Yin yoga is a slow-paced practice that targets the fascia connective tissues, focuses on introspection and creates space to tune inwards. When practising Yin yoga, we stay in a pose for an extended amount of time. This lets our fascia stretch and soothes, which stimulates the releasing of stagnation blockages and releases Qi, chi, energy, while at the same time observing our breath. Breathwork is a central topic in my classes. Practising conscious breath to connect with oneself in the present moment is an essential factor in embracing and tuning into our Yin (yoga).
Recognising that we live in a YangYang oriented society, where daily life is often fast-paced and highly focused on outcomes, analytics and competition. It is essential to embrace the Yin energy we are often taught to disregard from a young age. Yin is often associated with laziness or being passive. However, that is far from the truth. Yin, in essence, stands for the passive female principle of the universe. It is characterised by the earth, water, philosophy, and verbs such as observe, invite, embrace, calm, tune in, connect to, give, and rest…
Yin and Yang are in everything, and most things are a little bit of both. An eggshell is Yang, but the egg inside is Yin. Yang starts an action, and the Yin receives it. Wheat in a field is Yang, but it converts to Yin once harvested. One can turn into the other, and the best things in life lie at the confluence of the two. The purpose is to reach an equilibrium. The two forces are opposing but complementary. Thus the importance to practice Yin (yoga) to tune in with our feminity and find balance in a yang-oriented society.
Aromatherapy, or in other words, therapy of the senses, is a practice most commonly used by inhaling aromas from essential oils.
Learn more about using essential oils for every day support & benefice for your body & mind and your home. Book time with me. If you’d like to learn more about Essential Oils, book in for 20min consult with me, my treat.
Aromatherapy stimulates areas of your limbic system, a part of your brain that plays a crucial role in emotions, behaviour, sense of smell, and long-term memory. This is why we often link smells to specific memories. The limbic system also controls unconscious physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. The use of essential oils is particular to each person, each mood and each moment. For example, the use of essential oils has been proven efficient in reducing anxiety and stress, migraines and headaches, insomnia, inflammation, and regulating hormones and emotions, to mention a few. Additionally, it is possible to practice aromatherapy by different means than only inhalation. It is also possible to make use of it through ingestion and skincare.
Plants function as a natural support system for our emotional and physical well being. Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that are carefully obtained through cold pressing or distillation, carrying the plant’s ” essence “. The way the oils are made is crucial, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered authentic essential oils. This is why we only work with 100% pure essential oils.
essential feminine wisdom
The Essential Feminine Wisdom, became clear to me only some years ago. Like most people of my generation, my mother did not pass this wisdom on to me for reasons beyond her control, nor do I blame her for it. This was, after all, another epoch. Nevertheless, I must emphasis the importance of transferring this knowledge to our communities: our daughters, nieces, daughters of friends and other acquaintances. The Essential Feminine Wisdom in itself brings forth a source of energy, creativity and comprehension, essential to all women.
As a woman, our menstrual cycle is like an internal compass. Yet instead of teaching women about tuning into their cycle – we have been taught that our internal cycle is not significant and can be dismissed. There are little to no messages that women should for example, rest during their periods. There isn’t space in our current society for that. Because of the lack of space women are given during this time of their cycle, we should consider how women who came before us respected their cycle. By creating the practice “Essential Feminine Wisdom”, we hope women revisit their relationship with their cycles and take the time not only to understand their bodies but to connect with their inner compass. Instead of walking over our natural patterns, let’s aim to understand, feel and
Interestingly, a big way in which women differ from men is when we look at how our hormones function. Women work off an approximate 21 to 35-day cycle. Their hormones rise and fall to help prepare the body for pregnancy (during reproductive years). However, a man’s cycle is over 24hours. In some way, we quite literally live in a man’s world. The clock works with a man’s cycle. This highlights the importance of learning and understanding how our cycle works and our needs during it.
