The balancing feminine and masculine energies. My foray into movement began with ballet at the age of ten – a sleek, chic and very formal (not me at all) expression of ones physical form. Very swiftly I discovered the world of street dance, and more specifically the male dominated style of Breakin’ or commonly known as breakdance. I aligned 1000% with the non-conformed nature of this dance and the sheer athleticism and boldness of floor moves, in comparison to the stand in line stricter sleekness of ballet.
Completely unplanned, a love affair with Breakin’ started at 18 and a spark was lit with exploring my masculine energies. I couldn’t have told you that at the time though! On reflection some two decades later, it was clear that I was subconsciously choosing to activate, and to be frank ‘hiding,’ my deep desire to express my feminine. Through baggier than baggy tee-shirts and ‘leaving at home hips’ genre of movement expression.
Hold up what the heck is this masculine and feminine stuff really all about?
I am still very much on the course of exploration around this theme, and forgive me if you have done lots of study around this … As I currently understand it, masculine and feminine are expressions and energies that present in all of us, whatever gender or chosen gender identity that we align to.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and upon reflection of my movement journey I can clearly connect my movement practices to tell a non-linear tale of chapters in my life when I was, albeit none the wiser to it at the time, doused in the characteristics either more rooted, in my understanding, of my masculine or feminine expression.
Breakin’ was a brilliant boyfriend until the biggie of many injuries some plus ten years later, a snapped ACL knee injury, catapulted me into a space of discovery for other ways to move (non impacting!) and express, coupled with an unconscious yearning, to make better friends with my Ms. Feminine.
The first movement modality I got into which unmasked more freedom in my hips was Pole Dancing. I had actually explored the art of Pole when I was living in NYC in 2008. However 3 years later back on the shores of the UK and with a fresh injury in tow I started to really connect with how I was able to suspend myself in the air, feel strong and feline all in one, whilst guarding a gangly knee. I would spend hours in the studio messing around, solo experimenting with flexing shapes and pushing the edges of what was possible with this movement expression and my physical boundaries. I went on to teach this style for 4/5 years and combined the principles of Pilates which I had been teaching for some years with that of Pole.
However, the modality I want to really credit for the unearthing of my “divine feminine” is that of Kundalini Yoga, a practice that weaves together movement, meditation and mantra. I have had over the years a fairly strong practice with Yoga ranging from Ashtanga to Vinyasa and it got to the point where they no longer served my already flexible body and I was yearning for more freedom of movement and release in the abundance of issues in my tissues.
I gravitated to Kundalini at a point in my life when I was going through extreme emotional unrest and some very challenging relationships in my life. It met my needs beautifully at that time, in that it talked to the warrior side of my masculine whilst ALSO embracing a softer, open heart led compassionate movement journey which I was soooo craving. I never forget upon practicing for three or so years, another regular in the class fed back to me in the changing room one day “You have really come into your own and are shining in your feminine.” For someone who had spent her formative years covering up her body with baggy this and baggy that style of clothing to being in a heavily male dominated environment for 15+ years, this was music to my new found feminine ears!
Free Your Spine is a practice which for me personally encapsulates the more feminine related elements of flow, freedom and feeling. With hindsight being a useful measure I think it’s by no fluke that I am drawing upon the spine and movements of the back as a doorway into helping others now access more flow and extra feeling into their bodies.
Whenever I find myself sinking into go, go, go or do, do, do mode I drop it down to the mat and make friends with some waves and ripples and this by default lights up my softer and more self-nurturing side of my personality. It brings me back into emotional, mental and physical alignment.
One of the core values of FYS is that of nurture. I believe that every BODY and ANY body can massively benefit from the opportunity to lean into flow and feeling that bit extra, supporting the mind and body to unravel from these fixed, held positions and repressed mind caves that can tend to overstay their welcome – you know?!
It has been a winding maze of personal discovery to relinquish some semblance of balance between my masculine and feminine, and if I was to go back I would do it all the same!
There isn’t an end destination just a continuing of …
Now off to go get a bit wavy on the mat ☺