I am so excited that my first "Yoga for V Pain" 5 class series started last Friday. Woo hoo! The series goes through November.
I am glad to be contributing to the yogic body of knowledge on v pain for a number of reasons. First, western medicine and gynecology are so behind the curve on this topic.
Second, so is yoga.
Even though yoga in America today is often considered to be a women's activity, and indeed class attendance is dominated by female practitioners, historically yoga was a set of spiritual and religious practices by and for men - women were often intentionally excluded, their presence seen as harmful to men's focus. It's only been in the last twenty years or so that yoga has become popularized in the West, and in the West it has gained it's feminine connotations.
While women dominate the student body in the West, like so many other industries men dominate in leadership positions and are behind the big money in yoga - the founder of Lululemon, for instance, or the owners of various yoga chains (Bikram, CorePower.)
What does that mean for yoginis? ("Yoginis" are female practitioners, "yogis" are male.) The yoga we are teaching and practicing is still oriented towards male bodies, in ways large and small.
Sometimes I feel like a fish trying to see the water - the culture I grew up in is so male-dominated, and the yoga I have been taught is so male-dominated, and the medical system is so male-dominated, that I find myself struggling to imagine what a culture or yoga practice or medical care built to honor and nourish the female experience would look or feel like.
I persist in my inquiry anyway, with many questions and not many answers.
That said, I wonder if there will be a silver lining to the ignorance of v pain issues in Western medicine. Alternative and complementary modes of care are on the rise, and I hope v pain protocols of the future will benefit from the synergy between different schools of thought.
Yes, it is frustrating that my health care has been so poor, and the planet so ignorant about female bodies. But I am also excited to be part of the solution, and to be providing women helpful tools so they can be part of the solution too: in their own lives, yes, but also hopefully in the lives of others as well.
So here we go! Off on an adventure...
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PS Did this post get your brain gears crankin'?
Feel free to start a conversation below (it's okay, you can be anonymous)!