Returning Unity to Yoga with the Seasons
“If, over the millennia, yoga had been handed down from mother to daughter through
a female lineage, what would an authentic women’s Yoga be like?” This was the unanswered question that had beckoned me onto the path of Seasonal Yoga.
Patanjali is considered to be the “Father” of yoga and over the millennia yoga has been handed down from father to son, through a male lineage. If Patanjali had had a sister,
what is the yoga she would have handed down to us? And if her wisdom had been included in the yoga canon, how would we be different, both on and off our yoga mats? During a period of meditation, I asked (an imaginary) Patanjali’s sister for guidance on creating an authentic united yoga. This is the answer that came back to me:
“Listen to the Earth- that’s all. Listen to the Earth.”
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is divided into four Padas, and this gave me the idea to divide
my inquiry into one pada for each season of the year: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
That is how the seed of Seasonal Yoga was born.
Yoga Through the Year Book
"Females were removed from the formation of yoga and it became a male lineage. What might it have become if women had been able to contribute to its creation? Since feminine energy has historically been connected to the earth and its cycles, while male energy has been tied to the sky and finding enlightenment by transcending nature, the split of these energies in yoga has created an unhealthy disconnect. The author proposes that by bring connection back to earth through the seasonal cycle into yoga, we can reunite the divorce of genders and heal through a united practice."
All year round you can dip into the Yoga Through the Year book to find seasonal inspiration and guidance. Each of the eight seasonal chapters consists of the following elements:
Legend has it that yoga was born from the womb of the earth. When we connect with the earth through our seasonal practice we are united with yoga itself.
About the Author
Jilly Shipway is qualified British Wheel of Yoga teacher, with more than twenty-five years teaching experience. Over her long teaching career she has enthused hundreds of students with her love of yoga, and many of them have continued to study with her for many years and up to the present day. She has tutored foundation level, pre-diploma yoga study courses for the British Wheel of Yoga. She was very fortunate to have discovered yoga in her early teens and so has had a lifetime of studying and practicing yoga. Mindfulness is an
integral part of her own yoga practice and her teaching.
As well as teaching general yoga classes, she also has many years of experience of teaching specialist yoga classes to adults recovering from mental health problems. She trained at King’s College London as a Motivational Interviewing coach, coaching people caring for someone with an eating disorder, working under the supervision of Professor Janet Treasure and her team.
For over ten years Jilly has been developing a seasonal approach to yoga. In tandem with this she has been trying to solve the mystery of women’s involvement in the history of yoga. Her Seasonal Yoga courses and website have inspired thousands of yoga practitioners to integrate a seasonal awareness into their yoga practice. She has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art and believes passionately that yoga and mindfulness can really enhance creativity.
Jilly is a regular contributor to the international publication The Yoga Magazine. Her plans for future books include: a novel with a yoga twist; an anthology of yoga poetry; and her second book, Yoga by the Stars: Practices and Meditations Inspired by the Zodiac, will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in December 2020.
When Jilly is not teaching, writing about, or doing yoga, she loves walking in towns, cities, and in the wilds of nature. She lives in the UK in a small Welsh border town, surrounded by hills. She is married and has one grown-up daughter.
Yoga by the Stars: New book- coming soon!