By Ana Davis
Did you know there’s a new wave in yoga?
It’s Women’s Yoga.
It’s all about embodying a more feminine approach to this ancient practice.
It’s a niche-yoga that’s fast catching on.
That’s because finally we are recognising the need to adapt yoga to suit a woman’s body and psyche and to therefore bring back the balance.
Yoga is an ancient tradition that was created by men for men. Consequently, many of the traditional postures and practices are more suitable for men’s bodies. Even the meaning of ‘Hatha Yoga’, the branch of yoga concerned with the physical postures, means ‘force’, which encapsulates a stronger, more masculinised approach.
Another interpretation of Hatha yoga is that it means a union of opposites – ‘ha’ means the sun, or the heating, ‘masculine’ qualities, whilst ‘tha’ means the moon, or the cooling, ‘feminine’ qualities. This reflects the idea of what the word ‘yoga’ essentially means – ‘yoking’ or ‘union’ – and should in fact encapsulate. Therefore, a truly holistic yoga practice represents a union of the masculine and feminine energies to create a balance that honours the dark and light, the yin and the yang that naturally occurs in nature.
This is where Women’s Yoga comes in.
Even though 80% of yoga practitioners are women, so much of the yoga practised today still unevenly favours the masculine which at the very least is inappropriate for female practitioners and at the worst can create harm both on the physical and emotional levels.
“On an emotional level, a woman’s sensitivity often shifts to more of a masculine ‘Ha’ if she continually takes on challenges and engages in competition. Instead of experiencing feelings of compassion when confronted with a situation, we may first exhibit anger. Because of the emphasis placed on our more masculine side, our feminine qualities are depleted instead of enhanced. Both aspects need to be honoured.”– Nischala Joy Devi, “The Secret Power of Yoga”
Within this new and important field of Women’s Yoga there are different areas in which you can specialise – prenatal yoga, postnatal yoga, yoga for fertility, yoga for your menstrual cycle, and, yoga for menopause. All of these aspects of women’s yoga reflect key stages throughout a woman’s life in which the right kind of feminine-focused yoga can provide a great deal of support.
So you’d like to become a Women’s Yoga Teacher
Do you long to explore a more subtle, holistic and ultimately more feminine approach to your yoga practice both on and off the mat?
Are you aching to find a more balanced approach to yoga and to your life that comes from a deep, real, sustainable place of self-love that ripples outward to everyone around you?
Are you passionate about sharing this work with other women in your community?
But… you’re not sure where to start?
Learning Pathways to becoming a Women’s Yoga Specialist
Here’s some learning pathways to help you catch your wave and allow you to flow into an exciting new career for yourself.
You’d like to become a yoga teacher and specialise in helping women use yoga as a powerful tool to support them during the menstrual cycle, in preparing to conceive, and during the passage to menopause.
Enrol in our Shakti Purna 200 hr Teacher Training Course. The Foundation Module is coming up this November and it will equip you with the basic skills of how to teach postural alignment and sequencing, as well as pranayama, meditations and yoga philosophy – all from a gentle, feminine perspective. You can then complete your 200 hour training and become a Yoga Alliance accredited RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) by undertaking Module 2, the Women’s Yoga Speciality Teacher Training in March, 2017.
You’d like to become a yoga teacher and specialise in yoga for pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Enrol in our Shakti Purna 200 hr Teacher Training Course. The Foundation Module is coming up this November and it will equip you with the basic skills of how to teach postural alignment and sequencing, as well as pranayama, meditations and yoga philosophy – all from a gentle, feminine perspective. You can then complete your 200 hour training and become a Yoga Alliance accredited RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) by undertaking Module 2b, the 100 hr Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training Course, coming up this month from 18th August, or again, in August 2017.
You’re already a yoga teacher and would like to work with women to support them with yoga for pregnancy, birth, and into motherhood.
Then you’ll be interested in Bliss Baby Yoga’s various training options to become a Prenatal or Postnatal Yoga Teacher. Visit their site for more info.
You’re already a yoga teacher and would like to work with women to support them throughout the menstrual cycle, to enhance fertility and into menopause.
You’ll be interested in the 80 hour Speciality Women’s Yoga Course coming up in March, 2017.
Ana Davis is Director and Founder of Byron Yoga Centre’s sister-school, Bliss Baby Yoga. She has taught yoga for over 20 years and trained teachers for the last 10 years. Ana is passionate about yoga for all stages of a woman’s life-cycle and is currently writing a book, “Moving with the Moon: Nurturing Yoga, Movement and Meditation for Every Phase of your Menstrual Cycle”. You can read more about Ana and her awesome team of women’s health experts here.