One yogini sharing her path of discovery

Posts tagged ‘women’

May Goddess, Part 2

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Wow, what an eye-opener this month has been.

If you weren’t here for the beginning of May, my resolution for this month is to appreciate my fellow Goddess’ more instead of participating in gossip, shaming, jealousies, and other women against women behavior. My issues with other women and my relationships with them runs deeper than I imagined. First off, having this awareness made it suddenly so obvious how often I do these things and that it actually (however temporary) feels good in the moment. I have grown up where its been taught that this is “bad” form but everyone does it and that’s that. End of lesson. I have habitual thought patterns when it comes to the way I think about women. I have also come to realize that I have a very specific requirements in a female that I take on as a friend. After a few toxic female friendships I seem to have made the decision to limit even my interactions with women and only attempting friendships when I am sure that the particular individual is going to appreciate my effort.

So after, basically, my whole life of worshiping some women while ripping apart others I am attempting to adapt my thought pattern to appreciate and love every girl and women and her own inner Goddess.

SOooo how the heck do I do this?

 

Practice:

1. Cultivating new friendships free of expectations – one of the main reasons I think I have ended up on the bitter side of friendship is because of my own high expectations within them. I abandoned expectations in my romantic relationship and it has resulted in the most spectacular love and appreciation for one another. So my friendships have followed suit. It seems so simple but giving up control in any relationship can be challenging.

 

2. Smiling – Women are not going to all get along all the time. We have different personalities and interests but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate and respect one another. Just because an individual doesn’t share my view on life or acts a particular way doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of my love. So as a  simple gesture I have decided to give every women I come into contact with a smile. A real one! A nice side-effect is that this practice has also filtered outward to everyone … men, dogs, cats, and trees. Smiles for everyone!

 

3. Metta Meditation- The cultivation of loving-kindness (mettā bhāvanā). In the Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving-kindness towards themselves and/or sending it out to one’s loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all beings. I have chosen to utilize this meditation on my own loving quest with women either  by visualizing a particular female friend, family member, co-worker, or sending out a blanket of loving-kindness to the women of the world. If you choose to practice this as well you can also recite loving words to send to yourself or others (example: ” I send loving-kindness to all beings” )

 

I am feeling hopeful and happy about these new outlooks and changes. Also very lucky to be surrounded by fearless females that inspire me to be better and love more. Gratitude!

Namaste

xo carly

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Goddess’ of May

Last month I resolved to write more. Everyday in fact. But did I? Actually, I came pretty close. Having my journal on me everyday was like carrying along an old friend. I missed writing about small moments and dreams of things to come. It was also nice being able to look back throughout the month and see the lessons that I have learned and how things have developed with a particular relationship or situation. For a long time my journal was my key to sanity and hope so I appreciated the opportunity to re-connect. I suppose I won’t write in my journal as much as this next month progresses but hopefully will be writing more often. Reigniting the power of words within me.

As always, now we move into the next month. Beautiful, hopeful, May. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to improve on or challenge myself with. Than  I went to an inspiring yoga workshop over the weekend and there it was. The essence of the workshop was celebrating your inner Goddess through meditation, song, writing, dance, and yoga. What I came away with that night, however, was a closeness to my fellow Goddess sisters that I have never felt before.

I have never had a lot of female friends. I have even fewer female friends that I have actually stayed in contact with as I have moved around. Always falling out of touch and than simply out of mind. I have continually wondered about this and early on envied the relationships that other women seemed to have with each other. Telling all their experiences and deep dark secrets. But eventually I decided that it just meant that I was better in some way. I was independent and didn’t need the crutch of a gaggle of girlfriends to complete me. “Girls night out” caused me to make a face of disgust and I rarely ever attended parties that only included women. It had nothing to do with wanting the attention of men, but I just felt out of place and self-conscious. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate. I respect, admire, and I have often have good experiences with women but there always seemed to be this sense of competition,  judgement, and disconnection.

