My yoga journey began back in 2010. I was practicing via a book I got from the library (apps didn't exist back then lol) as I was too nervous to go to a class. Yoga wasn't as mainstream as it is these days so I didn't know many people who were practicing and since as I was a complete beginner I was still rife with insecurities about not being 'good' at yoga.
Incidentally, I hear this same complaint from many people I speak to these days and trust me, being a yoga teacher for over a decade now has taught me that the practice isn't about being 'good' at it. Yoga is a spiritual journey that allows you to explore your inner world and connect to a deeper meaning within, and without.
With that being said, on the surface a yoga practice can look a certain way because of the asanas (postures) and many of these asanas can be off putting to a beginner. They can also be off putting to a person who bleeds and goes through four different phases every month, has boobs, hips, has babies, breastfeeds and experiences menopause. Enter - women's yoga!
My womb yoga journey began when I was pregnant - the ‘yang’ type practices I’d been used to up to that point felt wrong for the new body I was in as I grew and nurtured my baby. The studio I attended no longer felt like a nurturing space as I was craving something softer and more accepting. I felt isolated and if I’m being honest, I felt cast out of my yoga community because my pregnant body wanted something different. So I found what I was looking for elsewhere.
So many of the traditional yoga practices we see today were originally created for the male body.
Women's Yoga, also referred to as Womb Yoga, is a yoga practice that honors and connects women with their bodies, emotions, and innate feminine wisdom.
It is founded on the principle that a woman's body undergoes many cycles throughout life, particularly relating to menstruation, fertility, and menopause, which should be acknowledged, respected, and nurtured through yogic practices that are supportive to the female form. So it makes sense that the more ‘yang’ practices, designed with the male body in mind, didn’t feel nurturing to me when I was pregnant.
The focus of Women's Yoga goes far beyond the physical aspects of the yoga poses. We incorporate breathwork, meditation, and mantra to bring in all senses and work on each of the 5 yogic bodies. In yoga we call these koshas, or layers of being - which are physical, energetic, mental, wisdom, and bliss bodies. For a fully rounded practice designed to embrace and align with the cyclical nature of a woman's life.
Rooted in ancient yogic traditions, this approach emphasises the connection to the womb space, which is a source of immense creative power and intuition. Regardless of whether you still have a physical womb, we work with the energetics of this creative centre so the practices are for you with or without.
The practices support women to feel included no matter what stage of life they’re in.
Why Women's Yoga is Important
Honouring the Female Body: Women's Yoga provides a safe and supportive space for women to reconnect with their bodies, leading to a deep sense of appreciation and acceptance, something we often give out to others at the expense of ourselves. Womb yoga encourages you to embrace the natural cycles of the feminine without judgement, supporting you to build a positive relationship with your body.
Embracing Feminine Wisdom: Women's Yoga is a celebration of the innate wisdom that resides within every woman. The practices invite you into deep introspection and self-awareness, allowing you to tap into your intuition and learn to trust yourself and your inner guidance, leading to better decision-making and empowered living off the mat.
Emotional Well-being: Many of the practices allow for somatic release. As humans, we hold so much emotion within our bodies, be it from a difficult experience or past trauma. Women’s yoga provides a safe space for women to explore their emotions and process them healthily, discharging the stored energy/emotions from their bodies. This emotional release has far reaching benefits such as reduced stress, improved mental health, and enhanced emotional resilience.
Empowering Menstruation and Menopause: We are often taught in our culture to be ashamed of our menstruation and the process of menopause. Women's Yoga celebrates these initiatory and empowering transitions in life. As well as using practices that can alleviate menstrual discomfort and support women during menopause. By embracing these transitions through yoga, women can experience greater ease and acceptance during these natural phases of life.
Building Sisterhood and Community: Women's Yoga classes are a beautiful way to meet new friends and offer a sense of sisterhood and community. In my classes I often hold sharing circles, encouraging women to share their experiences, challenges, and triumphs in a supportive and non-competitive environment. This sense of connection can be empowering and healing for women. Knowing that you are never alone in what you’re going through.
As women we've been told for too long that we need to stay quiet, not use our voices and feel ashamed of our womanhood - women’s yoga is a call to rewrite that story and reclaim our feminine power and expression Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, women's yoga, or womb yoga offers a transformative journey of self-discovery and empowerment for women of all ages and backgrounds. If you’d like to practice with me you can find out about my monthly workshops here, sign up to my online membership platform with many on demand classes here, or work 1:1 via zoom. Remember, your yoga practice should feel supportive, safe and inclusive. Practice in a way that nourishes your body in a space that celebrates who you are and your uniqueness.