by LS Harteveld
So what’s your story? Why did you click this post, Googled White Tigress, looked for answers, despaired at night? Why did you buy this book? In the unlikely chance I actually manage to get this to print. Right now I’m just focusing on unleashing what’s within me.
To get this program OUT.
This modest form- written out in a blogpost – will be enough to smooth out the sharpest edges of my guilt for putting it off. Enough to forget the handful of failed attempts to get it out there earlier.
In Facebook notes.
In free videos.
Paid online programs.
I never finished any of them. Either because it was too boring (translating from Dutch, or writing out all the exercises). Or because I was tired of men staring at my butt on YouTube.
I ve been wanting to share this information for years, but I have been surprisingly unsuccessful. For someone with ten books out, whose profession it is to teach yoga, and who has been on the White Tigress path for ten years (this is my White Tigress Facebook page), I was making quite an ordeal out of it.
But no more.
I have ONE weekend. Not even a whole weekend, just a Saturday and a Sunday. But this weekend I m going to share with you my life’s work;
The Yoga of the White Tigress.
The name White Tigress was coined by Hsi Lai. A writer, and spiritual seeker who wrote a book
Sexual Teaching of the White Tigress;
Secrets of the Female Taoist Masters. (2001)
The book offers an inspiring read for single women. In 2017 I published a tiny guide (Dutch), on how modern day women can use this wisdom to elevate their status from being single to “solitary”; fully embracing the fact that some of us are born to roam free.
And how they can use sex, and their interaction with men, to get energized instead of depleted.
I started translating this guide to English.
But just like most of my White Tigress endeavors it just died out. I do have the idea of making something completely different for the English market; a manifesto.
But that is not this post. Not this book.
Right now I m focusing on yoga.
The holy Trinity; Lineages that Inspired me
There is no such thing as “the yoga of the White Tigress”
If you read the original book, you’ll discover a series of physical exercises. Some of them – that engage the pelvic floor, as well as the ones that would make you a qualified applicant for the Chinese State Circus – could pass as yoga.
But you’d have to excavate this yoga from underneath breast massage, dances for a thin waistline and a bra that keeps your nipples free to breathe.
So they’re not easy to find.
For this program, I will mark these original exercises with a tiger which – due to my limited drawing skills and my current OBSESSION with my cat Max who is really old and not doing very well- will look more like a cute house cat than a tiger.
So the cat’s head in the drawings means its an original White Tigress exercise.
“Original” means either directly from the book. Or they are a body-friendly adaptation to avoid breaking you in half.
The second book that inspired me is The Bible For All Women’s Yoga; Hormone Yoga Therapy by Dinah Rodrigues. It’s not on Amazon anymore, but you can buy it (as well as dvd’s and other books on the topic) on her own website.
The third book that inspired me is Luna Yoga from Adelheid Olig. Whose gentle exercises I will use especially in the first few schedules, but whose general idea of how to do it – namely to FEEL into them, instead of performing them mechanically – I recommend you use throughout all the schedules.
Learn to trust yourself.
I think the intuitive approach that Olig gives to yoga, is exactly what people need this day and age. Especially the ones who clicked a title about screwing up their health.
So let’s start.
It’s up to you
The title of this post says;
“for anyone who had a decent chance of staying healthy but screwed it up and now needs something that works. Fast.”
There’s a reason I chose for that. Aside from the fact that I like really long, salesy titles. Which are such an improvement to the way things used to be, which was informative and neutral. So I mean aside from that.
Because there is a part in this title which is crucial before this or any other program can work for you. Four words.
“But screwed it up”
That is you taking massive responsibility for where you are today. If you were struck with a disease or ailment, that was a matter of bad luck or poor genes? You wouldn’t believe a post like this could help you.
If you were stuck in feeling victimized?
No. You wouldn’t be reading either.
And you shouldn’t.
Because this program is only going to work if you are in a position to take back control, and turn around whatever is bothering you.
I ll give you an example of why that’s important.
