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What Roller Coasters & Naked Sunbathing Can Teach us About Feminine Spirituality

I love roller coasters– even though (or because?) they scare the hell out of me.

During the opening circle of my retreats, I tell women that their experience during our several days together will be a lot like riding a rollercoaster.

Steep climbs and rapid falls. Stomach-turning twists and turns. But, if they don’t get out mid-ride, always, a smooth, triumphant glide to the finish.

I also tell them that how they “do” the retreat is how they “do” their lives.

Living our lives is also very much like riding a rollercoaster. Especially for us women with so many peaks and valleys in our moods and hormones.

A couple of months ago, I saw my acupuncturist (a down-to-earth dude who happens to be an expert on women’s cycles– go figure!), who prescribed me two things to help balance my hormones:

  1. Stand barefoot on the grass for 18 minutes a day. (Those of you who have gone on retreat with me or have read The Book of SHE know that this is one of my favorites)
  2. Sunbathe naked.

The latter has become my new, favorite summer activity. Direct sunlight on our breasts, sex glands, genitals, and the entirety of our bodies’ meridians restores and synchronizes our subtle energy and hormonal rhythms.

The only time when I had the chance to sunbathe completely naked was when I was leading a retreat on the Grecian island of Crete ten years ago.

I laid in the black sand. Swam in the blue sea. No bathing suit. No one around. It left me feeling so sensual, so alive, that I still remember it– and long for it– very vividly today.

Well, there’s no beach here in Boulder. And there’s certainly no black sand or Mediterranean water. But I do have a private deck with a comfy lounge chair at my house; and that does just fine.

There’s something about the medicine summertime brings that reminds me like no other season: feminine wisdom is sensual, delicious, and embodied.

We need to embrace these qualities to heal and feel whole. In this way, we women have a great privilege: we don’t need to seek freedom in some off-the-grid ashram.

When we have the ears to hear it, the eyes to see it, the skin to feel it, our wisdom speaks to us everywhere: in the hum of your heart as you dance, in your skin as it soaks in the sun, in your hair as it swirls through the water.

As we head into the weekend, I’m sharing with you 4 of my most beloved podcast episodes to help you tap into this lusciousness.

These aired last summer as part of our Poolside Sutra series, and I’m sharing them once again for those of you who missed them last year, or want to revisit them.

In these episodes, I answer your most common struggles in what’s holding you back in your women’s yoga and meditation practice and teaching right now.

I’ll share stories from my own life and practice. Hard-won insights and life-changing insights from my own mentors.

Plus, since July is a big vacation month, they’re designed to be listened to on-the-go: on your hikes, sunbathing naked, or to keep you company on your next road trip.

Last, I share these podcasts in celebration of the opening of this year’s SHE Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training that’s taking place in February 2018 on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand.

So pull up a chaise lounge. If you can, get naked! Soak up the golden sunshine. And let’s go deep and get real together.

POOLSIDE SUTRA #1: THE MYSTERIOUS PATH OF WOMEN’S YOGA

Settle in with me for a trip down memory lane. Most of these are stories I’ve never shared before….You’ll hear my humble, unexpected roots with Women’s Yoga and how this mysterious path has unfolded, landing me to where I am today.

I also share: the core differences between masculine and feminine yoga; how women’s yoga can heal your body, heart, and mind; and ways to personalize and trust the zigs and zags of your own feminine, spiritual path.

Listen here.

POOLSIDE SUTRA #2: NO TIME, NO ENERGY, NO SPACE TO PRACTICE?

Have you ever woken up too tired, too busy, too distracted to practice yoga or meditate? If so, you’re in the right place. And you’re not alone. In this episode, I’ll talk about how I developed a consistent, daily yoga & meditation practice nearly two decades ago, and how I have since helped countless other women do the same; ways to create the space and time for practice (even when you don’t think you have any); practice workarounds for travel, irregular schedules, and for any woman who thinks she’s not a morning person; and how to handle boredom, low energy, and diminishing motivation and inspiration.

Starting our days in connection with the Sacred allows us to show up for life as the women we most long to be. Settle in for today’s Poolside Sutra, sisters. This isn’t some idealized, Polyanna advice, it’s down-to-earth, practical, and fiercely loving guidance to help you create a daily practice in the way that is right for you, and your life, right now.

Listen here.

POOLSIDE SUTRA #3: MEDITATION RX FOR MONKEY MIND, BOREDOM, & OBSTACLES GALORE

We can have the perfect meditation accoutrements adorning our perfect, meditative environment. But when we sit down, expecting our minds to still, distractions to vanish, and inner turmoil to cease–simply because we’re meditating–we’re setting ourselves up for failure (and usually more tension than we started with!). Meditation isn’t about seeking some tranquil space. Nor is it about overriding sadness, depression, monkey mind, or fatigue.

In this Poolside Sutra, we’ll explore what meditation really is– and, hopefully, you’ll discover that it’s a lot more accessible than you thought.

If you’re struggling to get (or stay) on your cushion, much less making friends with yourself once you do, this is for you.

Listen here.

POOLSIDE SUTRA #4: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO YIN YOGA

In this episode, I’m sharing how I (literally!) stumbled across an embodiment practice that drastically changed my life.

Welcome to a Woman’s Guide to Yin Yoga. These practices soothe and rejuvenate me. They prepare me for whatever life is asking me to meet, and they return me to myself.

I wish for every woman to have this, too; because yin yoga is one of the best allies we can have in our embodiment tool kits. In today’s Poolside Sutra, I’ll share the unexpected story of how I found yin yoga (it involves intentionally not sleeping for 3 days straight!);  ways to use yin yoga to work with adrenal fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and more; and why this practice is one of the best ways to skillfully align our yoga practice with our hormonal cycles.

Listen here.

If you resonate with what I share in these Sutras, I invite you to join me for our upcoming SHE Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training in Koh Samui, Thailand.

At this unconventional gathering, I’ll share the under-the-hood techniques and principles I’ve used in my own yoga & meditation for two decades — and taught to thousands of women, worldwide. Whether you’re aching to support other women or just deepen your own practice, you’ll find the feminine heart of yoga and meditation there.

SARA AVANT STOVER

Hello, beautiful. I’m Sara: a teacher of feminine spiritual and empowerment, author, and founder of The Way of the Happy Woman. I’m also the leader of The SHE School and the SHE Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training. Here’s the truth: I don’t want to be your guru. But I am wholeheartedly devoted to guiding women back to their own, inner wisdom, through feminine spiritual practices, yoga, meditation, and a whole lotta love (and guts). This work is my truest calling and greatest joy. I’m so happy to have the chance to share it with you.

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