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The Birth of Pussy Power

yoni mudra

Years ago my Argentinian flatmate was trying to set me up with her friend. I explained to her that I thought he was kind, generous, intelligent and attractive but I was not attracted to him. “No worries”, she said. “I will just tell him that your pussy says no”. I screeched “NOOOOOO, don’t say that, you can’t say that!” While I was horrified at her rather forthright language it would have been much kinder to the persistent suitor and good for me to learn to listen to my ….erm lady bits.

This conversation with Carlita sowed a very tiny seed that grew over the years. Why was it ok to listen to my brain or my heart but not my womb/yoni/pussy and even more to openly talk about this?

The truth is that our sexuality shapes us wherever you are along the spectrum ranging from lemon sucking prudish denial through to flamboyant polyamorist pollinator. When we don’t listen to this sacred part of ourselves, it starts to talk loudly through physical language such as period pain, PMS, UTI’s, recurrent thrush, incontinence, sexual dysfunction/low libido and depression. Then we have to listen because we can’t deny the pain. However most of us miss even this opportunity of connection as we merely medicate or decide we mustn’t grumble and simply put up with it.

On the physical, mental and spiritual plane our pelvic floors are our foundation for our being. This is our root chakra and the magical collection of muscles that hold in all our abdominal organs. All women ( and men!) over the age of 40 regardless of having birthed or gestated a baby need to care for their pelvic floors. Our muscles are like old knicker elastic, with time it tends to lose its stretchiness! Thankfully unlike old knicker elastic we can nearly always do something about rejuvenating that flexibility again. Care for the pelvic floor is the foundation of all these classes, learning what we need to do if these muscles need to actually relax or tone.

Our sexual relationships (like all relationships) are actually playing out our relationship with ourselves. Sadly most of us have never had a wise teacher/parent who can guide us through how to foster this relationship with ourselves. Just as we often don’t learn how to listen to our emotions, be authentic or ask for support, we also don’t learn how to listen to our body or navigate our sexuality. Instead this is shaped by the rules of our family or society, often shaming and blaming, how things are portrayed in the media, movies and perhaps worst of all, pornography. Pussy Power classes open the space to connect with our true selves. Through simple breathing, gentle postures and techniques to practice at home we can rekindle who we are and let go of all the social conditioning. You might be surprised to discover your pussy pulse and the true source of your intuition!

We will also be learning about our wondrous anatomy which most women (and men!) have absolutely no idea about. Women’s bodies are actually built for pleasure and each woman has her unique neural wiring. Discovering your wiring means that you can then ask for what you need. Most of us are pretty inept in both knowing what we want and then being able to ask. This wiring is about so much more than sex. It is the source of our joy, confidence and feeling comfortable in our own body. The vagina is linked to the brain through this neural wiring with a feedback loop. This is why being treated like a Queen makes us purr. This is also why anything from a snapping comment, a sexist remark, body shaming through to sexual assault actually shuts down the loop on some level. To understand this and then take a stand is to shine forth in your pussy power. We all know the depressing statistics about sexual abuse and rape. To realise that this actually changes brain chemistry, depressing and suppressing women means that we all must do our bit to change this scourge in our society.

As a homeopath I have listened to countless stories of this sadness, I’ve witnessed birth trauma when attending hospital births and as a yoga teacher I observe the way women move with their pelvises. I have reflected upon my own health, “hystery” and history. Quite frankly I am so very, very tired of women not being cherished and respected. I want you to let go of the shackles of your past and social conditioning and be simply liberated. Yoga is not about being super flexible or even enlightened – the ultimate goal is the liberation from your suffering. (Suffering in yogic terms is to not live in connection with yourself or others holistically) For most women this suffering stems from not listening to this sacred space. Step into your Pussy Power and be free!

This class is about celebrating as well as alleviating suffering. I believe that life is one very long opportunity to keep learning and you can teach an old pussy new tricks. So even if you have no physical symptoms or emotional hang ups then you can still open up yourself to deeper and joyous experiences.

