I took a strange path into yoni yoga. It all began when I started watching Game of Thrones (bear with me). Cersei Lannister (yes the one who shags her brother) did a shout out to a yoga instructor on her Instagram. Well, not Cersei exactly, the actor playing Cersei – Lena Headey.
The post was in fact of Irish yoga teacher Emma Lowe, and she was completely naked and upside down in a yoga pose. This got me researching Emma. As somewhat of a prude (as I believe most of the English are), Emma’s practice (and her downright confidence of getting her bum out on Instagram) fascinated me. She focuses on women’s health and encourages body positivity with all its beautiful wobbles, and lines and marks and scars. And she also helps women rediscover their vagina. You didn’t know we had lost it, did you? But we have.
It turns out, women don’t know where their vaginas are
One of the many fascinating posts that Emma has published, includes one about the education around the sexual anatomy. Apparently, around half of women don’t know where the vagina is (for your information, it sits below the cervix and the uterus), but around 60% are better at identifying a male anatomy.
Emma also delves into complex topics around female pleasure, Celtic spirituality and practices that are centred around women’s period cycles and the moon. While I haven’t tried one of her courses yet (I’m super keen to), instead I tried some yoga sessions with my friend and yogi Jo Newman. One of these classes focused on the yoni and it made me feel very empowered.
Although Jo is now on maternity leave (keep an eye on her social media pages for her return), her classes include some work centred around the yoni symbol, which is essentially made by creating a triangle out of your two index fingers and two thumbs. The symbol apparently represents power, ability, strength, force, effort, energy, and capability. And, in Hinduism, the yoni is a symbol of Shakti – the creative force that moves the universe. Yes, it’s kind of a big deal.
And when it’s used in yoga, it helps you reconnect and centre yourself around this part of your body, a part you might have felt quite disconnected with or perhaps not given a moment’s thought. Obviously, I would like to point out at this stage that I am no yoni yoga expert and have merely has a dalliance with this type of yoga. It goes without saying that you should consult the previously aforementioned yogis for proper insights. But I am intrigued.
Yoni yoga in London
For those sharing my sentiments, and want to embrace womb yoga in London there are plenty of options. The list below includes lot of yogis who have a special interest in Well Woman Yoga and the teaching of Uma Dinsmore-Tuli who wrote the book Yoni Shakti (it’s kind of a bestseller in the yogi world).
Over in Greenwich, Julia Anastasiou is a mother and Ayurvedic practitioner and she runs Wild Woman Wisdom classes that take place in her private studio (or yurt to be precise). Her attention is focused on the female cycles and a woman’s journey and transition through life. If this is something you’re into, you can also access the classes on Zoom.
Breathe London Yoga
Yogi Claire offers up individuals and small groups private sessions in her studio in Camberwell. These can be tailored to you and your needs whether you’re pregnant, post-natal or want to explore the rhythms of your body.
On various Saturdays, Nicola offers up her Womb Yoga practice in Walthamstow (as well as private classes). Her practices are suitable for all women throughout their life cycles through ovulation, menstruation, peri-menopausal, however you feel. The practice takes the form of one interweaving movement of breath, mantra and mudra.
Good luck on your quest to rediscover the yoni…