We're all in this together us women. Wading our way through endless lists of 'do's and dont's.' How to be more feminine, powerful, sensual, better mother, friend, lover. The goal posts change with every generation so it's not just teenagers that seek to answer; 'Who am I?'
Last month we tried to define femininity and discovered that a precise definition is impossible. To be truly feminine, in this day and age, is to accept yourself and others the way they are. Steel-cap boots can be equally as feminine as the highest stilettos. Our real aim is self mastery, but we continue to use the word feminine for its gentleness and strength.
Today we are removing the layers of BB creams and lycra and getting back to the basics of self love, self care and discover where the true beauty and strength of femininity lies.
Our most essential source of energy is oxygen. Babies breathe deeply. By the time we reach adulthood many of us breath unconsciously and only take a deep breath when we yawn or sigh.
Shallow breathing is a signal to the body that we are stressed out. Stress causes our adrenal glands to work in overdrive. When our body is stressed our circulation, mind ... everything is weakened. Stress is the root cause all sorts of physical and mental illness. The best way to energise ourselves is to learn some simple breathing techniques that will increase the flow of oxygen throughout our whole body.
-Start by lying on the floor (eventually you can do it sitting, driving, reading. Make a habit out of it and it will soon become an unconscious action.)
-Place one hand on your diaphragm and the other on your belly.
-Breathe in slowly until your tummy starts to push against your lower hand for 3 counts.
-Hold your breath for the count of four. The pause between each breath is just as important as inhalation and exhalation. -Purse your lips and slowly breathe out to the count of 7 or longer. Tighten your abdominal muscles and feel the hand on your belly lower again.
-The hand on your chest should remain still the entire time.
-Pause and repeat.
Try and do this breathing exercise for 3-5 minutes before going to sleep. Gradually increase it to 10 minutes or more, 3 or more times a day.
2. Body Brushing.
After the breath work starts to help your inner body function as it should, we can move to the outer body. Last month we discussed a simple bathing routine to rejuvenate your mind and body. This month we'll take a look at the ancient ritual of dry skin or body brushing.
Dry brushing your skin helps improve your lymphatic system, boost your energy levels, relieves tired muscles, reduces cellulite and makes your skin glow. Dry brushing can be done before or after showering. Add a little oil to the brush if you do it after bathing to moisturise your skin at the same time.
Long or short handle natural bristle brushes, loofahs or abrasive gloves are all effective and can be bought online or in pharmacies.
-Start brushing at your feet with long strokes or circular motions on your legs, pay particular attention to your inner thighs.
-Brush gently towards lymphatic drainage ducts that lie in the centre of your chest.
-Move to the back of your hands and work up your arms, remember you armpits where lots of lymph glands are located.
-Follow through with downward movements on the neck and shoulders.
-Finally, do circular movements on the belly. Dear Aphrodite's choice is clockwise as it seems intuitive to the direction of the colon, but there is no right or wrong here. Do what feels right for you.
Body brushing is best done in the morning because it is so energising. While some exfoliation does occur you should never scratch your skin. You can also gently dry brush your face with a smaller brush.
Charis Malina Brown has some other great tips for natural face cleansing and how to feel beautiful without wearing makeup.
3. Move your body.
Last month we covered the benefits of exercise and dancing your way towards femininity. Unfortunately one of the videos was removed by youtube. Fortunately, Dear Aphrodite has found another full 30 minute belly dancing workout for beginners that has great music.
Even if you have two left feet belly dancing will strengthen your core muscles (no more back pain), tone your arms in time for summer, harness the energy of your sacral chakra, reduce menstrual cramping, improve digestion and your mood and make you feel sexy.
4. More than just yoga.
Rosie Rees says, "womens nude yoga is a practice in vulnerability, courage and radical self acceptance."
Dear Aphrodite loves Rosie's website and her products. Pelvic floor exercises are well established in the practice of yoga, but did you know ancient Chinese Taoists used a crystal jade egg inserted into the vagina to strengthen, tone and train the pelvic floor muscles? Here is Rosie explaining how to use one. Feedback from our clients has been that it makes them feel very powerful.
Rosie offers nude yoga workshops throughout the Australia. If group work is a little out of your comfort zone start in your underwear at home on your own.
Dianne Bondy is one of many yogis debunking the myth that yoga is only for instagram snapping, exotic location, expensive sports wear loving self proclaimed guru's.
Just watching her ad will make every woman feel more confident and feminine.
5. Discover your ugly.
Our final step towards inner beauty sounds counterintuitive. In Jungian psychology it is referred to as shadow work. C. G. Jung said 'People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.' Mellissa La Flamme delves deep into the subject in her new book "What you are for. Inciting a revolution in your soul."
Not everything bad happens to us, it is also created by us. It is only when we move through the darker sides of our nature that we can begin to really connect and accept ourselves.
Our femininity and sensuality lies in the acceptance of who we are, not how we look or what we own.
Since ancient times both women and men have sought out ways to discover the true essence of who we really are, why we're really here. We seek connection, clarity and balance sometimes in all the wrong places.
Traditional rituals have been rediscovered or still exist today, because they work. They are easier and more attainable than we remember at times. Their beauty and power is in their simplicity.
In case you missed it: Dr Nikki Goldstein published an article about our James Bond/Christian Grey look-a-like gentleman Spencer. Confessions of an Australian male-escort. I don't just get booked for sex. She admits to buying less shoes and saving her pennies in case she decides to book an appointment with Aphrodisiac male escorts one day.
Dear Aphrodite hopes you enjoyed this months blog. Let us know if you try any of our tested techniques and what results they have for you.
Check out what else Dear Aphrodite has on offer by logging on to the Aphrodisiac Male Escort website.
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