This week begins the first of two weeks that I will focus on Yoni Shaki, by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli even though the wisdom within its pages will be absorbed and integrated for many moons to come. Yoni Shakti begins with the declaration that “it is largely through women that the practice and benefits of yoga are caressing the globe, spreading a healing wave of positive energy” (pg. 21). It is such a blessing to know that I am on that wave with so many other women when so often so many parts of life feel like an upstream journey.
The very term yoni sakti locates the place of power [sakti] in our own bodies, in our yoni, a term that means both cunt and vulva, and womb and source. Yoni also means home, or place of rest. It is in and through the yoni that we encounter our connection to deeper knowledge, or blood wisdom. (pg. 21)
It is not necessary to have a womb to practice womb yoga. The meaning and resonance of womb yoga is not tied or limited to the physical organ of the womb. Nor is it intended solely for women whose wombs experience menstrual cycles. It is a practice for all women of all ages. (pg. 23)
And so the Yoni Shakti unfolds, sentence after sentence, welcoming each of us to use all of our senses to explore deeper into our womb source and to allow the practice of womb yoga “to provide deep intuitive wisdom, and to reconnect us with the earthed and watery energies of creativity, fluidity, nurture and fertility that are characteristics of this energy centre” (pg. 23).
I first learned of Uma through the prenatal yoga teacher training I took with Jane Austin. Yoni Shakti was on the recommended reading list and Jane announced during our training that she was helping bring Uma to SF for a Womb Yoga workshop. I attended that workshop and the workshop the day prior, which was an introduction to Uma’s Total Yoga Nidra. My experience of the yoga nidra workshop was summed up with how Uma begins each yoga nidra practice with the invitation of “welcome home”.
I was so enchanted with her approach to guiding yoga nidra practices that I completed the Total Yoga Nidra Teacher and Facilitator Training last October. And, the Womb Yoga workshop was another step on the path that has led me to exactly where I am right now with this book and this independent study and the crafting of my professional practice around women’s wellness. And, I am so excited that one of the upcoming steps along this journey is Uma’s Well Woman Yoga Therapy Teacher Training in SF next month!