and in Womens circles we find great power, space to discover our inner voice our own truth.
Goddess Yoga is just yoga – Yoga with a feminine twist
I practiced yoga for many years in a very traditional format – which taught me masses and I value deeply, but……the way traditional yoga is taught and practiced felt very masculine to me, very rigid and regimented. To practice daily at 6am, to practice asana, pranayama, meditation in a specific order felt forced and left me feeling inadequate – never quite able to meet the requirements, often feeling like a failure (This was how I felt and interpreted the teachings I am not saying that this is how it is for all Yoga traditions/teachings- maybe its just the perfectionist in me).
I was working more and more with Womens circles and felt that there was a divide between what I was living and practicing – not union. My practice felt forced and separate from my spiritual path.
Isn’t the goal of Yoga union, connection? I felt like there was a growing disconnection not connection! I needed to walk the walk and talk the talk, even if it meant moving away from what my head was telling me was ‘the right way to do things’ and drop down and listen to the whispers of my heart.
And so Goddess Yoga came to be. Each session of Goddess Yoga begins with anointing one and other and honouring each Woman’s Shakti energy, we practice with awareness of the current lunar cycle, season, and our place in our current menstrual or life cycle .Practices are offered for the various stages that a woman may be in and each woman is invited to practice in a way that feels right for her in that moment, to listen in to what she needs to do, which may mean simply dropping down into childs pose and being covered in a blanket! Goddess Yoga classes create a space for women to be, to listen to their intuition and learn practices to enhance their well being, practices to enhance, not hide their unique feminine energy and journey.
As women we often beat ourselves up , we try to juggle, families, work, home life, love life, friendships and often give ourselves a hard time that we are not doing enough, being enough, earning enough, caring enough….the list goes on and on right? So I started to think – what is it that I want from a Yoga practice? Some people practice for spiritual enlightenment which of course is the ultimate aim but me….I’m a long way off that, I practice so that I can cope with life, that I can understand myself and my place in this world a little better, to give my self much needed space to connect back to my true source and listen to my body, my inner wise woman, my guide, my inner Guru.
So Goddess Yoga is my way of sharing my journey of discovery with you – its not a ‘new’ Yoga, its just Yoga. All of the practices I have learned have been taught to me from many wonderful teachers – I haven’t invented anything, I don’t need to and wouldn’t want to as Yoga works as it is . All I have done, if anything, is look at how Yoga works for me, as a woman in this age, in this culture, in my lifestyle as a householder and maybe adapted the way I practice and teach it, still drawing on the knowledge that I have gained from my years of study whilst honouring my intuition
Remember much of the way yoga is practiced today was developed by men for men, young men in ashrams. Many of the postures we practice now are not ancient at all, most ancient texts do not mention many asanas at all. In my understanding Yoga was and is a way of life, a path of self discovery, self transformation, a path to unite the practitioner with the Divine and so I humbly offer you Goddess Yoga and maybe some of it will resonate with you, maybe you too can find Santosha (contentment) in your practice, maybe it will guide you into new ways of practicing that enhance your well being, your lifestyle, your connection to the Divine. That is my wish, that is my offering.