I run a yoga studio and it’s the only studio in the city, and who knows maybe worldwide, where we don’t sell single classes. You write me an email why you would like to join, and I assess if you’d be a good fit for the group you are applying for and you register for half a year.
Because if a student comes for one class, without having decided if he or she wants to take on yoga? Three guesses on who’s doing the heavy lifting?
Basically it’s like: “If I like this class, I m going to do yoga. If I don’t, I m not.”
That’s crap. If you start yoga based on one teacher, or one class, or even a series of classes? I know you’re gonna get disappointed eventually. We all have stuff that comes up during yoga, or any other course where you will feel challenged at times. And unless you decided that you were gonna do it? You’re not going to make it through. Trying one class, one 6 week -course, or signing up for a month, keeps you stuck in a commitment-free zone.
Unconsciously (or worse; consciously) staying open to the next best thing that promises to help you lose weight, get fit, etcetera. Unless YOU decide it’s gonna be yoga for YOU, no one, especially not a yoga teacher, should be involved in your decision making process.
I do have a money-back guarantee if a student wants to quit after the first class. But the fact that the commitment, in the form of registration and payment, has preceded this first class? That’s what makes the difference. That’s what will make their yoga path a success.
And let’s say you disagree with me on that.
I respect that.
I could even come up with a few lovely students of my own who will claim they needed that first trial class, so there you go.
Let’s say I m wrong. And that by just starting to do yoga, without committing, you can keep doing it and become a yogi. Wouldn’t you then STILL agree, that it makes it a whole lot easier, if the yoga teacher or studio or basically any service provided, would force you to look inside yourself if this is really you?
If you were not persuaded by a payment plan or sale, but had to pay full price, so that you were committed and involved from the start, and didn’t stay so… coasting. Class after class, after week, after month.
The matter of choice, of the internal work preceding any lifestyle program, is the number one reason programs fail. Not because the program is no good, nor because the participant is no good, but because somewhere, between Groupon offers, acute physical ailments and a life already overflowing with responsibilities, someone took CHOICE out of the equation. Someone dropped the COMMITMENT ball, and no one bothered to pick it up.
I m not talking about choice for a studio or a teacher. I m talking about first knowing that yoga is for you. And a commitment to yoga, or more deeply, to yourself.
You can find free 30 Day Yoga Challenges from Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. That’s a perfect way to get acquainted, you don’t need a studio to know if it’s for you. For me it was because Madonna had started doing yoga, that I knew I wanted to do that. And it’s still that decision and commitment, why I know I ll keep doing it for the rest of my life.
A friend described it as;
“Yoga is always there. Even when you haven’t been on your mat for months. You know you can pick it up. And that you will.”
This is not someone who is looking out for the latest fitness fad. And neither should you.
For any program you start and any sports or meditative practice you want to invest time in, decide;
“Does this fit my ultimate lifestyle?
Is this who I want to become?”
I’ll give you an example of why it is so easy to think that you want something, when in reality, it’s just something that is taking you offtrack. And we all know how draining those months are where you miss one workout, two trainings, three yoga classes… Until you re finally so disappointed (with yourself) you stop going altogether.
Before Madonna was into yoga, she did running. And I started toying with the idea of doing it. It was at a time when the most heartfelt form of exercise I knew involved a set of ten kilo dumbbells, so I could see there was room for improvement. And then someone who ran marathons explained to me, that I could train to “lead” for him. I would be someone who would walk half, leading him. This sounded like a cool goal. So I joined a club to train, and I had was an amazing trainer, who I still consider my friend.
But then I started missing training.
And because I still thought it was a cool goal (running half a marathon) I did buy into my own excuses of why I wasn’t going. I was sure I would pick it up. The trainer even sent me a few heartwarming notes at the time.
But in the end?
That I had a nice trainer, and a great goal, had clouded my vision. The running wasn’t me. I’m not an endurance athlete, and maybe I m not an athlete at all. I like creative and elegant forms of movement. Not repetitive ones. It was the same reason I had stopped going to fitness. It didn’t feed my soul.
