Finding your Femininity Through Yoga
13 August 2013,11:02:24 BST
Wellicious Ambassador Charlotte Saint Jean has been teaching yoga since 2002 and also runs the online yoga and wellbeing site yogachezmoi.com.
Of English nationality and with a sales career behind her she now devotes herself to her family and her yoga teachings study and practise. Read her beautiful and personal blog post on finding femininity through yoga that she has written for Wellicious.
I am a child of the 70s and 80s – or should I say a woman from that era. I am a product of 60s parents and of a Thatcher reign that has structured and influenced many a female. My mother like many enjoyed the freedom of the 60s and 70s and her rise into the middle classes, female equality (at least on paper), the fact that her daughter could go through a comprehensive State education and make it to a decent University and then ultimately get a professional job in the big city!
It was an era of fresh opportunity, dynamic growth, no pain no gain and yes, dynamic, strong – maybe even head strong – women. But somewhere along the way we equal, strong, dynamic women who were in the gym, the bar and the office with the rest of them lost the ability to be women. Or so it feels – or at least so I felt. How can you maintain a good element of feminine touch when you are jostling with the lads all the time. Trying to make it in the world and being up against a whole heap of men all the time you get hardened and yes ever so slightly masculine. Wearing a dress, skirt, make-up – oh yes and the fact that we are still the only sex able to have the babies - ended up some of the only outside elements of being a women.
Well at least it was for me.
So how do you regain your feminine presence after all of that? Because being a woman doesn’t just come from the clothes and make-up you wear it comes from a deeper source within, your Shakti energy, your inner women. Something the 70s and 80s and even 90s have been pretty good at trying to beat down – believe me being a blond in a very masculine world (sales, IT …..) I have heard all the quips and jests you can hear and think of and become hardened to them. I can also give as good as I get!
A friend of mine recently said to me – “but you are THE most feminine person I know” and I was quite shocked because for so long I have been trying to regain this notion and fully feel it not just intellectualise it, paint my nails for it, but actually be it.
So how did I do it?
Through my yoga practice.
For many years my body was my enemy – over weight and racked with body issues, diets, binge eating, over working-out at the gym, over and under compensating elsewhere…. So when a friend of mine told me to join her for a yoga class and I was on a downer after breaking up with my boyfriend I thought why not. OMG what a shock – could you really do all of that with your body? It was an Ashtanga Class so not the most flowing and feminine of classes but the teacher was this beautiful southern American lady with 3 or 4 children and I was gob-smacked. I wanted to know more and in my typical 1980s and 90s frame of mind I went down the no pain no gain route. Not bad but not the best route to feminine freedom.
Then I discovered Vinyasa Yoga, Prana Flow, the likes of Shiva Rea, Sean Corne, Marla Meenakshi, Elena Brower…. More feminine than that, I know not! And so I flowed, I meditated, I used music but most of all I practiced for me, for the good of my body, my mind, my own womanhood…. For my inner Shakti.
Well I am in my forties not my twenties but I feel good. I feel all woman and I practice my yoga for me as a delicious moment of freedom, release, connection, embodiment of all my feminine presence. My body is not quite as thin as I would like it, I have had two children who have blessed me with their presence as well as a beautiful vein in my leg and a tummy not quite as flat as I would love it to be but…. I feel more sexy and more of a woman now than I ever have. I am still strong, dynamic, forceful but I am now no longer afraid to be a woman, to add a touch of softness, sensuality, grace …. femininity to all aspects of my life not just on the yoga mat.
To find out more about Charlotte and all she does and organises: yoga-with-altitude.net
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