Sensual Yoga Was Born . . .

If you read my last blog post you’ll recall that I wasn’t exactly gung ho about yoga. It made me feel good, but it was boring, frustrating, utterly unenjoyable. The intense demands of having two little ones only 16 months apart caused a slacking off in my already uninspired yoga practice. Not only was my back aching, but I was experiencing other discomforts as well. I knew I had to get back to a consistent practice. It was then that I turned the nursery into my little yoga sanctuary. Afterall, at the age of around 8 months, Haze was an independent woman and ready to move on to her big girl room that was another door down from my room 😉 So I decked that tiny little room out with dark wood floors and deep red walls. I treated myself to a fancy Ganesha statue, candles galore and enough nag champa to fumigate all of India. I did everything I could to create an inviting space to practice in. And it did get me excited to spend that time alone after putting the kids to bed each night. Yes, nighttime practice was my jam for many years! I know I know! You’re supposed to practice in the morning, but that just wasn’t happening with the kids and I’m really just more of a night owl. Not only is my body more supple at night, but my brain functions better as well. I’m just more me at night. I don’t think I’ve ever had a single inspired thought in the daylight hours LOL!
Each night I came to my little candle lit room and rolled out my mat. Sometimes I would practice to the sound of my breath, but most often I’d listen to music. It was always traditional “yoga” music. I loved the Desert Dwellers, Deva Premal, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, etc. My practice would start out looking similar to Ashtanga Primary series. Lot’s of vinyasa, holding warrior poses, counting breaths, you know the deal. However, something a bit different would happen when I got to the seated postures. Asanas would begin to evolve into something a bit more fluid. My body found its way into stretches that didn’t have sanskrit names. Movements became more snake like and I almost always ended up slithering right off my mat, even shoving it out of my way. The mat started to feel like a hindrance to the fluid movements my body wanted to do. It was kind of like dancing? Definitely yoga based, but not really yoga. Maybe a tad bit strip tease like? It was enjoyable. It was maybe even fun! My hands naturally slid over body parts as I moved in and out of poses. It was like giving myself a hug in a way. It wasn’t intentional, but it made me feel loved and cared for. As a mom of two little ones, your body can begin to feel alien, not your own, and certainly run down and uncared for. Sex wasn’t really happening much and my relationship wasn’t exactly “goals.” While motherhood is incredibly rewarding in many ways, it can feel a bit thankless at times. I didn’t realize how depleted I was, how empty my well was, until I gave myself a little bit of love. It was so nice to do something for no other reason than it felt good. In my years of teaching I have most often seen students that are mothers cry or weep during yoga classes. I think this is because self sacrifice and self neglect are so commonly paired with motherhood that when we take the time to care for ourselves like we do in a yoga practice, we have such an intense release. There is so much that we are holding on to, so much we are trying to hold together, so much focusing on making sure everyone else’s needs are met before our own. To take even an hour out of our day to show ourselves some affection, can be incredibly powerful.
While tears were the benchmark of my early days of secretly practicing sensual yoga, empowerment soon followed. It was years before I even tried to articulate what I thought was happening as a result of this style of movement. But essentially it is this: Sensual movement activates Our Shakti energy. This energy and our sexual nature, is the source of our power. It is the source of all creation. We are all born from a sexual moment. This Divine Feminine energy is in us all from the moment we are conceived. We embody Masculine energy as well. Both are essential for balance, but this balance has been thrown off, not only in the individual but on a universal scale as well. For so long, femininity has been deemed weaker than masculinity. Our current culture values assertiveness, the ability to make money, drive, ambition. We teach our children to “do what’s right for you” with less emphasis on what’s best for the community. We’ve been pushed to “succeed” and accomplish, but no one taught us to be grateful and content. I feel something changing though. There is a shift happening. Balance is coming. We must continue to nurture our feminine gifts! Intuition is every bit as valuable as intellect and the world would soon crumble in the absence of softness and compassion. Shakti is making a comeback.
However, 11 years ago when I began this journey into sensuality, I didn’t know any of this. I just knew I had a secret. Something that made me happy. Somehow feeling sensual made me happy. It didn’t logically make sense to me. I shouldn’t care about feeling sexy! How shallow am I to want that? I was a mother now. I thought it was all a bit silly. But I was still going to do it. I’d just keep it all to myself. It was probably an insult to yoga, I thought. I’d never let anyone know what went on in that dark yoga room after I put my kids to bed.
To be continued…

Xoxo
Michelle
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