Whole Life Magazine

June / July 2017

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Page 18 of 35

yoga & spirit yoga & spirit S ummer calls us home to our wildness. Though our so modern, screen-driven lives bid us to be ever-moving and always planning, often pulling us away from being physically and wholly present in our own skin, the warmest season of the year is our annual reminder that our soul-deep freedom is sourced fi rst from the wild body and, second, from meaningful relationship. Summer is the season of fruition, when our yoga practice is a body prayer to communal joy and a living benediction to pas- sion and pleasure, when our movement alchemy births transformation out of dance as much as asa- na and laughter as much as meditation. Embody the high-fi re solar ener- gies by breaking through any self-set or socially in- doctrinated boundaries that would tame you or tether you to "should bes" or "supposed tos." This is the sea- son of your liberation, Priestess, so handcraft a personal prac- tice that truly supports your authentic, sun-warmed presence on and off the mat. The foundation of wild spirituality is the acknowledgment and embodied understanding of nature's rhythms. Ayurveda teaches us that summer is Pitta season when the fi re element is dominant, when aggressions must be cooled and inner bel- ly-fl ames mediated by twisting poses and lunar pranayama. I teach my students that Summer is also the season of the Moth- er; it is a time ripe for creative work, generative productivity, and empathic connection alongside a good deal of hedonism. The Triple Goddess metaphor is a valuable framework for understanding how the wild feminine cycles and spiral dances within us all, regardless of gender, with the sultry, sensual Maid- en linked to our lower chakras, the generative, creatrix Mother relative to our middle chakras, and our inner Crones residing in our upper, ethereal chakras. The Wheel of the Year moves from Maiden time in late Winter and early Spring steadily to Mother time during the late Spring through early Autumn. Our inner Maidens hunger for all that feeds the roots, while our Mothers relish creative work, meaningful communication, and balanced relationships. Come Autumn, our Crones will crave solitude and stillness as the veil grows thin and intuition is amplifi ed; until then, our inner Mothers, those parts of the feminine psy- che that are most relational and deeply generative, will raise their voices loud and demand to be heard. Summer is a season of full-bellied, sweaty aliveness. Summer is the peak of the inhale, the so-bright full moon, and that par- ticular joy that comes from truth-telling in a circle of seekers. I encourage yoga teachers to add communal sharing to their asana classes in Summer, to highlight the socially needed qualities of gratitude and grace, and to break up outmod- ed traditions. Take yoga out of the studio and into the wild, off the mat and into spontaneous dance. As a student, of- fer yourself opportunities for organic movement, heart-opening, and sto- ry-telling; these are the practices our inner Moth- ers yearn for during the Summer months. Yoga and wild spirituality share the same objective; to seek out any barriers to freedom and remove them. In a woman's life, many obstacles to her spiritual liberation come from an in- ternalized belief that we are static creatures meant to be even- keeled and always predictable. The energies of the seasons teach us, however, that the feminine cycles constantly within us. In my book Woman Most Wild, I describe the energies of the Mother as "outward and active, with the Summer season similarly made manifest in a woman's life…. A balance comes from honoring the needs of the self as well as those of her world. She speaks only what is true, she honors the integrity of the relationships that feed her, and she burns away all else." In Summer, let your yoga be a tool for supporting great- er balance between selfhood and relationship in your life, tend to the middle chakras without neglecting your primal roots or your ethereal spirit, and, above all, know yourself as ever-changing and always wild. Danielle Dulsky, author of Woman Most Wild, is an artist, yoga teacher, energy worker, and founder of Living Manda- la Yoga teacher training programs. She leads women's cir- cles, Witchcraft workshops, and energy healing trainings. Visit LivingMandalaYoga.com. Seek Out Barriers to Freedom and Remove Them THE WILD FEMININE IN SUMMER By Danielle Dulsky June/July 2017 19

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