Mastery, yoga and energy
This is the second blog post in our Mastery series, where we explore the idea of mastery with a focus on yoga. We’re running a whole Mastery challenge at the end of this month (July 2021) where we’ll be sharing awesome resources and homeplay (my new favourite word) to keep you motivated and on the path to Mastery. This challenge is free and open to everyone in the world, and there’ll even be prizes (UK only)! Go sign up here so you don’t miss out.
I’m so excited to share this post with you guys today because I get to talk about yoga (yasss), mastery (woohoo) and another passion of mine – masculine/feminine energy work. The latter is a Tantric philosophy that I find so fascinating, and a concept I’ve studied over the last several years. Understanding masculine/feminine energy poles has really helped me with intra- and inter-relationship dynamics, but I also see how it plays out in anything we do in life. It is not my area of expertise, but I’ll give you a brief introduction based on my understanding.
Masculine / feminine energies
First up – masculine and feminine energy has nothing to do with your assigned sex or your gender identity. Generally speaking, men would have more masculine energy and women have more feminine energy, but this can also be reversed. We actually want to find balance between the two energies! Think of the concept like Yin and Yang.
The masculine (Yang) tends to be more rigid and linear. It manifests as fire, survival, ambition, pride, honour, discipline, caregiver, the instigator of action and the conquerer. The feminine (Yin) is more subtle. While the masculine is linear, Yin energy moves in spirals. The feminine is chaos, intuition, openness, fluidity, quiet, softness, surrender; the devoted nurturer. The masculine is the sun; the feminine the moon. Masculine is action, feminine is feeling. Just like a magnet which always has a North and a South Pole, Yin cannot exist without Yang and vice versa.
In the West / 21st century, you can see that there is a definite masculine/Yang imbalance. We’re all go-getters; driven by ambition and what we can achieve. I believe this is why burn out is so high these days – we never slow down or honour our internal feminine energetic needs. Our idea of success is based on career; our perceived worth is dependent on our salaries or how hard we work.
Mastery, yoga, and energies
As a private yoga teacher – and the owner of an entire private yoga studio – I have worked with a diverse range of people and really been able to support them in a 1-1 format. Every teacher at The Yoga Transformative studio assesses where our clients need the most support. That’s the nature of a private yoga class! And we see all the time just how much we all need to slow down as human beings. Every 1-1 yoga class will incorporate some form of practice to help you slow down or breathe more deeply.
Savasana (relaxation) can be the biggest struggle for many yogis! The idea of surrendering and not doing anything is a very feminine practice – and so many of us are too far in the masculine. I’ve seen some evident patterns with my clients, and I understand why they often prioritise what they want but never what they need.
I’ve seen how people in their masculine (again, mostly men but not all) base their yoga practice on achievement. They crave the powerful poses and strong movement – Power Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Rocket and Forrest. Practice is based on their results. “I could do 2 chaturangas last week; today I did 10. Boom.” Having a simple home yoga practice is often easy for them – consistency and discipline are generally no problem (sometimes to their detriment or exhaustion).
For people predominantly in their feminine pole, home practice can be a struggle. It may ebb and flow. They’re inspired by what they see others do, but consistency is a challenge. Their yoga practice is creative and fluid, and learning to breathe well and relax fully is the path of least-resistance. For that reason, Vinyasa Flow, Yin, and Restorative are the styles of yoga that they’ll be drawn to.
Finding Mastery in Balance
If you know you’re more in your masculine, slowing down feels like hard work. It’s important to remember that true mastery comes from appreciating subtlety. Not all benefits are tangible, and results can sometimes be felt and not seen. Maybe next time you get on your mat you choose to linger in a pose for longer, and let go of some rigidity in your practice. Explore how breathing more smoothly affects you, and maybe even relax in savasana with a bolster or two!
If you identify as someone more in their feminine, try creating a structure for your practice. Perhaps that’s deciding you practice at 8am every day, or that you go to a particular class every week. Creating a reliable structure (which in itself is a masculine construct) means that you can learn consistency. The container/structure may be the same, but you get to fill it with all of the creativity and flowiness you want!
Hopefully this post has helped you understand the masculine / feminine energies and how they relate to your yoga practice! Remember that we can’t achieve mastery without full integration and balance. It’s important to honour both the Yin and the Yang so that we can be committed and take action, while honouring play, rest and introspection.
If you want to learn more about Mastery and yoga then go sign up for our Mastery challenge. It’ll be a 5 day challenge at the end of July, and I can’t wait to share all the expert advice, resources, and home play we have in store for you.