The union of the feminine and masculine energies within the individual is the basis of creation.
Too often in society, gender is confused with and narrowly defined by masculine or feminine energies. This narrow definition is limiting and creates stagnation. Humans contain both energies, regardless of sex and gender roles.
A healthy balance of masculine and feminine energies makes for more fully functioning, healthy human beings. When energetically in harmony, people are more likely to experience well-being, contributing to their relationships and all aspects of their life in a deeper, transformative way.
Masculine energy is often perceived as strong, assertive, powerful, and leadership-oriented. On the contrary, feminine energy is perceived as soft, nurturing, empathic, and “following.” One without the other, though, creates imbalance. A person exhibiting leadership and aggressive negotiating skills without receptive listening skills and empathy, presents as a harsh leader. A person exhibiting a soft, nurturing nature with lots of empathy but without the strength to communicate their needs and set clear boundaries is similarly imbalanced, presenting as a doormat.
Unfortunately, society teaches lessons that create toxic energy states. Children from a young age learn lessons that stereotype masculine/feminine energy like “Girls are helpful and nice” and “Boys don’t cry”. This encourages each sex to take on imbalanced gender-role thinking and behavior to their detriment. It shows each energy as separate versus equal in value and balancing to each other. Resistance comes up around the assumption that feminine energy is being pushed on men or that women are being pushed to be more masculine in pursuing goals instead of more “traditional” roles. The reality is that both sexes are inhabited by both energies with the goal of balance, not substitution or takeover. An aggressive leader that exhibits empathy or a nurturer that sets strong boundaries are healthy and balanced, not more female or male. Understanding this is transformative!
When viewing masculine/feminine energy from a yogic/Ayurvedic (shiva/shakti) and Chinese medicine (yin/yang) viewpoint, they’re seen as complementary energies that need each other to coexist. Opposites are appreciated in balanced relationship to each other: light/dark, hot/cold, aggressive/ receptive, giving/receiving. And, so it goes with masculine/feminine energies. One without the other is at best imbalanced, at worst, toxic.
Balancing masculine and feminine energy can be complicated due to societal conditioning but we can initiate change by transitioning to an energetic perspective and working with the breath to balance the body-mind. Nadi Shodana or Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a yogic breathing practice, or pranayama, used to help balance the Ida and Pingala nadis (meridians) that run along the spine. The Ida nadi represents feminine energy and the Pingala nadi represents masculine energy. They represent the duality of existence. Pingala is associated with the right nostril and the left hemisphere of the brain. Ida is associated with the left nostril and the right hemisphere of the brain. Each of these nadis start at the base of the spine and crisscross the chakras as they travel up the spine to the third eye, ending at the right and left nostrils. This is the perfect practice for balancing our energy when we are frazzled with too much masculine energy or stagnant because of too much feminine energy. This practice
1) Restores balance between the right/left hemispheres of the brain
2) Rejuvenates the nervous system
3) Manages stress responses
4) Clears the energy channels in the body-mind
5) Promotes a feeling of well-being, clearing/focusing the mind/emotions.
Here are instructions for Nadi Shodana practice:
- Sit comfortably, feet flat on the floor.
- Imagine a thread pulling you upward from the top of your head, lengthening the spine. Let the shoulders drop downward, releasing tension. Close your eyes and draw your attention inward.
- Place your left hand on your thigh, palm facing upward.
- Place your right hand in front of your face palm inward, index and middle finger extended, resting on your forehead.
- Close your right nostril pressing in and upward with the thumb of the right hand. Breathe in through the left nostril.
- Release the right nostril, closing the left nostril with the ring and pinky fingers the same way. Exhale through the right nostril.
- Inhale through the right nostril.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb again. Release the left nostril and exhale.
- This completes one cycle. Repeat this cycle five or six times.
Nadi Shodana is an excellent practice that is only contraindicated if you have a cold affecting breathing. In that case, you could psychically do the practice, visualizing the process of breathing through each nostril. It takes a little imagination but is a useful alternative. With practice over time, your calm/focus baseline will transform as your feminine/masculine energies shift and balance!
Milissa Castanza Seymour M.S. is an InnerSoul Coach specializing in Stress Management/ Wellbeing for over thirty years. She is a professional/ practicing Numerologist helping clients find their soul purpose. Her certifications include: PranaYoga/ IntegrativeYogaTherapy/Holistic Health Educator, Aromatherapist, Applied Positive Psychology Practitioner/LifeCoach/Resilience Trainer, AddHeart Facilitator, Past Life Consulting Hypnotist, Reiki Master Teacher, NYS Licensed teacher, and Certified Chopra Ayurvedic Health Practitioner/Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher/Well-being Coach. www.innersoulcoaching.com