During the first week of the menstrual cycle, bleeding women gathered and did healing ritual work in some societies. In many cultures, bleeding women gathered together during this time, not because they were perceived as dirty, but because they were seen as powerful had sprititual work to do, and thus were excused from daily tasks. In contrast, in today’s culture, it is frowned on to take “Time off” to take care of ourselves during this time. There is no honouring of this time – instead, it is seen as an inconvenience.
Get in touch with your cyclical nature, understand the changes in your body and mind and learn how to support your cycle. Here’s an overview of your cyclical nature, where we will recommend you to tune into your daily & phases needs (tune in and ask yourself daily ‘How do I feel?’ & ‘what do I need?’)
This first week (1 – 7 days) of our cycle is also called the Menstrual Phase or our Winter and is connected to the New Moon.
- The Sage
- Moon Phase: New Moon
- Season: Winter
- Phase: Menstrual days 1 – 7
- Hormones:Your oestrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest.
- Energy Levels: Your body asks you to slow down, be cosy, rest and reflect, this will add amazing fuel to you more energetic phases later in the month.
- Exercise and movement: You will likely have a decrease in energy levels. Do not feel guilty and tend to use more yin oriented practices (like yin yoga – slow hatha yoga).
- Food: If cooking, aim for simple comforting meals
- Work: Do not plan anything that isn’t essential
- Clothing Choices: Loose and comfy
- Sexual Energy: Emotional intimacy, cuddles
- Social Desire: not much, unlikely.
- Essential Oil: Magnolia, grand mother wisdom.
The days after your period is the follicular phase, it symbolizes a new beginning.
- The Maiden.
- Moon Phase: Waxing or First Moon
- Season: Spring
- Phase: Follicular days 8 – 13
- Hormones:Your oestrogen and Progesterone low and oestrogen rising
- Energy Levels: This is the time when you’ll be ready to take on new challenges. Fresh energy.
- Exercise and movement: You will likely have a increase in energy levels. Dynamic yoga
- Food: More greens and savouries
- Work: Write lists; prepare and plan
- Clothing Choices: Tighter (more confident in your body)
- Sexual Energy: Rising libido
- Social Desire: Happier to be seen
- Essential Oil: Ylang Ylang, let yourself feel into pleasure and joy
Following by this phase, the Ovulatory phase, is the one when you want to love on those around you.
- The Mother.
- Moon Phase: Full Moon
- Season: Summer
- Phase: Ovulatory days 14 – 21
- Hormones: Oestrogen at its peak and Progesterone begins to rise.
- Energy Levels: Blossoming, good communication
- Exercise and movement: You have increased energy levels. Dynamic yoga
- Food: More likely to love being in the kitchen and cook for your family. Higher apetite
- Work: Ability to network, seek teamwork
- Clothing Choices: Feminine
- Sexual Energy: When reaching orgasm, our bodies unfold like flower
- Social Desire: Spend quality time with loved ones.
- Essential Oil: Roman Chamomille, a beautiful floral oil which will help us with clear communication
Moving from Mother to the Enchantress, the phase where our need to begin to slow down is upon us.
- The Enchantress.
- Moon Phase: Waning/Last quarter
- Season: Autumn
- Phase: Luteal days 22 – 28
- Hormones: Oestrogen and Progesterone are high and then decline as no egg implanted.
- Energy Levels: Lacking indurance, inner critic
- Exercise and movement: Depending of your energy levels either Yin or Dynamic yoga
- Food: Possible crave salty foods, likely chocolate cravings,
- Work: Get it done, clear your to do list and get organised
- Clothing Choices: Comfortable materials
- Sexual Energy: Sensual and ready
- Social Desire: schedule in plenty of time for yourself and communicate well with your loved ones that you may need rest.
- Essential Oil: Clary Calm, to soothen cramps and other PMS symptoms
With this small overview, I recommend you to read, learn and share your own Essential Feminine Wisdom with your community (the men too). Passing it on and supporting the
next generation of girls.
