Why I don't practice yoga anymore...
This week we have the pleasure of having a guest post from Blaire Lindsay, Intimacy and Relationship Coach at BLAIRE LINDSAY. *Her equal parts feminine and powerful energy inspire all of us here at PMSBOX, and know that she will inspire you too!
This feeling has been bubbling up for so long now and it basically comes down to this:
When I practice asana, whether at home or in a class, I can't shake the feeling that my female body is invisible.
Of course there are/have been wonderful teachers and classes that make me feel seen but honestly, these classes are rare.
I can count the number of times I've heard the word 'menstruation' in a yoga class on 2 hands.
Stats say that 72% of yoga practitioners are women. And yet we look at things like
the post-partum period
Like, really? Even though I'm the overwhelming majority, my body is the exception?
My being just ACHES for the 72% of us who have wombs to have our female bodies accurately mirrored back to us when we practice.
My vulva and womb and breasts ache to be acknowledged:
not just skirted around but actually SPOKEN TO in the practice.
After 10 years of practice, why does my female body often feel undifferentiated in the practice of yoga, even when my practice is self-led?
Maybe it's the scant information I've received over the years as it relates to the female body practicing yoga (not to mention the misinformation)
'But yoga isn't here to educate women on these things', you might say.
That may be true, but if no one is talking to me about the ACTUAL experience I'm having in my body (rather than the experience I'm told is right or the one I should be having)
then not only do I feel unseen,
but I start to judge my experience.
Maybe I look at the beautiful, strong, male bodies - the yoga ideal I see all over my newsfeed and yoga ads - and I start to feel,
'Lucky them. The female body is SUCH an inconvenience."
So I push myself to perform like the ideal male body does, even though that means I fight against my hormonal and anatomical realities and put a great deal of stress on my body,
and I chastise myself when I don't/can't live up to an ideal.
If my female body and its cycles and particularities aren't acknowledged and recognized then even though I'm in a room full of women, I feel alone in my experience. Like I'm the only one.
I might feel ashamed, or embarrassed (and often have).
My body ACHES for a practice that wraps me up so fully in my feminine physicality:
an embodied practice that considers my womb and my vulva and my breasts and *gasp* even acknowledges them!
a practice that is shame -free;
a practice that is SHAMELESS;
a practice that is radical in its total acceptance of me as a WOMAN.
And until I can find that in my relationship with yoga, I can't actually call my current embodiment practice 'Yoga'.
*The opinions of guest bloggers are solely those of the author, and do not reflect those of PMSBOX or the staff. Thank-you!