The Divine Feminine & Yoga

Did Women Invent Yoga?  If you don’t think yoga is a feminist issue try suggesting as author and feminist historian Vicki Noble does, that women invented the ancient practice. Noble’s assertion defies the common myth that women were not allowed to practice yoga until the past century. But as Tantric scholar Ramesh Bjonnes writes “women have been gurus, healers, yoginis, and Goddesses since the beginning of time”. (see more here)

Tantric “Sluts” or Living Goddesses: Why it Matters  With recent media revelations about ritual sex, nude yoga and “yogasms” – sex has become a hot topic in the yoga world. Well, in honour of Women’s History Month, I’m joining the fray. Because let’s face it, nothing is more juicy or salacious than the forgotten high priestesses of sex, the “debauched” yoginis of Tantra….(see more here)

Why I’m (still) a Feminist: The Goddess and Yoga  Man is master by divine right; the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex 1949   It astonishes me that a well respected yoga radio show recently spent a whole segment discussing whether God exists without once utilizing the feminine pronoun. (Okay – perhaps not so surprising considering the topic was Brad Warner’s book There is No God and Why He is Always With You. (see here)

The Great Belly: A Yogini’s Lament  Consider the poor belly, zipped up and girded, its protuberance detested. I find it telling that the belly, once revered as a symbol of abundance and fertility is so despised. Early cultures produced a continual stream of female figurines, engravings, ceramic designs and paintings all featuring the glory of huge, even gargantuan stomachs. (more here)

Rewilding The Yoga Body  For “inspirational, forget hot babes doing yoga poses at sunset on a cliff, and think “Kabuki she-demon and buzzard pal eating pomegranates under a tree”. Yes, that is probably more like it. Because from Lilith to Kali, to crazed flesh-eating greek Maenads, African Amazons and medieval witches, the wild woman was licentious, disheveled, abandoned and carnal – she was never about being pretty. (see here)

A Social Justice Project: The Reclamation of the Yogini Women’s history month is nearly here and it’s a good time as any to remember the spiritual foremothers of yoga – the Tantric yoginis.  After all we rarely give them much thought. Their erasure from history is an injustice that lies silent at the very heart of contemporary yoga – and one with far reaching implications today. Because without questioning a history of yoga written by men, solely for men, can yoga ever be an equitable, “socially just” practice? (see more here)