Eternal Health Yoga will now be offering Shakti: A monthly women’s gathering. This women’s circle will be led by the wonderful EHY teacher Shoshanna Portman. The next gathering will be July 20th from 6:30-8pm. The cost is only $10 per person. This gathering is open to any person who identifies as a woman.

Hi Shanna! First of all, I interviewed you about six months ago. What classes are you teaching now? How are they going?

I’m teaching Monday and Tuesday morning Hatha Flow, Tuesday morning Yin Yoga, and Friday afternoon Yin/Yang Yoga. They’re going great. I really enjoy interacting with the students at EHY. I feel blessed to be able to teach here.

And we feel blessed for you to be here! You also host a monthly restorative yoga class. What is that experience like for you? For your students?

Restorative yoga is definitely my jam. I find that we don’t seem to honor the need for rest enough in this crazy, jam-packed, go-go-go world. I love offering the opportunity to just be still and quiet; to allow the body to open into poses slowly and gently. I honestly could talk about restorative yoga and its benefits for hours!

You are certainly offering a wonderful, healing service. Thank you for that. So…. You are going to be holding a monthly women’s circle at EHY. What is a “women’s circle”?

Our women’s circle is a safe, judgement free space to join with other women. We connect, share, hold space, laugh, and learn.

Why is it so important for women to have this special time together?

I think human one on one connection is important regardless of gender. However, women and men generally have different experiences. It’s nice to have a community we can discuss those specific experiences with. Sometimes it’s easier to share with the same gender than with the opposite.

Can women’s circles be put in a historical context or are they a relatively new phenomenon?

Without a doubt this has been going on for years. Maybe it started with women going into the tent once a month during mensuration. Maybe it began with sharing in the tasks of bearing and raising children. However it began, women have bonded and formed circles for a very long time.

What do you do at a women’s circle?

Ha ha. I’m not really sure! I’m letting the EHY circle develop organically. I have never been to a formal women’s circle, but I have had a very strong community of women in my life. I have always had a “circle” of my own. In my informal circles we share, dance, laugh, cry, hug, talk, and -most importantly-we listen. We hold space.

What made you decide to offer a monthly women’s circle at EHY?

Honestly, it was divine intervention. I was meditating -just minding my own business- and not even remotely thinking about a women’s circle. I heard a voice -I know that sounds crazy- say “host a women’s circle.” I’ve learned that when I ignore that voice, it just gets louder and more demanding. Even though I knew absolutely nothing about hosting a women’s circle, I called D’Arci and Shelli to see about starting one. All I knew was that I wanted it to be a very welcoming and accessible space for all humans that identify as a woman.

Wow… that sounds intense! What can women expect when coming to a women’s circle at EHY for the first time?

Any person who identifies as a woman can expect to be welcomed regardless of race, religion, or social-standing. They can participate at whatever level they are comfortable with. Women should wear comfortable clothing as we will be seated on the floor, unless physical restrictions require a chair. Each month will be a little different. We will have a topic for discussion and an activity that coincides with that topic. When it’s time to share, women can share whatever they need or want to. They don’t even have to stay on the set topic. I want this circle to be informed by those it serves.

Awesome! Anything else you’d like to add?

I won’t be hosting this alone. My friend Jennifer Still will be co-hosting with me. She has been one of the women in my informal circle. She’s a strong, open, and inquisitive woman. She’ll be helping me choose a subject each month and will be there to greet and welcome each woman with me. Jennifer is a hairstylist. As any woman that goes to a hair salon knows, that’s essentially another form of a women’s circle. In that respect, she’s been hosting women’s circles for years now!

Join Shanna at Eternal Health Yoga this Friday July 20th at 6:30-8pm!