A few years ago I started going to Rama Yoga Institute in Venice, CA, when they first opened. Although I wasn’t entirely new to kundalini yoga, I can say that Rama seems to be the place where it stuck. I don’t stand alone in this. Rama offers something special.
During my first times attending class there I was going through a lot of personal changes. I wouldn’t say that I was seeking yoga to help me exactly, but I felt very clear in knowing that there was something bigger than me out there, and that I felt stuck in an isolated rut. I was also feeling very passionately that women should be listened to more. I was thinking a lot about a male-dominated work space, how that felt, that misogyny so clearly still exists, and how it felt counterintuitive as somebody who is interested in living a healthy and vibrant life to feel shut down as a woman. It’s the Aquarian age, after all. The number of women entrepreneurs and business leaders is continually on the rise and will only become more prevalent.
Moving past a personal or professional rut can be especially hard for women. There are a lot of factors that step in the way to create intimidation. Women are too emotional. You don’t have enough experience. Good luck being a mother and an entrepreneur. Fiscal equality will never exist. The voices of doubt are abundant.
I started asking the universe during my meditation to “show me the truth.” What I really think I was asking was for the universe to show me what my gut was telling me. For someone who is emotionally and spiritually tuned in and fairly self aware, how is it so hard to make decisions based on gut feeling? We are improperly conditioned to distrust our instincts. As young women, moving forward can feel virtually impossible. My gut was telling me that now is the time to embrace being a female entrepreneur. That there was nothing wrong to want it all. To want to love and be loved. Have a family. Be a mother. Have a business. Live authentically and passionately and sometimes emotionally. To take advantage of social media and the beautiful abundance of female community it brings. To build other women up. To build myself up. To accept all of this available abundance. How could it be this hard to let it all in?
In comes the kundalini.
After class one day I headed over to a stack of vintage Beads of Truth magazines, published by the 3HO foundation founded by Yogi Bhajan in the 70s. I have an aesthetic affinity towards all kinds of hippie materials and this one caught my eye. I’m not so sure that I would have gone as far as to join the Yogi Bhajan tribe, but I certainly wish to think that I would have been that adventurous. I randomly flipped open the pages to an article entitled, “How America Kills Its Women.” Boom. Lightning struck and my sign couldn’t have been more clear.
The article begins with this line:
“It has been said from time immemorial throughout the history of man, and it is a 4,000,000 year history, that there is only one way to kill a woman: make her insecure. This is the first job a male does when he does not like a woman… Woman can eat, she can pluck the flower herself. The polarity of the male which woman requires is only because of the aura. The way the woman can be grabbed and ruined is to make her sinecure. And any man who makes a woman insecure doesn’t know what a woman is.”
When I read this paragraph I almost cried. It touched me so profoundly. He mentions women drinking heavily, making themselves up, being marginalized as sex objects, and essentially being turned into neurotic beings who lack true self-confidence. Woman can create life in her womb, but she has forgotten who she is and the strength she has. With that insecurity women become highly selfish and unable to support other women, creating a phenomenally competitive culture.
Insecure women breed insecure children and the cycle of this culture continues. The goddess is wiped out. It’s terrifying. As women we are the only ones who can put a stop to it.
Although this marginalizing of women seems to be getting much better, especially in more progressive communities—it still exists. Women must take the initiative to power up, to nourish your body, your mind, your nervous system, and to be ready to hold space for all that you’ve been given. Shun those who try to take advantage of you. Make no space for men who don’t build you up and celebrate you. Make no space for men or women who make you feel insecure.
“Woman, if you ever understand that you are woman, you are better than God. I need not worship God. I am only in search of a woman who just realizes that she is a woman.”
Artwork by Tara Hogan for Poppy+Seed, visit her website to connect.