An Invitation for Kings.
Why aren’t there more men in our circles? Yes, that’s right, I said it. I’m diving right into the controversial topic of the huge and very evident gap in the presence of the sexes in the world of yoga, healing and self-discovery. After 15 years in spiritual communities of various kinds, I cannot escape the inescapable. I am constantly surrounded by women.
I feel uncomfortable with drawing lines and boxes in general, especially around such a fluid thing as gender, especially when we get into grouping genders by tendency or behaviour. On top of that, to even define ‘spirituality’ or ‘consciousness’ as a thing is challenging, for to put a word on it makes it one ‘thing’ and not another, evoking a whole world of connotations, different for every person.
And yet I want to talk about it, and talking involves words. Its ragingly obvious that there’s an imbalance of some kind. I feel such a strong urge to reach out to those who identify as male, our very absent brothers, and my serious, fervent question is, HOW?
There are always, always exceptions to all statements. I am blessed with many friends who hold the divine masculine in a powerful, rich and inspirational way. To see a man standing in his power, controlling and using his energy wisely, supporting and respecting each other and those around him brings a deep and ancient feeling of rest to my inner being.
But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the ones yet to rise up. The kings out there who feel the call to seek more depth and connection in life and yet haven’t yet found the pathway to do so. Why are there so many more women than men in ‘spiritual’ circles? Why is the average yoga teacher training 80-90% women? Why are we living under laws and leaders that achingly call out for more compassion and flexibility and awareness, the clarity that can be brought through simple shifts in consciousness? Why do I find myself so often the coach for men that I connect with? Why do I constantly find myself… along with all of my many available and beautiful sisters… observing the few single males in the pack as if we are the harem and they are the king?
I wonder if our non-yogi male friends are aware of the situation. The few kings in our communities are so spoilt for choice that they often choose to ‘stay open’ and explore multiple jewels of women at a time, on such a scale that the phenomena of the beautiful, empowered women struggling with a distracted man is so goddamn familiar that it feels old. I’m open in my sexuality and yet my body seeks a life partner in male form, a man who will stand fully in his power and coach me as much as i do him. And what’s the answer for our heterosexual queens? More often than not, its either stay single, go the open relationship route, or seek our partners from elsewhere and teach them. When I go down the latter road, I consistently find myself coming up against barriers, or explaining things I learned a long time ago. Patiently explaining, while I quietly long to be fully seen. Yogic Presence. Consensual behavior. Conscious and open communication. Sacred Movement. Sensual energetic and tantric touch. Channeling emotions. Empowered Language.
Embodying the sacred masculine.
Much as I steer away from using dualistic descriptions, understanding the feminine and masculine can be informative to understand what is being called for in redressing this balance. The feminine is described as a natural tendency for receptiveness and fluidity; to seek emotional connection and community support and expand from the formless. The masculine can be described as forward motion, holding a container, taking action, following form and holding structure. We each have the feminine and masculine within us regardless of gender. How it expresses itself is the result of our nature and our nurture. Men can be often subject to a collective conditioned pattern to suppress the feminine aspect within, so those that seek the softening and opening are less common. At its root, this deep desire for rebalance is a cry for the rise of the feminine in all of us. It's there already and yet the way the world is structured tends to emphasize structure, work and action and moves away from emotionality, nurture and receptivity. I believe in a world where we can each find a comfortable balance of each within us, whether we identify as male or female. And that gives me hope, as I see the potential in the unexplored and untapped.
How can our present conscious kings start to reach out to their brothers? Can we start to harness existing male-dominated practices that have a natural potential for deeper spiritual connection, such as martial arts or outdoor sports? How can we shift our language, our marketing, our channels, so that we sound the right harmonics to redress this balance? How can we, collectively, call on the natural tendencies of the masculine and feminine in a way that appeals and sends a call out to the masses to look for something deeper?
I teach offerings completely open to all gender identifications and yet again and again, the circle is made up of women. And despite the thoughts shared here, I’m not at all disappointed by that. In fact, I trust that the absence of men right now is in divine alignment. The work we are doing as sisters is incredibly potent. The gathering of women and the raising of our voices is long overdue and a sweet bathing of the ancestral grandmother soul. A huge part of me understands this as a redressing of the balance and a healing of the collective, which has been called upon for ages past.
So perhaps to question the balance is impatient, and the true lesson is a return to trust in the natural ways of things. Perhaps the reality is so simple; ours is a transition generation - one of those moments in time where the balance swings to one extreme before it finds its center. Something deep in me recognizes that as a necessary truth. Just as in nature, the booming of an animal population generates exactly the opening, condition or natural selection that is needed to curtail said boom, the swinging of the scales here is creating a kind of vacuum which draws in whatever is needed to find equilibrium - a vacuum in the form of a wave of powerful, outspoken and dazzlingly attractive women and men who embody the sacred feminine, who are rising up and reaching out as we speak. What we observe now is the empty space that will soon call in more men who wish to also redress the balance of their feminine. I trust that one day soon, it will.
So all I have left to say is, Vacuum, we feel you. We see you. Please fill (quickly).
Jiya offers retreats through Yoga as Medicine (alignment, energetics and tailored personal practice) and Create Space Retreats (creativity, yoga and cacao ceremony) in Bali and Guatemala. You can also study with her in Kula Collective’s August Peru 300hr, October Guatemala 200hr, and December Bali 200hr.