What is the relationship between creativity, sexuality and the cycles of our lives? How does energy move, as creative and sexual expression, and how does she get blocked? What is the relationship between rest and activity in relation to our creative and sexual cycles? What is the nature of Shakti and how has she been constrained? How can we understand the movements of Shakti? How can the Great Wisdom Goddesses Kamalatmika (the lotus goddess of delight) and Matangi (the wild outcaste poet) support our understanding of creative and sexual energies?
This experiential day long workshop is open to all women and yoga teachers, yoga therapists and health care practitioners who are seeking to support positive experiences of creativity and sexuality in women’s lives, either for themselves personally, or for their students and clients.
The day counts as continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers who have completed prior trainings with Uma, and can also count towards CPD points for general yoga teachers and therapists, depending upon the requirements of their professional associations. Health care practitioners, psychotherapists, sexological body workers and coaches with an interest in yoga, sexuality and creativity are also welcome to attend, provided they have a living interest in and practice of yoga.
The intention of this day is to provide practical experience of breath (pranayama), rhythmic and restorative yoga postures (asana), gestures (mudra), heart-based meditations (yoga nidra) and deep, joyful heart songs (kirtan) that promote healthy creative and sexual energies. Supportive sequences of integrated yoga postures will be taught, and there will be time for discussion. An overview of common creative and sexual challenges and opportunities will be discussed in relation to appropriate yogic responses. By the end of the day, participants will have an understanding of the key practical and theoretical yoga-tantra responses that are helpful to support the expression of women’s creativity and sexuality.
There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussions. The programme is open to responsive, intuitive attunements and adjustments to meet the specific needs of those attending.
This session is informed by extensive research into the history and politics of yoga, and it reclaims for women’s bodies, the practices that nourish our source and heal the disconnections that we often experience as women living in a man’s world. The cycles of energy and the rhythms of sexual and creative pleasures that the session explores are rooted in menstruality consciousness, an awareness of the cycles of creativity and sexual patterns of arousal, desire, satiation and disinterest.
Optional suggested course reading (during and after the day workshop): Yoni Shakti is the key text for reference during this day workshop
Drawing of Kamalatmika by Sivani Mata Francis
STATEMENT of INCLUSION
A genuine welcome and appropriate support for women considering attending any of our courses from Uma:
“Please know that I warmly welcome all women of all stages of life to my courses. My assistants and I and make every effort to ensure that everyone is genuinely supported and honoured by providing appropriate practices during courses, retreats and workshops.
There is no exclusion from practice or teaching space on account of womanly needs. For example, menstruating women are offered suitable practices to support their bleed time, menopausal woman are given opportunities to rest and/or adjust room temperature as necessary, and pregnant women are provided with the props and time and space they need to be at ease in the learning/retreat environment.
Lactating women are welcome to express milk, and/or to feed their children in comfort in the main class space if they chose, or to be provided with an alternative comfortable and appropriate space to do so. Lactating women will never be asked by myself or any of my assistants to go into the toilets to express milk or feed their babies on my courses, and menstruating, premenstrual or menopausal women will never be excluded from practice because of their current physical or emotional needs.
I walk my talk. I care very passionately indeed about the rights of women to celebrate the experiences of being a woman, including menstruating, navigating the premenstruum, ovulating, being pregnant, menopausal or breastfeeding and expressing milk. I spent three years of my life pregnant, eight years of my life breastfeeding, and seven years as a breastfeeding counsellor, where I saw that disrespectful attitudes towards breastfeeding adversely impacted on women’s confidence and capacity to breastfeed feed their children. As an advocate of conscious menstruality, I also observe that the cyclical fluxes of menstrual and menopausal experiences are neither recognised nor honoured by many yoga teaching approaches ,and this disempowers women by encouraging a disconnection from their naturally arising flow and change at emotional and physical levels.
I observe that in many yoga teaching environments there is an implicit disrespect or exclusion of menstruating, menopausal, premenstrual, pregnant or lactating women simply because their physical and emotional needs are disregarded, or seen to be inconvenient and disruptive to the general flow of teaching. As an antidote to this, I actively welcome the opportunity to met these needs in my courses and workshops as a chance to encounter a deeper and broader range of yoga practice appropriate to all stages of life.
I seek to ensure that on my courses nobody is disrespected or excluded because of their experiences or women’s life stages. Everyone is invited to be comfortable and at ease, knowing that their particular life stage experiences are honoured and welcome.”