How to Balance Your Divine Masculine and Feminine Energies
As children, many of us are pushed into the box of male or female. Many cultures struggle with the ‘in-between’ and so pink-painted bedrooms lead to frilly lace dresses and a whole laundry list of stereotypical female expression while blue walls and toy motorcars lead to defining the stereotypical male expression. Meanwhile the ‘in-between’ – trans-gendered or non-binary – are often pushed to the fringes of expression.
Often this push to associate with the one or the other gender identity begins the difficulty in feeling whole and balanced. The qualities that belong to the divine feminine are not the sole possessions of women no more than the qualities of the divine masculine belong solely to men. So what helps integrate these two powerful energies?
Try This Exercise
Sit towards the edge of a chair with your back straight, your knees at 90 degrees and your hands resting on your knees. Close your eyes gently and breathe easily. Feel into the left side of your body. Notice any fullness or emptiness that might be present. Now, feel into the right side of your body. Notice any fullness or emptiness there.
Imagine a showerhead above you. In front of you, there are knobs for masculine and feminine ‘water.’ Reach out and turn on the divine water, allowing it to flow over and through you. Notice how the water easily reaches some places within you and that perhaps there are areas of resistance. Invite those resisting areas to open and allow the flow of divine energies.
Now imagine you are completely full of the divine masculine and feminine water. Allow the energies to mix from side to side and top to bottom. Notice the feeling of fullness. Embody the following mantra:
I am a being of light and energy. Masculine and feminine energies fill me and it is through these energies that action is possible.
Lalitha Invites Beauty and Play Through Sugarcane Pose
I’m sure at some point in your yoga journey you have unknowingly experienced Sugarcane Pose. Sugarcane pose’s English translation is rarely used. Instead, it is referred to as Ardha Chandra Chapasana, or just Chapasana. It is a standing backbend version of Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana). Ardha means ‘half,’ Chandra means ‘moon,’ Chap means ‘bow,’ and Asana means ‘pose’.
I’m half Filipina and I was lucky to have a father working for the U.S. government who was interested in working in Southeast Asia because he is Filipino, so I lived there until the age of 17. Whether we were in Taipei, Seoul, Manila or Jakarta, there would always be a street stand selling raw sugarcane.
As a result, I grew up gnawing on sugarcane husks, relishing in the flavor of the sugary sweet juice and the texture of the dense, fibrous cane. When I heard the name sugarcane pose and discovered that Lalitha was sometimes referred to as the Sugarcane Goddess, I felt very connected to both the pose and the goddess and wanted to know more.
One translation of Lalitha’s name is ‘she who plays.’ When we invite the essence of Lalitha into our lives, we are inviting spontaneity, playfulness, and joy into our lives. She is a form of Shakti Devi, the auspicious feminine energy relevant to the Universe or Source. She represents beauty, and her depiction conveys that.
Lalitha is usually seen seated on a lotus flower which guides us toward fulfilling our desires. She has long, black, gorgeous hair that smells like flowers, and a slight red tinge to her skin tone.
Her skin color is beautiful and represents the color of the first dawn or the hopefulness of new beginnings, and she is sometimes referred to as the Red Flower Goddess. She has four arms and a crescent moon adorns her forehead. In her hands, she holds a bow of sugarcane, five arrows made of flowers, a farming instrument for rounding up cattle (a goad), and a noose. The goad and noose represent our ability to develop an aversion (goad) to attachment (noose) and eventually find true joy.