What is Yoni Shakti?
Yoni Shakti is a courageous and radical book, in which Uma Dinsmore-Tuli explores the sexual politics of yoga from a perspective that sees women’s spiritual transformation as the most revolutionary force. It's packed with fascinating real life stories and vibrant testimony, as well as history and philosophy and practical guidance. Yoni Shakti is about freedom and power, encompassing yoga, sex, health and female spirituality. Always refreshing, irreverent and inspiring, Yoni Shakti brings womb yoga, Goddess-focused tantra and vibrant feminism together in an astonishingly potent combination.
Writing about Yoni Shakti, Maya Tiwari, world spiritual teacher & author of Women’s Power to Heal through Inner Medicine says “Contemporary women are faced with unprecedented levels of fatigue, illness and a profound disconnection with their inherent creativity and femininity ... Uma joins the revolution for true freedom for women by bringing her awesome experience into the practice of yoga to help women access innate power that is earthed in their womb.”
Angela Farmer, creator of The Feminine Unfolding, whose work is featured in the book, has this to say about Yoni Shakti:
“A beautiful book that will both empower women in their practice of yoga and show how the fundamental origins of yoga can be found in a more intuitive and feminine approach.”
If it's a book then why am I on a website?
Yoni Shakti the book has been a very long time coming. For nearly twenty years I have been sharing yoga practice with women. The womb yoga I share has always honoured and celebrated the different stages of our life cycles, as pregnant women, as lactating mothers, as women seeking to conceive, as women seeking to avoid conception, as women seeking to support menstrual health and as women encountering perimenopause and beyond – through all these times of life I have been sharing and practicing yoga. The three previous books about yoga and women which I have written have all addressed aspects of many of these experiences. (Other books by Uma are available on the Womb Yoga website shop).
But Yoni Shakti is different: it's an integrated exploration of all these life cycles. It's about how we can live our lives in freedom as we encounter the wisdom of each of these cycles through yoga and tantra. It's a massive undertaking. Simply because its scope is so vast, Yoni Shakti has not been an easy book to write, and for the past three years my life and the life of my family has been shared with this huge project. I have been assisted and supported by many teachers and colleagues and by all the women with whom I have been privileged to share yoga since 1996. Thank you!
The writing of Yoni Shakti was supported through financial assistance from the very marvellous Hosking Houses Trust, a trust for women writers. This trust generously provided me with a writer in residency award that enabled me to complete the manuscript of the book. Yoni Shakti was published on 15 March 2014 by Yogawords, the London based specialist yoga publishers.
Prior to the publication of the book, this site served as a means to share some of the ideas and images contained within Yoni Shakti. It takes a very, very long time to prepare a seven hundred page book with over five hundred illustrations to go to press. During this lengthy preparation period I perceived with increasing intensity the sense that the information in this book is of critical significance right now. Every yoga teacher I have trained, and all the students and clients, and women on retreat that I meet every day seem to feel the same: 'We need this material now, right now' was what I heard at every retreat, at every training and at every class.
And so I made a decision to share what I could with the teachers I have trained and with the women who have asked me over and over for access to Yoni Shakti. That is why you can find the freely downloadable introduction and womb yoga manifesto, plus practice guides and a complete set of yoga nidra practices for every stage of a women's life on the resources page of this site. The energy of every woman with whom I have shared this work has contributed to its development and growth. Thank you! Honouring the collaborative nature of the project, I have made some of the material in Yoni Shakti available as specially created pdfs and as video and audio downloads – with the intention to support you in your practice and teaching.
It is my sincere and honest hope that those of you who download this material will realise just how crucial this work is, and that you will be delighted to get your hands on the book herself.
I wish you happy reading, viewing and practice.
With great respect and love I send warm wishes for your well being,