One of my favorite topics to discuss with my students is the Divine Feminine of Ayurveda. This is a concept that you may not have heard of or ever contemplated, but it has undoubtedly made an appearance on your Ayurvedic journey. To put it simply, the Divine Feminine of Ayurveda is the ancient wisdom of the body and the cosmos. It reminds us of what we have forgotten and asks us to remember smarna, our ancient knowing. It is deeply connected to nature and awakens an inherent knowing: You are nature. You are already connected to nature.
The Laws of Nature
Often times in our modern society, we have confused scientific opinions, social media, and advertising with the limitless knowledge that lives in our hearts. Instead, feminine form medicine asks us to trust ourselves and our bodies. It’s a practice of radical trust, creativity, and insight into ourselves. It asks us to claim our power, our experience, and our understanding of our bodies.
Divine Feminine Ayurveda asks us to trust in our bodies, as they contain the intelligence of the cosmos, the intelligence of nature. This practice asks us to be responsible for ourselves and to find balance through our own resources.
With this self-sovereignty and faith in nature, feminine form medicine stresses the importance of asking "What do I need now?"
Now is the time to remember who we are, find the courage to live from the heart, and awaken the Divine Feminine within ourselves.
Embracing the Divine Feminine in Ayurveda
The following are ideas and suggestions to help you delve deeper into the tradition of the Divine Feminine.
- Intentionally cultivate and expand your community. The human atman, or soul, desperately wants to be seen. Not necessarily fixed or saved, but simply witnessed and loved unconditionally. Organize a potluck and extend the invitation to your outer circle of acquaintances, plan a community meeting and get in the habit of regularly volunteering your time to a nonprofit.
- Honor your desires—spring is when we are intuitively most attuned to our deepest driving desires. We learn Divine Feminine Ayurveda not through the pre-frontal cortex alone, but through the back of the brain and body as well. This is foundational because it means that we first heal ourselves and learn the healing arts through our own practice of self-love and self-healing. And we find the place within our being that is already balanced, that needs nothing else, and begin the process of healing from there first.
- Adaptability as health. The adaptability of our nervous and immune system is directly linked to the strength of our ojas, the subtle energetic honey of our body. Think of ojas as your psychophysical container or shield. When ojas is strong, we have abundant energy, a strong immune system, and can adapt to the ever-changing circumstances of life with ease.
My go-to super ojas building plant is Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus). It’s a staple in my kitchen and I always recommend that students on the path of Ayurveda befriend this unctuous plant. Shatavari builds the tissues and fluids of the body. It’s a nutritive tonic, powerful adaptogen, and a wonderful demulcent for vata-type bodies that struggle to retain water. It’s especially recommended for supporting the regulation and rejuvenation of the female reproductive system. To stay hydrated, strong, and lubricated, use shatavari to make a tea. Let it steep as long as you like (a whole day even!) and then sip it warm, little by little, throughout the day.
A Practice for Connecting with Your Deeper Self
For 40 days, first thing every morning, write down your dreams. This may seem like it’s asking a lot, but the more you practice this the more you will remember from your dreams. My beloved Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad, explains in the Shakti Ayurveda School textbook:
"Dreams are a discharge of the nerve cells, the drainage of incomplete thoughts, actions, and feelings. In a dream, you finish unfinished business and the brain is able to restore order.”
According to Ayurveda, dreams are classified as vata, pitta, or kapha. Vata dreams are very active, and can include flying, death, autumn, and are sometimes fearful. Pitta dreams are often fiery, and can include the feeling of having arrived too late, being embarrassed, problem solving, and summer. Kapha dreams are often romantic, including things like doing something slowly, eating, and spring or winter.
Many times, studying our dreams gives us a window into the subconscious, showing us our deepest anxieties and highest dreams.
Honor Your Ability to Be in Balance
Divine Feminine Ayurveda is subtle and understands that there is no ideal health—that the mind-body complex is never in perfect balance, but always in flux. When we study shakti, or life force, we see that it is always shifting and changing. For that reason, it is not reaching for a standard of perfection, but instead concentrating on our own resources of adaptability. Feminine form medicine understands health as our ability to adapt to the changing environment and circumstances of our lives.