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Showing posts from June, 2017

FGM, Islam and Sexuality: One of these doesn't belong

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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a topic that for many reasons elicits strong reactions within groups who are against the practice, those who support it, and even those who are confused about what to believe. However, very few resources on FGM take a holistic view on the topic and bring in an understanding of female sexuality. Given that I have worked extensively in the field of sexual health and not religious scholarship, many of my points relate to the former field with some elucidations to religious contexts with the support of an expert. Please refer to the highlighted text within this post to link to further readings.

The following points are worth considering:

1. Those who are in support of FGM often believe that the practice is a means to "control female sexual desire," which implies that women have rampant sexual desires that if not controlled would lead to a great deal of premarital sexual activity, and from an Islamic perspective, sin. The term "hypersexual…

The Sacred Flow of Yoga

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It sounded out-of-this-world strange when the instructor prompted the class to lay on our backs with our limbs spread out, eyes closed, and to focus on our breath.

I wanted to spring open my eyes and look around the room, since I wondered if everyone else was following her cues. But I restrained that urge and did as I was told, trying to not squirm, or wonder how ridiculous I looked lying on my mat, attempting to relax the muscles throughout my body.

This was my first experience with a hot yoga Bikram class in 2012. My friend had suggested that I give the class I try, so three of us went and rolled out our mats in the last row of a busy class. I don't remember much else from that class, which must have been a good sign since five years later, I've stuck with hot yoga and can't imagine not having it in my life.

Before I started seriously and consistently working out from the age of 21, my fitness endeavors were sporadic. During summer I would go for long bike rides, walk, …