Archives for posts with tag: masculine

Sometimes I find myself always busy with some projects and plans. Yoga classes, meetings, hangouts, excursions, trips and a rush. In those days, I do not even think of taking a rest even for a while. I feel like time is flying so quickly and I cannot catch up with it. Can you imagine living your entire life this way? We will get exhausted at one point, won’t we? And I feel myself tired and exhausted after such an active period of time. Yang, isn’t it?

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Then I start to live my days in a calmer way. I start to take a rest, read books and live on my own. I start spending time alone and turn inward. Yin, isn’t it?

Just like in my daily life, my yoga classes are affected with my yin and yang mode. When I feel myself so yang, my classes show up to be yang and especially I teach “vinyasa” (flow) style classes. We flow from one “asana” (pose) to another just like I rush from one place to another in my daily life. In such a time, I focus on core strengthening classes, backbends, arm balancing poses and inversions.

When my yin mode is on, I focus on stretching the body. I teach yin yoga classes, stay longer than usual in all poses and aim to ensure body and mind relief. I use “pranayama” (breathing) techniques and meditation to calm the mind down.

After a busy week, my “yin” mode was on in my classes. I was on “yin” mode but what about the students? Students usually prefer flow yoga in evening classes so we practiced “vinyasa” with them. When I went to one of my morning private groups, students were also in “yin” mode, which pleased me a lot.

Following a long meditation, we practiced “butterfly,” “half frog”, “half saddle”, “dragonfly”, “sleeping swan”, “melting heart” and “twisted roots.” We stayed for four minutes in each pose and tried to accept the body as it was at that moment and surrender that way. We observed how we got deepened in the pose as minutes passed. We ended the class with a long “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose).

What if life was monotonous? What if there was only the night and not the day? What if there was only summer and not the winter? What if the world was just full of women and not men? What if we were living our lives so quickly and in a rush or what if we had a dull and calm life? How boring it would be, wouln’t it? Yin and yang… Feminine and masculine… Sometimes yin and sometimes yang. What is important is to establish the right balance and flow. When we want to act crazy and live our days full of joy, to be “yang” and when we want to rest, calm down and live in serenity, to become “yin”… Shortly yin and yang… Shortly a life in a right flow…

Days, months and years go by. And again International Women’s Day comes. Before posting a blog on this special day, I take a look at my previous posts. Actually I have something in my mind but I want to remember what I wrote in the previous years. Guess what? I posted blogs on violence against women and women being hurt and oppressed. What has changed in a year? Could we make a difference? Unfortunately I could not keep myself from thinking that everything had been worse in my country.

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March 8 International Women’s Day. How did March 8 become the international women’s day? Let’s first remember this. On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police. 129 women died and at least 10,000 people attended their funeral.

On August 26-27, 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day, to commemorate the US demonstrations and honor working women the world over. On March 16, 1977 United Nations General Assembly decided to celebrate March 8 as the “International Women’s Day.”

How could we, the women, accept losing all these rights we have gained with so many difficulties? I cannot understand it. Particularly if we take into consideration the violence against women, the rapes and women killings in our country, shouldn’t we respect women’s right more than ever and try to protect them? Isn’t this an imposition of male-energy societies? Have we returned back to old patriarchal days? I really think so.

If we go back to old ages, just remember King Hattusili III of the Hittite Empire, who made the first peace treaty in the world. The treaty was also sealed with Hittite Queen Puduhepa, which meant that the queen also had a word to speak in the name of the empire. Moreover, in the Yazilikaya Open Air Sanctuary, God of  Sky and Storm Teshub was decorated together with his spouse Hebat. The “mother earth” belief system in Anatolia goes back to 7,000 BC. The belief system reflected by fat women figurines which emphasize the women aspects of a body in agricultural settlements like Catalhoyuk and Hacilar had developed in thousands of years and was the basis of the Kybele/Cybele mother earth belief in the Phrygian world. An agricultural society, the Phrygs converted “the Great Mother” into a goddess of nature and believed this goddess symbolized the fertility in the nature. This mother earth cult of the Phrygian world was later adopted by the Greek and Roman world. The Greek called this goddess as “Meter Megale” and the Romans as “Magna Matar.”

In ancient Turkish societies, Umai was the “goddess of birth” and “the goddess who protected the family, marriage and the generations.” Umai was a spirit who was worshipped to make women more fertile. Known as a mythological deity, Umai was referred in the ancient Turkish “Orhun” monuments, “Turfan” monuments and Mahmud al-Kashgari’s “Diwan ul-Lugat al-Turk.” In the Orhun moruments, Umai was mentioned together with the God of Sky Ulgen and it was written that Kul Tigin was born with the help of Umai. Moreover, Turkish is actually one of the most democratic languages that when we say “O” we mention both all female and male creatures.

