5 minutes ago
The intention for my yin class last Sunday was taking up space. Usually, all my students are women, but this time, I also had a gentleman in the group.
I had planned on talking about how women are typically expected to make themselves smaller, take up less space with their bodies and voices, so that day I could emphasize taking up as much space on their mats as possible with every pose.
I looked at the man, who, at around 6 feet tall took up plenty of space on the mat without trying. Most men don’t have to shrink into themselves or need to speak from their diaphragms to be heard.
But it did occur to me that men are also expected to withdraw, just in a way that’s more difficult to see. It could be that their emotions have been crunched down after years of their heroes saying “toughen up, son.” Or, their idea of being a man has been reinforced by a culture that celebrates building walls around pain and discourages expression.
This isn’t the case for everyone. I look up to many women AND men who have widened the path for others by disobeying the rules of what’s expected of them. But if I can’t use my platform in hopes to lift up others, what’s the point?
So I said to my students, use your bodies to carve out a space for yourselves bigger than you thought you could on your mat today, but also use your breath to clear out a space inside you that maybe you’ve kept locked up, out of fear, or risk of safety.
Give yourselves permission to be, because when you create an example out of yourself, you show others a reality that is tangible and unrestrained by precedent.
This isn’t about a battle of the sexes. It’s a collective shift towards a generation with more women who give themselves permission to walk with taller spines and more men who give themselves permission to find bravery in vulnerability. -
I teach yin Sundays, 11:30am at @wearewarrioronewgw and all levels basic vinyasa every Saturday, 10:30 am at @wearewarrioronewgw. Comment or DM me for details. at Downtown Orlando