I have been reading a book written by my good friend Irene, which you can see in this photograph and which you can learn more about here. She explores how we have become disconnected from our essential nature as humans, how our current cultural context blinds us and causes us to forget our essential nature, and how we can reconnect to this essential nature. This is a valuable exploration because the path we are on is unsatisfying and more importantly unsustainable for humans and for the entire planet that we are a part of.

In Part 2, Chapter 7 Irene writes that “…examining ways to bring about a balance between the female and male characteristics for every human regardless of gender would benefit our quest to reconnect with our essential nature.”

I believe that hatha yoga (physical yoga) is an ideal practice for reconnecting to our female and male characteristics and for finding a balance between these aspects of ourselves. The word ‘hatha’ itself derives from two parts, ‘ha’ and ‘tha’, pointing towards the sun (male) and moon (female). Hatha yoga invites us to be strong and supple. It invites us to integrate and expand. It invites us to be active and passive. It invites us to consider the visible and the hidden. It can be approached in a yin or a yang manner. It includes time to both inhale and exhale. These are just a few ideas, but I think you understand where I am going with this.

Hatha yoga allows us to practice connecting to both female and male aspects of ourselves. It allows us to bring these aspects into balance. Often it asks us to hold space inside of ourselves simultaneously for these two aspects, which teaches us that both are necessary and that they are in fact mutually supportive instead of in conflict. Most importantly it allows us to do all this in a very tangible and simple manner, with our own bodies and with our own efforts. If you have never looked at your physical yoga practice in this way before, see what happens when you do!