Essential Feminine Wisdom – Rochelle Hubbard and Adele Wimsett (book)
@Guudwomen on instagram
@vrouwenvruchtbaarheid.be on Instagram
@Nathalie Van Vlerken on Instagram
@Jozefien_studioprana on Instagram
@Karinvitality on instagram
Gua Sha – Massage, Hydrate and let your skin glow with this ancient chinese healing practice tradition.
As my passion lies with the YIN oriented practices, being a chaotic type of person myself, the Gua Sha ritual came on my path as the other Yin practices , passions and rituals (the Yin Yoga, aromatherapy, Living the Essential Feminine Wisdom) This ancient old healing approach helps me to soothen and calm my face, body and mind. It adds a moment for myself in my daily life.
The practice of Gua Sha offers a broad range of benefits;
- Improves blood circulation
- Hydrates the skin and increase collagen production
- Reliefs headaches and sinus infections
- Circulate the lymphatic system
- Smoothens the fascia and release tension
- Soothens jaw, neck and shoulder tension/pain,
- Eliminates internal Heat and stagnation.
All are foundation of harmonious organ function, vitality and longevity. Sharing and adding this healing method to my range of Yin offers felt like something obvious and good.
Where does Gua Sha comes from?
The Chinese term “Gua” translates as “to scrape” and “Sha”as “sand” or “red, millet sized rash”. The ‘scraping’ action is performed using a smooth-
edged tool (1), over lubricated skin (2) and cause ‘bruising’ (small red dots) to appear on the skin when the capillaries near the skin’s surface bleed, especially when firm pressure is applied. This method promotes body’s natural healing processes. As it is a ancient ritual, like many other Yin practices, we invite you to connect with this ancient wisdom with honour and respect.
(1) These Smooth edged tools are sold in my shop, have a look at the natural/bio variety
(2) Lubricated skin, using the essential oils, depending of the season and my skin condition I would chose either Frankincense, geranium, rose, Yarrow/Pom and or Lavender. I would love to guide you.
time of birth and expansion. spring is the replenishment of the blood for growth and renewal
- element: wood
- yin organ: liver (1am-3am)
- yang organ: galbladder (11pm-1am)
- emotion: anger, frustration
- spirit: hun (vision)
- climate: spring, wind
- color: green
- taste: acid
- sense organs: eyes (to see)
- tissues: tears
- virtues: transformation, expansion, outward,
- essential oils: bergamot
- foods: leafy greens and good fats
- chakra: 3 rd manipura
- age: birth – 25 years
- the young yang
- living your womencycle: follicular phase (3-7 days)
- imbalances: migraines, headaches, behaviour, problems, eye problems, muscle spasms
Practicing these yin yoga poses (ideal between 11pm- 3am) will give an important support to your wood element and the imbalances related to your liver and galbladder:
- dragonfly pose
- frog pose,
- sleeping swan
- half moon,
- square pose
- full shoelace pose
- yang practices: strengthening legs
the element of fire
‘When the heart is strong, the mind is lively, the emotions are adequate, then the memory works, the thoughts are clear and the sleep is deep and peaceful.’ —Baopuzi
- element: fire
- yin organ: heart(11am-1pm), pericard(7pm-9pm)
- yang organ: small intestine(1pm-3pm), triple burner (9pm-11pm)
- emotion: joy, passion, love
- spirit: shen
- expression: laughter
- climate: summer, warm, heat
- color: red
- taste: bitter
- sense organs: tongue (speaking)
- tissues: sweat
- virtues: expression, entousiasm, sexuality,
- good sleep
- foods: colored foods (veggies and fruits)
- chakra: 3 rd manipura, 4 th anahata, 2 nd vishuddha
- essential oils: sandalwood , clary sage
- age: 25 – 45 years
- the big yang
- living your womencycle: ovulation phase (3-4days)
- imbalances: sleep issues, dullness, jealousy
