September 14, 2012

Why Women’s Yoga? ~ Linda Sperl

Embracing Change: Moon Phases with All the Body’s Seasons

A few weeks ago I had the fortuitous opportunity to participate in a life-changing Women’s Yoga Teacher Training with Sara Avant Stover, yogini and author of the book, The Way of the Happy Woman. I had tried to imagine what this training would be like and how it might differ from other trainings I’d attended before.

What was it like to practice Women’s Yoga with other women? Was it any different than practicing in other 90 minutes yoga classes?


For me, the experience unfolded gradually and delicately, like the ebb and flow of the sea’s transitioning tide. I found that the practice was not a black and white affair, but rather offered me all of the colors, shades and textures that flourished in between.

Women’s Yoga is not stagnant. I learned that its practice rests on the probability of change. It doesn’t follow laid-down patterns or set rules. Practicing Women’s Yoga created new tracks for me that veered off into fresh opportunities of womanly exploration. I became mesmerized and re-connected with the moon and every form of nature. This yoga melded me to the earth and its embrace.

I acquired the ability to swim in the ever-evolving hues of life’s seasons: the awakening in spring, the sensual flavors of summer, the whisper of changes in autumn, and the deep return to the inner sanctuary of winter. To learn that each season correlated to a specific time of a woman’s cycle was intriguing. I learned to live by the four seasons and the seasons within each season.

by Jason Bache, flickr commons

Beyond these outer changes, Women’s Yoga brought me back in, way in, to a profound relationship with my interior landscape—the moon cycle and all of the physical, emotional and mental subtleties that may occur during the course of a day, week, month or year of my life.

In a world that dismisses the potent wisdom of a woman’s body, the practice of Women’s Yoga understands and respects the deep messages that PMS, perimenopause and menopause so graciously offer. It encourages me to listen and trust my intuitive and powerful inner voice. This training in Women’s Yoga taught me to notice the mystical and empowering magic of a woman’s cycle, whether a woman was still bleeding or not. It inspired sacred connection and compassion for my feelings, every single one of them, in every imaginable dimension and form.

Women’s Yoga can and does support a mother-to-be and her growing, miraculous baby, even when that baby is a juicy, creative idea, project or dream. I now know my dreams are incubated and nurtured in the warmth and safety of my womb, and the care of it has become an utmost priority.

Woman’s Yoga also supports and teaches a woman how to navigate through the challenges of infertility, menstrual irregularities and pain, and the roller coaster ride and new opportunities of perimenopause.

This practice embodies fierceness, tender self-care and rest. It supports, both, a yin and yang practice, as it listens to the clues of the divine goddess body and her inner knowing, adjusting the practice according to the cyclical needs of that moment in time.

When a woman is in a yoga room with other women practicing Women’s Yoga, she is an honored member of a brilliant circle of goddesses. There is no age, shape, language, race or cultural barrier. I felt embraced, supported, freed, held, breathed into and loved. It was the container by which I received strength, inspiration and encouragement. I became a witness, not only to my own inner and outer rebirth, but also an inspired beholder to all the other women in the circle with me.

The Women’s Yoga training ushered me to take my place, to sit on my throne. It gave me time to pause, reflect, and deeply honor my family’s feminine ancestral lineage, so that I may begin to help heal it, renew and move forward. Woman’s Yoga is forgiving, comforting and loving. It was the practice I was waiting for in my life.

Women’s Yoga Teacher Training offers practical and down-to-earth skills; yet it lives and breathes in metaphors. It is a community of women that trust, bleed, laugh, play, cry, sing and dance together. It is a life-altering experience. It is bound to change your life. I know, no….feel, that it has changed mine.

For further information regarding Sara Avant Stover and her Women’s Yoga Teacher Training, please visit: http://www.saraavantstover.com/teachertraining/


Linda Maria Sperl is a yoga practitioner who believes in the deep, healing powers of women’s intuition, yoga, writing, and the moon. She has recently dipped her toes into yoga instruction and teaches a gentle, meditative, yoga flow class. Linda Maria is deeply grateful for the practices of yoga and writing and the enriching experiences they have given her in life. She lives by a beach in New York with her amazing hubby Rich and Sophie, her sweet little cocker spaniel.


Editor: Edith Lazenby

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