As soon as Madonna appeared with her new bohemian look, rock hard shoulders, and flat-as-a-board postnatal tummy, all from yoga? I knew this was it.
Not only did yoga fit my preferences for what type of movement I preferred, way more than any other form of workout ever would, it also fit like a glove around my personality, and more importantly;
about who I wanted to become.
Yoga, was a lifestyle choice.
Before you embark on your yoga journey, or before you recommit, I want you to invest time in choosing your idols, or catch up with your role models. Reconnect with your visions. What do you want for yourself?
You can check YouTube for the timelapses from Meghan Currie, who shows what it means to be fully in your body as you move through the poses. I already mentioned Yoga with Adriene, and for men I also found Sean Vigue Fitness at 10 Great yoga Channels for Free Videos (YogiApproved.com)
And only when the thought of becoming a yogi, and making yoga your lifelong companion, ignites your heart and soul?
Only then, should you proceed.
For who is it suitable / disclaimers
All exercises are beneficial for men as well.
Do not practice White Tigress, or any other yoga, when you are pregnant without consulting a doctor and a yoga teacher.
If you are menstruating only practice;
3 The Tigress opens up
4 The Tigress’ lair
Do not practice the other schedules since they either contain inversions or strong belly contractions which could disturb the bleeding.
I’m about to share with you seven yoga schedules, for the seven days of the week. Over the years I ve also created yogavideos.
You can find my twenty White Tigress videos here.
They are a great way to get started, and it will make it so much easier to understand the schedules afterwards. If you’re familiar with yoga, you can choose between working with the schedules below, or take a browse through the videos.
White Tigress uses two different types of breathing.
If there are no breathing instructions it’s;
Inhale through the nose – belly rises.
Exhale through the nose – belly releases.
If it says “25K” or “10K”
It means twenty-five Kapalabhati breaths.
Inhale through the nose – belly rises.
Exhale sharply through the nose, by pulling the belly in.
If you’re more advanced you can do your Kapalabhati very quickly.
In the beginning you will have to take it slow, because the abdominal wall will need more time to relax before you can draw it in again.
All repetitions are just an indication. If you can, don’t count at all and work more intuitively.
Same goes for the exercises themselves.
They’re just guidelines. Feeling what your body needs, is always better because it forces you to be aware. For your consciousness to be inside your body. This does more for your entire well-being than any prescribed exercise.
You’re invited to play around, and make it your own.
Planning/ how to use this program
Every series is given in two schedules;
the first without instructions, the second with.
Make sure you read the “breathing” paragraph above, especially before doing schedule 5-7
You can find all schedules below in the appendix or print all schedules in one go from this Word file
Beginners are encouraged to start with the videos, as given above, and/ or to initially practice one week per schedule, starting with number 1, The Tigress rolls on her back.
If you master all schedules you can practice one for every day of the week, or alternatively, only practice number 7 daily.
I wrote this book in one weekend, just like I intended to. And I even had a social life, spending a good part of both my Saturday as well as my Sunday in a bar. Which is probably why it’s already way after midnight.
Monday already, technically.
Writing this book has sparked a desire in me to practice these series, just like I’ve shared them here with you; one for every day of the week.
I hope the White Tigress has inspired you too, and that she has you back on your paws in no time.
MAKE SURE YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS WHITE TIGRESS BLOG TO STAY POSTED ON;
– my 2018 workshops in the Netherlands to learn White Tigress Yoga
– release of the printed version of this White Tigress yoga book
– any other upcoming work on White Tigress lifestyle
If you are Dutch you can buy my lifestyle guide Witte Tijgerin, LS Harteveld (€ 5) at the Feeks, Nijmegen (ook online), or take my yogaclasses in Nijmegen.
APPENDIX The schedules
day 1 – The Tigress rolls on her back
day 2 – The Tigress stretches her paws
day 3 – The Tigress opens up
Day 5-7 contain 25K and 10K breathing instructions
– consult the “Breathing” paragraph for instructions
day 4 – The Tigress’ lair
day 5 – The Tigress fires up
day 6 – The Tigress draws within
day 7 – The White Tigress roar