This little book is fiercely loved by some of the most interesting (alternative) women of our times: Susun Weed and Vicki Noble. In some ways it reminds me of the books that were produced by women back in the late 70’s – cheerful, a little sloppy, but full of joy and passion.
Luna Yoga is not some new-fangled perspective on an old practice (like some of the other forms of yoga, made popular by the folks at Gaiam). It is an old philosophy and healing practice (which Ohlig makes clear) that is being re-described (rather than re-invented) for the ‘modern’ woman. The focus here is one the fact (and I can’t quite believe we forgot it) that women’s bodies are _different_ from men’s. Our hips move differently, our shapes are different, and all of that means that how we move can be dramatically different from how a man moves. Ohlig presents evidence with care and discrimination, but it can feel pretty feminist and ‘new agey.’ At its core, Luna Yoga is directed towards women seeking natural ways in healing and/or maintaining health, especially in the fertile and sexual areas. (For me, a woman with no children, nor desire for them, it was a bit daunting to be engaging in activities designed to promote fertility. I had to do some work and re-engage my focus towards opening up my sexuality as a focus instead.)
Here we have solid work that covers both theories and personal research along with experiences that instruct, inform, and empower. Technical and factual information are woven in with experience. Classic yoga is combined with Aviva Steiner's menstrual calisthenics and the reader is given detailed instructions for breathing exercises, sketched illustrations, tribal fertility dances, and recipes.
"Luna Yoga works by stimulating and tonifying the endocrine system. With great probability, due to the intense concentration on our sexual organs, a feedback cycle is formed with the pituitary gland which directs our entire endocrine system. The gentle sensing exercises, the focusing of our breath o the sexual organs, and the dances all help to regulate our hormones."
English is clearly Ohlig’s second language, but since she speaks in the second person, her voice is clearly and I found it warm and engaging. I would recommend this book to my women friends – and will!
~review by Lisa
Author: Adelheid Ohlig
Ash Tree Publishing, 1994