Are you a sissy?

I’ve been exploring femininity both in myself and in the yoga classes I teach and have found it to be profoundly enlightening.

I told my students in class today to embrace their “sissy side.” I said it to provoke. I said it to stir up (real) belief systems. And I ask this question of you now to get straight to the heart of the matter, breaking old thought patterns and bringing freedom. How does this make you feel? Are you a sissy?

If you are still reading, ask yourself what is a sissy, anyway? I know what school kids mean by it when they say it and that proves my point: there is a real attack and diminishing of feminine qualities in our world. (Why is a whole other story, so I’ll skip that for today.) What I want to invoke is an embrace of the Divine Feminine that each one of us has. Femininity is nurture, kindness, patience, gratitude, interdependence, emotion, meekness, sensitivity, quietness, grace, innocence, flirtatiousness, softness, acceptance, love. These are great qualities to possess! Ones that our world is desperate and hungry for! So, I ask again, will you embrace your “sissy side?”

In a world that idolizes masculine traits such as independence, aggression, tough skin, competition, strength, experience, activity, self confidence, harshness, rebellion; in a world where even women try to be more masculine in order to get by and make it (in singleness, in careers, in order to be seen at church, etc.), we all may need to embrace our “sissy side!” (There is a difference between being a sissy and embracing aspects of the metaphor, let’s get that straight.)

I want to be both strong and meek, confident and sensitive, aggressive and kind. We need both masculinity and femininity, we need the yin and the yang in our world and in order to have that, we need to first embrace it in ourselves.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Let me know how it goes!

Namaste.

Why I practice yoga

I practice yoga because it brings me life, it brings me joy, it brings me peace, and it brings me healing. I practice yoga because it brings freedom.

I often come across naysayers to yoga, for a whole host of reasons, you can probably think of some right now, but the spiritual aspect of yoga is really what makes the whole exercise or practice so alluring for me. I am a Christian and in a world of Buddha and Hindi Goddess statues, I can get a lot of push back from what I am beginning to really understand are my own insecurities, fears, and lies. This is what I love about yoga: it embodies growth not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Yoga allures and provides an opportunity to reach and obtain heaven on earth, a higher place, and an ecstasy if-you-will, in peace, love, and joy through all three aspects of ourselves: spirit, body, and soul (mind, will, and emotions). It is unlike any other form of exercise or even learning opportunity.

 I began my yoga practice 13 years ago and admittedly have been a weekend warrior for most of that time. I grew up doing gymnastics, cheerleading, and dance, but it was just after college that a friend invited me to a yoga class. That first instructor was so empowering and encouraging, she embodied what I now know yoga, and God, to be about: she planted a seed of hope and exploration that has shaped my practice, and life ever since. I see how my childhood activities prepared me for the physical asanas or poses of yoga, but those can come with regular practice.  We are all born with an innate hunger for the Divine and yoga allows us to explore Him, however inflexible we may be, IF we so choose. The seemingly paradoxical safe-challenge of yoga is unlike any other. It allows for our whole self to explore together thus creating a synergy found nowhere else. For me, yoga has become a transcendental way of growth in the Divine as I explore and now teach others the physical asanas, breathe, mental, and spiritual awareness that is inside a yoga class. Yoga has become a gift, which like God, is never ending and fully good. As with all things the depths of your personal practice is a choice. I like that and it is one more reason I practice yoga.