The matriarchal societies were replaced with partriarchal societies as agriculture developed and animals were domesticated. When animals were domesticated, men stopped hunting and settled down. Thus, men pushed the women to the second place at home and in the society and became the leader at home and in the society.

These are only the social reasons of transformation from matriarchal to patriarchal societies. There were also psychologic reasons of this transformation. According to yoga master Osho, men have an inferiority complex for they are not as creative as women. Osho thinks women are more creative than men because of their capability of giving birth and says that men are aware that women are superior than themselves. He also states that men tend to supress women, usurp women’s rights and push them to a second place in society in all societies in order to overcome their inferiority complex. Moreover, men do not want women to work and earn their own living, make them give birth to as many children as they can, make them stay at home and make them financially-dominant in order to keep women stay beside them.

As matriarchal societies were demolished and replaced with partriarchal ones, the world started to be ruled with male energy. Female energy was annihilated. Let me explain female and male energy with yoga. According to yoga belief, human body sets up of two energies. Feminine and masculine energies. Masculine energy starts from the coccyx and ends in the right nostril, whereas feminine energy also begins at the coccyx but ends in the left nostril. The male part is hot and active while the female energy is cold and passive. The male side is solar energy but the female side is lunar energy. This is how hatha yoga came out. Simply, ha means sun and tha means moon. Body is formed with the unification of these two dual energies. The aim is to balance the masculine and feminine energies, awake the divine force believed to live in the root chakra (muladhara chakra), help rise this divine force through the seven chakras, join the female and male energies in the third eye chakra (ajna chakra) and get enlightened.

Male-dominant societies are unfortunately aggressive and warrior. Since the birth of humanity, men hunt and they try to be strong by ignoring their emotions in order to hunt. Unfortunately, for we are living in a male-dominant world, we use this energy just to produce weapons and to fight. Because of this energy, the world is gradually getting more aggressive and cruel.

“Yang” is trying to change the world. To change ourselves, to change our life and the world. To struggle to make this change. To do something to make this change. Sometimes to push hard the life and ourselves. However “yin” is accepting. To accept everything as it is and to surrender. To accept life and ourselves as we are. Actually when we accept ourselves and do not push life hard, maybe everything will go in the right track but however we are so much “motivated by being the doer, being the active side” that we cannot surrender to life.

Being a woman? Bending, stretching, creating, accepting and surrendering… Moving with the flow of life… Accepting everything as it comes to you and just the same as something leaves you… Being one with the life, flowing with life.. Melting and eradicating the stiffness of masculine energy in the compassion of the feminine energy…

Awakening the female energy? March 8 International Women’s Day… Women! Let this magnificent energy flow out of you! What is my suggestion? Of course, yoga and particularly yin yoga. A yoga class or practice which awakens your second chakra, swadisthana chakra (sacral chakra). That is, a yoga practice focusing on hip openers. The second chakra, including our sexual organs, is associated with sweetness and creativeness, which is not something that can be ignored. In order to be creative, we should leave aside anger and disappointment and we should forgive ourselves if we feel guity. Sharing is related with the energy of the second chakra. Creativity intermingles us with other people.  A chakra associated with the element water. Water is soft and flexible. As Lao Tzu said, “The best of man is like water,  Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in (lowly) places that all disdain.That is why it is so near to Tao… Bend and be straight; Empty and be full; Wear out and be new; Have little and gain.” Hoping that feminine energy can get the place it deserves in the world again, aggression is replaced with understanding and empathy, war is replaced with peace, and that we can accept and surrender more…

Here comes a special day again… I also wrote in my post focusing on February 14, 2013 Valentines Day.  (You can read the post by clicking https://burcuyircaliblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/232/) Why do we show our love and affection on only one day? Everyday is special. We should show our love and affection every day. It is again a special day. March 8 International Women’s Day. I am a woman so I should write a post on the women’s day. Let’s see what comes out!