But finally the other night at the workshop, for the very first time in this circle of women, I finally felt free of that. I was safe to speak my truth and our amazing guide allowed understanding for the light and the darkness within all of us. For the first time I wasn’t looking at anyone’s clothes, judging their choices, or feeling those same energies from someone else. We we completely bare and that just made us stronger. For some this probably isn’t a new idea or perhaps seems obvious. But for myself, its like a light-bulb went on and I can finally see the strength that is cultivated when groups of women unite free of society’s ideals for us and what we are “supposed” to be.

sister goddess

So with that in mind, my intention for May came forward. To make stronger connections with my sisters, help other women to see their Goddess within, and to let go of my judgements that I seem to carry.

Got Cramps? Get Yoga!

For some women, every month, the arrival of the painful menstrual cramps is inevitable. Cramps or “dysmenorrhea” can be anywhere from mild to severe. Mild cramps can be barely noticeable while severe ones can disrupt someone’s activities for days at a time. For myself, at least 1 to 2 days a month are accompanied by crippling abdominal pain and fatigue. Since it has been going on so long its one of those things that I have grown to accept.

So why are they so painful? According to medicenet.com

Menstrual cramps are caused by the uterine contractions that occur in response to prostaglandins and other chemicals that are present during menstration. The cramping sensation is intensified when clots or pieces of bloody tissue from the lining of the uterus pass through the cervix, especially if a woman’s cervical canal is narrow.

The difference between menstrual cramps that are more painful and those that are less painful may be related to a woman’s prostaglandin levels. Women with menstrual cramps have elevated levels of prostaglandins in the endometrium (uterine lining) when compared with women who do not experience cramps. Menstrual cramps are very similar to those a pregnant woman experiences when she is given prostaglandin as a medication to induce labor.

**Other factors that have been shown to contribute to menstrual cramps is emotional stress and lack of exercise**

Luckily through yoga I have learned ways to sooth the sensations of razor blades in my gut with a few helpful tools.

Practice:

Exercise should be an important part of any healthy living but when Aunt Flo is visiting it can be challenging to stick with a regular routine. Here are a few postures that can help relieve some discomfort as well as provide some valuable exercise that isn’t going to leave you feeling more fatigued.

Wide-knee Supported Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Supported Child's Pose 3

Ohhhh I cannot express how lovely this pose feels especially during my (what my boyfriend refers to as) “lady times”. It is a great gentle stretch for the lower back and hips which can get tight and sore. With the support of a bolster or a few blankets you are able to completely let go here. Also anytime the belly is covered or facing down it can increase a sense of warmth and safety.

*Add* a hot water bottle or pack onto the lower back

Camal (Ustrasana)

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Abdominal muscles can become very contracted from cramping. This wonderful posture can gently lengthen thighs, torso, chest, and shoulders. It helps in menstrual discomforts by opening up the hips and abdomen. It also aids in relieving mild depression, stress, and anxiety.

*Add* Ujjayi breathing to your movements helping to stay connected as well as cultivate a balancing heat within the body.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose ( Supta Baddha Konasana )

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Mmmm! This is a beautiful opener for the hips and chest. This is also an amazing pose for reducing fatigue and headaches. Feel free to close the eyes or place a eye pillow over the eyes to help relax. If you feel too exposed here you can also rest a hot water-bottle on the belly or a blanket. Also  a strap around the hips and/or bolster beneath your back, allowing the head to remain supported can aide in opening the chest and heart more fully.

*Add* Varuna Mudra- symbolizes water. It can enhance beauty, remove impurities from the blood and relieve painful menstrual cramps.

varuna mudra

Remember…

If you are feeling drained and in pain during this time treat your body with the respect it deserves.

In the first few days of your menstrual cycle try to find a restorative or gentle class and avoid inversions such as headstand.

Love your body even in the worst of times and it will love you back.

Namaste xox

Carly

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