Each one of our extraordinary beings contains both Male and Female energy, the Yin and the Yang, the In and the Out, the Up and the Down. We must nurture both energies to create a balance within our beings. Take a look at the list below of some male and female qualities. These qualities can be in our physical bodies, our emotional or mental perception, our spiritual and expression. Do you identify with one side more than the other?
|Intuitive perception||Logical perception|
|Flaccidity, softness||Tone, firmness|
|In, under, down||Out, above, up|
|Earth, water elements||Air, fire elements|
|Yin, (shady side of hill)||Yang (sunny side of hill)|
For me personally I identify with male energy which can tend to dominate. This may be due to a number of different reasons but I noticed a major shift in my energies after college. I spent 6 years in the corporate world dealing with extreme pressure to fit in an extremely competitive sales force which was all male! On a day to day basis I would “fake it till you make it” with an alpha male competitive attitude because I thought at the time that what I had to do to fit in, to make that big sale, to get that promotion. In the end I burnt myself out and created a MAJOR energy imbalance in my life which ended up affecting my physical and mental health. It was due to this major energy imbalance that lead to a mini break down which ended with me leaving the company which no longer served me and found myself at Pavones Yoga Center in Costa Rica trying to balance out the mess which I created.
“If we tend to favor one side or the other too much, we can create imbalance in ourselves and in our lives. If we oppress or judge, over-control or misuse, deny or withhold energies from the male or the female, it has a reciprocal effect on the other pole and its expression. This is because the male and female energies are inherently never separate and deeply interwoven within us. We begin to become aware, either through a soft whispering impulse or a clear, insistent inner voice that we need to get more rest and relaxation (female aspect), and slow down from a pressured work or social pace. This is an attempt to self-nurture. We frequently ignore the whispering voice from within, or we may register it but then judge it as being weak and whiny. Or, we may be aware of it and choose to ignore it and push a little more, because we are honoring the dictates of expectations from within ourselves (the pusher who says that you never do enough) or from outside (demanding bosses, co-workers or friends) who themselves are out of balance. In these scenarios the female is dishonored and the male is not nurtured or restored. This can lead us to create frustration, burnout, physical disease, or even an accident or other traumatic situation that can serve as a trigger to help us awaken to a need for change within ourselves.” Emily Laural IRMT (http://www.indigosun.com/old_files/JULY99/Laurel.htm)
Ok so what can we do to balance male and female energy? Luckily there are many options, tools and techniques to help but I will focus on two specific practices that have helped me. Developing a Yin Yoga practice, Yin Yoga is a slow and deep practice to stretch the connective tissues and joints of the hips, thighs and lower spinal area. Unlike the muscles, which are more yang parts of our bodies, the parts that like repetition and movement, the connective tissues need to be addressed with a quite attitude of acceptance. The postures are all practiced on the floor and each is held for about three to five minutes. Yin Yoga balances the yin and yang aspect of ourselves, encourages the flow of prana, helps maintain the health of the connective tissues, and helps us develop a mindful meditation practice. I literally feel more in tune with my female energy qualities after a Yin session!
Then there is Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing which we worked on in our yoga teacher training, this is especially good for balancing male and female energy. This breathing technique helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality (our male and female energy). Alternate Nostril Breathing helps purify and balance the nadis which are the subtle energy channels, thereby clearing any blockages we have in our energy channels and ensuring smooth flow of Prana (life force) through our bodies. My favorite thing about this breathing technique is you can do it anywhere and only for a few minutes and you will feel more balanced.
I hope by sharing my personal experience when I noticed an energy imbalance and the steps I am taking to help restore balance will motivate you to examine your awareness of yourself and how you relate to the world, you can take simple steps to create balance and harmony back in your life!