Practicing These Yin Yoga Poses (ideal between 11am – 11pm) will give an important support to your Fire Element and the imbalances related to your heart, pericard, small intestine and triple burner:
- uplifting the heart
- twisted roots
- metling the heart down
- seiza meditation pose
- snail pose
- silent pose
- cath’s pose
- yang practices: strengthening arms
3. late summer
the element of the earth. late summer is about enjoying the sweet things of life time of abundance, harvest & riping using & practicing the word soft & mild for yourself
‘The powers of the middle bring forth in heaven the moisture in heaven and on earth the fertile soil. they make the stomach and the flesh of the body…the mouth and the yellow color..and the sweet taste. they bring forth the feeling care and the ability to sing’.— Nei Tsjing
- element: earth/soil
- yin organ: spleen, pancreas (9am-11am)
- yang organ: stomach (7am-9am)
- emotion: compassion,worrying, mild
- energy: yi (centering)
- climate: late summer, humidity
- color: yellow
- taste: sweet earthy
- sense organs: mouth (tasting)
- tissues: saliva, lymph
- virtues: digestion, riping, thinking & concentration
- essential oils: cardamon, cinnamon, rosemary
- foods: sweet earty foods (sweet potatoes)
- age: 45-65 years matured
- imbalances: worrying, bloating, overeating
- the young yin
- chakra: 3 rd manipura chakra
Practicing these yin yoga poses (ideal between 7 – 11am) will give an important support to your earth/soil element and the imbalances related to your stomach, spleen and pancreas;
- full saddle pose
- half saddle pose right &left
- seal pose
- cath& tail pose
- baby dragon pose
- yang practices: core, abdominal strenghtening
the element of metal. letting go, gut feeling, breathing is the ability to take your life in
‘The three months of autumn are called the time of rest of our inner guidance. the colors of summer fade, the dry leaves fall to the ground, the fresher and darker days announce the chill of winter. people, animals and plants retreat, the movement of energy becomes more compact and turns inward.’— Manfred. Porkert
- element: metal
- yin organ: lungs (3-5am)
- yang organ: large intestine (5-7am)
- emotion: grief , sadness
- spirit: po
- climate: dry
- color: white
- taste: pungent
- sense organs: nose (smelling)
- tissues: mucus
- virtues: letting go, gut feeling, second brain
- essential oils: eucalyptus,melaleuca
- foods: white veggies (daikon, cawliflower)
- chakra: 2 nd visuddha chakra
- the young yin
- living your womencycle: luteal phase (10-14days)
- age: 65-85 years
- imbalances: sadness, colds, skin issues
Practicing these yin yoga poses (ideal between 3 – 7am) will give an important support to your metal element and the imbalances related to your lungs and large intestine:
- outrigger pose
- monkey pose
- broken wing
- melting heart pose
- uplifting the heart pose
- outrigger pose
- twisted roots pose
- yang practices: arm strengthening
the element of water. reservoir of energy, seat of courage and willpower, guardian of peace
‘Nothing is as soft and hard as water’— chinese proverb
- element: water
- yin organ: kidneys (5-7pm)
- yang organ: urinary bladder (3-5pm)
- emotion: fear
- spirit: zhi (willpower)
- climate: cold
- color: black/dark blue
- taste: salty
- sense organs: ears
- tissues: urine
- virtues: strength, courage, wisdom
- essential oils: cinnamon bark, juniper berry
- foods: white veggies (hot stuwed dishes, beans)
- age: +85 years
- imbalances: anxious, loneliness, lack of energy
- the big yin
- chakra: 2 nd visuddha chakra
- living your womencycle: menstruation phase (3-7
- days around new moon)
- imbalances: anxious, loneliness, lack of energy
Practicing these yin yoga poses (ideal between pm 3– 7am) will give an important support to your water element and the qi imbalances related to your bladder and kidneys:
- all forward bend poses starting with butterfly pose.
- yang practices: warming up your spine