The weekly class starts Wednesday February 13th 7pm in the Snug ( Valentines day eve, have a hot date with yourself!) and you can join in at any time this year. (Please book yourself in each week, as space is limited). There will be ongoing workshops throughout the year, covering hormone issues for every stage of life, wildcrafting herbs for juicy ladies and the Pelvic Balance workshop will be repeated at regular intervals for newbies or as a refresher. FREE Red Tent gatherings are held around the time of each New Moon. I will also be hosting a fabulous Sex Ed for Women Workshop with the divine Kathy Bartlett. All classes are not at all kooky or kinky and we all stay fully clothed! (Just in case you were wondering) This class is open to anyone who identifies as a woman.

Embrace the Lunar Eclipse

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Happy Full Moon on January 21st and even better it is a lunar eclipse. Sadly we won’t see it here in NZ due to the timing at 6.12pm but we can still feel it. This eclipse season has been all about creating strong foundations, learning to trust in times of change and embracing self care.

I have been doing a favourite meditation to embrace this season and will continue to do it daily until next new moon. It helps to find your connection with the earth, build strength in your pelvic floor muscles and find peace in breath suspension. It is officially called “Meditation for a stable body” or sometimes “Meditation for the Pranic Body”. I just do it when I have living in my head too much and need to get back to earth.

Sit in a position that lets you keep a straight spine. Make fists with both hands, with the thumbs sticking up as if you are going to hitch a lift. The right hand is level with the heart centre and the left hand is level with your navel centre. The eyes are almost closed and focused at the third eye centre. Tuck your chin back gently. Inhale sharply and deeply and exhale completely with gusto. Hold the breath out and rhythmically draw up your pelvic floor muscles up to 26 times. Only do this for as long as it feels comfortable to hold the breath out, or for your pelvic floor muscles. As you are holding the breath visualize the energy moving from the base of your spine all the way up to the crown of your head. Repeat this for 3 mins and up to 11 mins if you are super keen.

If you live locally and want to grow moonflowers then let me know and I shall save you some seed. They magically open as the moon rises, smell delicious and each flower only lasts for one night. The perfect reminder to seize the day (or night in this case).

 

About Odette

photo of Odette Rowe in yoga pose- Sat Nam

Kia Ora, I’m Odette Rowe. I’m a Kundalini, perinatal and children’s yoga teacher and a qualified homeopath. For the past 18 years I have taught yoga in the UK, Australia and New Zealand in studios, natural health clinics,  workplaces and artist’s squats.

Now I bring you the Yoga Snug – cosy little classes and workshops in homes, community spaces and studios dotted around the Wairarapa. I’m based in Carterton, and hold classes in two venues there (including my own snug) and also in Featherston and Martinborough.

I have not the slightest interest in tricky poses in spandex. I am instead passionate about people discovering enjoyment and ease as they move their body without pain or anxiety. I love witnessing people cherishing themselves, just as they are so they can be healthy, happy and live out their life purpose.

My aim is to encourage people to see that all their actions and interactions with others has a ripple effect. Changing the world ultimately starts with the dialogue you have with yourself on a daily basis and this quiet revolution starts on your meditation cushion. Come along to a class to stretch and unwind but you might also leave with some seeds or herbal tea.

Weed of the week – Violets

Violets (Viola odorata) are in full flush in August, and would have to be the prettiest weed. I could happily let them romp all over my garden. I put the leaves and flowers in my salads and green smoothies daily for their delicious taste, smell and herbal properties. Miss Violet is rich in Vitamin A and C and supports the liver, gallbladder, digestive and urinary system. If you have a really bountiful patch then you can make the thrill last all year by making your own violet vinegar.

Violet Apple Cider Vinegar

Pluck as many violets as you can into a glass jar. Cover with apple cider vinegar and stir about with a chopstick regularly, ensuring that the flowers sink into the liquid. Cover with a lid (line with paper if it is a metal lid) and leave in a dark spot in your kitchen for two weeks. Keep an eye on it and stir whenever it calls to you. The vinegar will take on the most beautiful rosy glow from the flowers and smell heavenly. Strain using a muslin cloth or soft tea towel into a clean glass bottle and store in a the dark. If you are feeling particularly witchy and want a potent brew, pick on the new moon and strain on the full moon. This vinegar is delicious splashed on salads or added as a few drops to your morning glass of water.