by Parita Shah: Regardless of your gender, you have masculine and feminine energies within you…
These two energies, when in balance, can lead to flow and harmony in your inner and outer worlds. When out of balance, your relationships, health, and self-expression can suffer.
Regardless of gender, we all have masculine and feminine energies within us. Having a healthy balance of both masculine and feminine qualities can help you to be goal-oriented yet surrendered, logical yet intuitive, and confident yet receptive. When you are energetically in harmony, you are more likely to contribute meaningfully at work, at home, and in society.
What Is Masculine Energy?
Masculine energy is often associated with confidence, structure, and decisiveness. The masculine energy that’s within each and every one of us helps us to plan, be diligent on our paths, and provide stability.
When the masculine energy is deficient, you may lack motivation, organization, and accountability. You may come across as irresponsible or have low self-esteem. Focus, boundaries, and assertiveness may be challenging for you when you have lost touch with your masculine energy.
On the contrary, when the masculine energy is in excess, you may be dominating, or pushing past your limits. You may be too analytical or methodical. You may lose your sense of curiosity and intentionality, and work robotically. The ego may be overactive. Others may find that you are too critical, assertive, and confrontational.
What Is Feminine Energy?
Feminine energy is often expressed as nurturing, fluid, artistic, intuitive, empathic, and full of faith. When you’re harnessing the feminine energy, you can surrender and release control of the outcomes. You are imaginative and inspired. The feminine energy that’s within each and every one of us helps us to be sensitive, compassionate, and gentle.
When the feminine energy is deficient, you can be emotionally unavailable or creatively blocked. You may have trouble adjusting to change and allowing balance. Rigid ways of being and the lack of self-expression are signs that you may be out of touch with the feminine energy.
On the other hand, when the feminine energy in you is in excess, you can be too sheltering toward others. You may feel responsible for the well-being of others. You may be too empathetic, and even overly forgiving of others and your boundaries. You may feel content to the extreme where you don’t set new goals. Too much of the feminine essence can manifest as codependency, victimhood, and as a lack of emotional intelligence.
Why Do These Energies Become Unbalanced?
Generalizations and stereotypes often swing us from balance to one side of the spectrum. When you speak statements such as “Men don’t cry” or “Women are great in the kitchen,” you are defining children’s personalities and identities by their gender. The media can further reinforce these pigeonholes. Advertisements for toys depict young girls being artistic and imaginative, while depicting young boys engaging in physical activity.
To be connected with your masculine roots is to take initiative, be consistent, and to work on your dreams. To be connected with your feminine roots is to allow the right opportunities and people to come your way, while having faith that your actions will be rewarded. A balance between the two may look like keeping a to-do list but being gentle with yourself when you don’t check off all the boxes. Perhaps you create a pro-and-con list for a decision that you have to make, but then you let yourself meditate on the decision and let your intuition weigh in.
Practice Nadi Shodana
Nadi Shodana is a yogic breathing exercise that helps to balance the Ida and Pingala nadis (meridians) that run along your spine. The Ida nadi represents the feminine, while the Pingala nadi represents the masculine. This pranayama technique balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain and helps to marry logic and intuition.
Here’s how you can practice Nadi Shodana:
- Find a comfortable seated position. If you’re sitting on a chair, keep your feet flat on the floor. If you’re sitting on the floor in lotus position, be sure to sit on a bolster to keep your hips elevated above the knees.
- Lengthen the spine and let the shoulders drop. Let your eyes shut and begin to draw your attention inward.
- Let your right hand rest on your knee, with the palm facing upward.
- With your left hand, fold your index and middle finger in toward the inside of your palm.
- Bring the thumb to close your left nostrils and breathe in through the right nostril for a count of four.
- Close both nostrils and hold the breath for a count of four.
- Release the left nostril and exhale for a count of four.
- Inhale through the left nostril for a count of four.
- Close both nostrils for a count of four.
- Release the right nostril and exhale for a count of four.
- Repeat this cycle of breath for two minutes.
Whether you identify as male or female, you can balance both the feminine and masculine energies within you. You can be confident yet generous. You can be artistic yet objective. You can be striving toward your dreams while being grateful for what’s already here. Too much or too little of any one energy can hold you back from being the great partner, entrepreneur, athlete, spiritual student, or human that you want to be. Both energies offer their own set of gifts that are available for you to tap into and embody.