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According to yoga belief, human body sets up of two energies. Feminine and masculine energies. Masculine energy starts from the coccyx and ends in the right nostril, whereas feminine energy also begins at the coccyx but ends in the left nostril. The male part is hot and active while the female energy is cold and passive. The male side is solar energy but the female side is lunar energy. This is how hatha yoga came out. Simply, ha means sun and tha means moon. Body is formed with the unification of these two dual energies. The aim is to balance the masculine and feminine energies, awake the divine force believed to live in the root chakra (muladhara chakra), help rise this divine force through the seven chakras, join the female and male energies in the third eye chakra (ajna chakra) and get enlighted.
As you can see, in yoga, particularly in hatha and kundalini yoga, we have to talk about masculine and feminine energies. In fact, female energy is an energy humanity has attached importance for centuries. However, female energy was oppressed and tried to be ended in certain ages. Wichery in the Middle Age Europe can just be an example. However, it is not a coincide that in many cultures, fruitful soil is defined as the Mother Earth or goddess of prolificacy were women in many Anatolian civilizations and their hips and breasts were stressed in sculptures as an indicator of prolificacy.
Women have not only been the sine qua non source of life but also been defined as dangerous, delilah, cruel and destructive for ages. On the other hand, the goddesses have been fertile, prolific and reproductive. They have been the guard of animals and plants and the symbol of fertility, prolificacy, marriage, reproduction and motherhood.
According to the book “Warrior Women: an Archeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines”, the nomads in the Old Age created an egalitarian society in which women, men and children worked together on contrary to the patriarchal family structures. Those days, women and men worked in same areas hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder. Women were raised as people who knew everything because they were handling everythin when men were away. Girls could get equal share from the family’s weath when married. In today’s nomad societies, girls and boys between 6 and 9 compete as two equal rivals in horse riding races. Women are also effective in the villages named “aul.”
According to Greek, Persian and Roman myths, the wife of the late ruler became the head of the society until a new ruler was elected after a ruler died. Archeologists had found out the traces of matrilineality in many excavations carried out in Eurasia. “Matrilineality” is a system in which descent is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors, i.e. from mother to grandmother and to the grand grandmother… In Eurasian societies, women who rocked the craddle joined battles when necessary.
The tendency to relate women warriors to “Amazons” is because Greek historian Heroditus wrote that the Greeks and the Amazons had fought by the Black Sea shore. The Greeks had fought them on the South Black Sea shore and the Greeks had captured a bunch of Amazons and taken them aboard their ships.
Shortly afterwards, the Amazons overpowered the Greeks and took over the ships but they did not sail well and got shipwrecked on the North Black Sea, where they ran into the nomadic tribe called “Sythians.” The Sythians fought with these people who landed off the ship and that evening discovered some of them were women when they looked at the corpses. They consulted with their elders who told them to make love not war because these women would make wonderful babies. Ultimately they paired off and did not go back to live with the Sythians because the Amazons lived such a different life style. However, the Amazons opposed to being assimilated in the Sythian society. “From now on, we will not be your women. We are not of the same tradition. We should battle with arrows and bows, throw spears and ride horses. We cannot learn what your own women do instead of doing all these.” In the end, the Sythians and Amazons had children and their lineage were called the “Sauromataes.” The “Sythians” used to call these women “Oiropata” which meant “killers of men.” Moreover, the word “Amazon” is said to be derived from two Greek words including “a” (negative, not) and “mazos” (breast). Most of contemporary linguists think that the word “Amazon” was derived from a term that meant “women without a husband” in pre Indo-European languages.
Similarly, girls and boys used to have military training altogether in nomad cultures in the Old Age. Talented girls were assigned as women warriors. Almost all of religious leaders of these societies were women.Russian ethnologists believed that the first Shamans were women. The Shamans could get into a meditative state.Thus, they could reach the sky and meet noble spirits or could go down to the underground world and get in contact with the dead. Moreover, these societies belived that having a female nature helped contact the gods.
In addition to all these, mythology also talks about many women myths. “Kybele” is a goddess symbolizing motherhood, reproduction, feminity, continuation of life and prolificacy. This goddess with motherhood and womenhood features symbolized livelihood and being productive and people believed in “Kybele” when Anatolia was matriarchal. In statues, “Kybele” was depicted with big breasts, triangle vajina and strong body.
On the other hand, “Lilith” was Adam’s first wife. She was a free spirited woman who did not accept domination. She told Adam, “we were both created from soil and therefore we are equal. I will not sleep under you.” Adam says, “I will be on your top.” Neither of them accepted the other’s idea and Lilith voiced God’s forbidden name and fired from heaven. Adam begged the God to let God bring his wife back to heaven and the God sent three angels. The angels found Lilith near the Red Sea and told her that her hundred children would do every day if she did not return to heaven. Lillith opposed and took an oath to take revenge from Adam’s lineage till eternity. However, she said that she would not take revenge from children who carried amulet including the names of the three angels.

