Women and Yoga
There is strength in numbers, and there are miracles in women’s groups. I have seen it many times when we gather: the power of community to offer solutions and support.
We often try, as coaches, yoga guides, counsellors, and teachers, to bear the load of helping our clients and students. There is a powerful healing tool at hand, however, that is grossly underused: the power of women in community.
Where one member of a community can tire of supporting the tribe, the tribe is designed to support the members of its community.
I have facilitated and supported a small women’s group for several years, and it never ceases to surprise me how much that small group contributes to one another and ripples out to each member’s families and communities.
I count myself truly blessed by my tribe.
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Here are 6 steps to create the space to gather your tribe.
- Choose a specific and regular meeting time. My group started with weekly gatherings, and once our tribe was well-established, we moved to monthly. We meet more often when needed.
- Choose a location or rotate through one another’s homes. As I had the space of a home studio to offer, it was easy to accommodate the meetings in my studio. Have members bring tea or snacks as contribution to the circle.
- Respectful sharing—set ground rules. What happens in women’s circle stays in women’s circle. This is a sacred space where members may be open, honest, and vulnerable, where no judging or criticism occurs. This is not gossip hour or the place to try and “fix” your friends. Learn and practice compassionate listening.
- Consider the use of a talking stick to empower your members to share. This practice offers the full attention of the other members while maintaining the integrity of the content and time of each member’s sharing. When one person is finished, the talking stick is passed to the next person. Members may start sharing with their name and what they are looking to get from or contribute to the circle.
- Have a planned exercise at the start and/or end of each meeting. Consider a journaling exercise or craft. Maybe a guided meditation, breathing exercise, or moment of gratitude is used to complete the circle and end on a positive note.
- Connect the group to the greater good. The group will work to support its own members, but you may also consider regular or seasonal contributions to the greater community: clothing drives, community garden, charitable work, or meals for an ailing neighbor.
Most importantly, expand the circle when you recognize the need of others in the community. Create a sacred space of support and call in your tribe.
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