Please not that Masculine and feminine refers to two polarities, I would have used the words yin and yang, but there are already yoga styles named yin yoga and yang yoga.
Masculine teaching is assertive.
Femine teaching is open and accommodating.
A good way to understand the Masculine style is the original 26 and 2, formerly known as Bikram yoga.
The class is yang, in that it is more external with lights and open eyes rather than internal with darkness and closed eyes. It is about straight lines and locked joints rather than relaxed bent knees.
The forms are the same and there is a script that is nearly always followed the same. It is straight forward and you know exactly what your getting.
The opposite would be if a feminine style teacher came in and started changing the sequence. Making it creative, flowing, and using words like juicy and spicy. Instead of simply directing you where to move your body and the benifits of the asanas, the feminine teacher may encourage or offer things you may feel or that you could open yourself to feeling.
Masculine and feminine teachers both have advantages and disadvantages. And it’s not that finding a happy place in the middle is ideal either!
Yoga is a living and open tradition for individuals to offer their energy into the practice and to use the practice for their lives.
As a yoga practitioner I practice all styles because there are times in my life when embodying my masculine is the best medicine for my life. For a period I may just practice masculine forms, perhaps in tandem with martial arts and the result will be that my whole energy and business decisions and life decisions will reflect this. The practice is my nervous system software.
On the other hand, it’s currently fall and the seasons are becoming more yin and balanced. So I’m currently practice more of an integration of masculine and feminine practices.
Which isn’t to say any one day I might not go hard in a yang way. It means that on the whole there is more balance. What I’m offering and getting at is a kind of movement intelligence that is like eating with the seasons.
Yoga is skill in action. It is about meeting the energies of the day/environment/season/cycle with intelligence.
Movement is medicine… it is a software for your bodymind. So as one becomes more intelligent with movement medicine they will have a repitoire of practices that prepare them for any energy. This is why yoga has practices that range from intense and hot to yoga nidra which is sleep yoga.
If you want an all natural medicine that can prepare your bodymind for any challenge, there’s a yoga for that.
That’s why I studied and regularly cycle between kriya, yin, vinyasa, kundalini, hatha, embodied flow, nidra, among others also including varieties of qigong, dance, martial arts, running, weight lifting, etc
Movement medicine and intelligence.
Now, it should be noted that my energetic type is balanced between masculine and feminine. There are individuals whose energy falls more towards one polarity.
Typically these individuals will pick a movement medicine that suits their type…it’s not that other styles wouldn’t bolster benifits, but if your extremely yang, a yin class may be difficult. Though…It may be their best medicine at the right time, if they are willing.
How you move and breath is a software for your bodymind.
Example. Got a bunch a linear tasks on your to-do list then go for a long linear jog.
Have a bunch of tensions from the work week and want to unwind on the weekend? Dance into freedom and ease.
Feeling soft and out of your power? Hit the punching bag.
Increase your movement intelligence by strategically thinking about your day/tasks and how you want to show up and choosing practices to embody that energy.
Each time you do you’ll strengthen your resolve, will, and movement intelligence.
If you’d like to learn more, consider booking a session today and learning to develop your movement intelligence