Lilith seems to live in Mesopotamia in 2,000 B.C. She was depicted on the walls of temples with long hair, naked body. The God bestowed her the wings and talons of a strong bird. She is mostly depicted between two lions, around one of which is an owl. On the back are mountains, which point to her spiritual existence. According to scientists, Lilith is related with the moon and primitive feminine sexuality and protects the pregnant, mothers and childern. According to two myths, is Lilith a fertile and caring mother or a murderer who kills babies? Or a women hero who is sexually impossible to be stopped, who has a free spirit and who likes nakedness. In either way, Lilith is a myth that should not be ignored on the Women’s Day.
When talking about the days when women were defined as “witches” and killed, I think we should remember another important matter. Splendid caps decorated in detail were a cultural way of manifestation since the old ages. According to “Warrior Women: an Archeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines”, the scenes on the walls of Kangjiashimenzi cave in China, the graves of warrior-nuns on the Altai Mountains and the northeast of Kyrgyzstan and the mummies in the Autonomos Region of Xinjiang indicated that these caps were used in the ancient times. The cone-shaped caps were made black and made a symbol of women who were accused of being a witch in Erope in the 15th centry.
Lastly, according to Clarissa P. Estes’ book titled “Women Who Run With the Wolves”, women should first discover the natural noice inside themselves. According to Estes, women have an unlimited power and creativity, which both lie in the wild nature of the wolves.
According to Estes, there is a similarity between women and the wolves in regard to their wildness, grace and their attachment to the members of the community they are living with. This similarity can be seen in the archetype of the Wild Women and this archetype includes women who do not break their link with the nature and take their emotions as their bases when making choices.
According to the book, the general rules of life of the wolves are to eat, to rest, to wander around in spare times, to be loyal, to love children, to chat in the moonlight, to arrange the ears, to listen to what bones are saying, to make love and to often howl. And to forgive, forget and create… To be aware of the power inside yourself, to use it, to realize he obstacles before this power and to remove all the obstacles, to be aware of your true nature and to live with this power and true nature without being demolished by the obstacles.
When we take all this information into consideration and join it with yoga, we can say that the lunar energy is yin or female energy. It is passive, accepting, cool, creative, fertile, soft, compassionate and it surrenders.
In today’s world, are we aware of our female energy? Or at what extend are we aware of it? Do we respect it? How much do we love ourselves and try to understand ourselves? How much do we listen to our body and soul?
Until I started yoga, I was a person who never listened to the demands and wishes of my body and tore my body off. I was a woman but not a woman. I was like a man and I was proud of feeling so. I was glad that I did not ask for help from men. I could carry bags, open the bumper and check the needs of the car and I could repair certain things at home.
After I started to experience yoga, I became more aware of my womanhood and I loved it. I made peace with my female energy. Before I started yoga, I was having problems with my left leg, which would not surprise you. My left leg was swollen and I had problems in the left ankle. Surely, all these happened before I accepted my womanhood and loved it.
Similarly, I was hurting myself and being so tired during the menstruation period before yoga. Even my menstruation period was at odds with me and I was having severe headaches. What happened after yoga? I started to live more relaxed during these periods. I refrained from challenging sportive activities or daily things. I was doing inversions whether I am on my period or not when I first started yoga. In time, I quitted inversions in my periods and focused on yin yoga, particularly forward bends and hip openers. I started to feel more relaxed and this regulated my periods. My headaches were gone. My temper was gone. I was less angry and stressed. All these happened as I accepted and appreciated my womanhood and female energy.
Now, you may think of me as a “wild girl”. No, I am not so. I love to get dressed and wear jewelry since I was a child. I can be considered fairly womanish when compared to some others. However, being womanish is one thing and flowing with the female energy is another.
After yoga, I started to be one with the female energy, lived and flowed with it. It became me, I became it. We were a whole. Before yoga, I was a firm person with several principles. I was not flexible. I  could not get used to changes so easily. If I had made a plan and I had to change it for a reason or for somebody, I would have been disturbed. What has changed in my life? Not only my body but also my mind stretched after yoga. As my mind stretched, I started to be more flexible in life. As Lao Tzu said, I started to be flexible as water, I bent and changed shape when necessary. I changed myself according to current conditions. I adjusted to changing conditions. I left aside principles and saw that it was more peaceful, happier and easier to live this way. Why have I forced myself this much for year? A friend of my called after we decided to meet and asked if we could delay our schedule for an hour. In the past, I would be nervous and angry that our program had changed. But now? So what? I can find something to do till we meet. Maybe this delay has a reason. Everything happens for a reason.
Being a woman? Bending, stretching, creating, accepting and surrendering… Moving with the flow of life… Accepting everything as it comes to you and just the same as something leaves you… Being one with the life, flowing with life.. Melting and eradicating the stiffness of masculine energy in the compassion of the feminine energy…
Awakening the female energy? March 8 International Women’s Day… Women! Let this magnificent energy flow out of you! What is my suggestion? Of course, yoga and particularly yin yoga. A yoga class or practice which awakens your second chakra, swadisthana chakra. That is, a yoga practice focusing on hip openers. The second chakra, including our sexual organs, is associated with sweetness and creativeness, which is not something that can be ignored. A chakra associated with the element water. As Lao Tzu said, “The best of man is like water,  Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in (lowly) places that all disdain.That is why it is so near to Tao… Bend and be straight; Empty and be full; Wear out and be new; Have little and gain.” Hoping that female energy sees the support and attention it deserves in the world…