Welcome to Temple.

Women’s Temple is a space where we come to mirror, celebrate and empower each other as women, exploring spiritual awakening through the portal of the woman’s body.

We have a large network of Women’s Temple Groups all over the world and offer Women’s Temple Facilitator Trainings for women to learn how to create and lead their own group. Scroll down to read more.

About Women’s Temple

In Temple, we dive deeply into practices that open us to the inherent source of vast wisdom within. We connect with the bliss of devotion and with the truth in our hearts. We align with the dignity and grace of the feminine warrior; we touch infinite compassion, silence and beauty beyond measure. We meet beyond the personal, from the feminine essence.

That which we are longing for is who we already are ~ this insight is the basis for our spiritual exploration in Women’s Temple. Our practice is not towards a goal of attainment in the future; it is a process of melting, of unraveling the wisdom and beauty already inherent in each woman. There is no more powerful place to do that than in a circle of conscious women.

Instead of enforcing the status quo by focusing on our problems and personal shortcomings, Temple practices connect us with truth beyond our fears and limited self images. From this deeper place, we can navigate our lives with Presence and inner guidance, instead of exhausting ourselves in trying to be leaders from a tense, competitive and disconnected state of mind.

Women’s Temple is not a therapy or a support group. It is a space where we come to mirror, celebrate and empower each other. A space where we can drop our masks and let the beauty of our authentic face be seen in all its glory and pain, passion and vulnerability.

Women’s Temple is based upon being present in the body, so a lot of the practices are interactive and include movement, as well as respectful touch. The feminine touch has an inviting quality to it that softens, opens and invites deeper presence into our bodies. All the numb and cold places, the unmet corners of our body can be visited with gentle awareness as we cultivate a greater capacity to allow feelings, as energy, to flow through our bodies. This part of the practice is most women’s favorite part.

Women’s Temple was founded in 2005 by Chameli Ardagh and Helena Montelius in Nevada City, California, when they gathered together to explore a new form of women’s circle less based in the personal, and more in connecting to the essence of the divine feminine. The Nevada City Women’s Temple Group in California is still active 12 years later, meeting every Monday night.

Awakening Women’s Temple Group Facilitator Training

Kim Stuart ~ Indiana
 Absolutely the most fulfilling experience that I have ever had.

Absolutely the most fulfilling experience that I have ever had. The AWI training was more than what I could have expected! It helped me open myself so that I may share the Divine Feminine with other women. So much gratitude for how much my heart was filled up with the honey that Chameli shared. To see her embodiment of the Divine Feminine, to hear her wisdom through the words, the Temple practices, and the care that was taken with each sister made you want to stay in this circle—this safe place, forever. The training connected me to the energy within myself that flows from the Divine Feminine, which I carry in the deepest place in my soul and has enriched my journey. Jai Ma!

Kim Stuart ~ IndianaFinancial Executive
Aslihan Serdaroglu ~ Exeter, England
The teachings were delivered with  focus and clarity, and supported so well with the practices.

My experience at the training has been very rich, deep and allowed me to embody what truly a women`s temple is all about. The teachings were delivered with such focus and clarity, and supported so well with the practices. It almost didn’t feel like learning but living the wisdom. I liked the way we were supported with our own temple practice as Temple Mamas. To be given that opportunity to practice within endless support, acceptance and love truly encouraged me to be myself, to listen to my instincts and to set up my temple in the town I live. I truly feel a whole circle of wonderful women in my backspace where ever I am and whatever I do. This feels very special and thank you for creating such a safe and open space for us all to be part of this Sisterhood.

Aslihan Serdaroglu ~ Exeter, England

The Awakening Women’s Temple Group Facilitator Training teaches you how to facilitate an ongoing Women’s Temple group, with insights into the background theory of women’s group dynamics as well as the opportunity to practice feminine leadership.

You will have an in-depth experience of the groundbreaking Awakening Women approach and of the benefits of being part of a Women’s Temple group.

The learning process is a carefully balanced mix of theory and experiential transformation. Many of the practices are dynamic and interactive (e.g dance, dyads, respectful touch), but we will also spend time in silence and inner contemplation.

You will leave the training with a plan for creating your own group, or if you already are part of one, you will bring back ideas of how you can deepen your practice together. It is even wonderful to come as a group, as the training will give you a common ground of understanding for what you will create together.

To be certain that the training is right for you, please make sure that you have some experience with the Awakening Women practices before you attend (for example, attending an online sadhana).

Read More About the Temple Training

Topics we cover include:

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bullet pointHow to set and communicate the right intention for the group

bullet pointHow to create a safe and deep framework for the group

bullet pointThe difference between a Temple group and ordinary “support groups”

bullet pointHow to honor the flow of the group as well as keeping the focus and depth

bullet pointThe being/doing dynamic of feminine leadership

bullet pointPitfalls of women’s groups

bullet pointIn depth study and background theory of the Temple group practices

bullet pointand much, much more…

This Training is for women:

bullet pointWho feel called to embody the feminine and share this exploration in a group of conscious women.

bullet pointWho long for a sacred space where full expression in devotion to truth is possible.

bullet pointWho are ready to lead a women’s group and learn the principles of Women’s Temple and feminine spiritual practice.

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You will leave this Training with:

bullet pointProfound revitalization of body, mind and heart.

bullet pointDeepened intimacy with all that is sacred, within & around you.

bullet pointA clear connection to your own feminine essence and inner guidance.

bullet pointAn undeniable sense of being connected with all things.

bullet pointA deeper sense of purpose in work, relationship and life.

bullet pointInner peace, self acceptance and compassion for yourself and others.

bullet pointSkills to start and sustain a Women’s Temple group.

bullet pointA firmly claimed seat in both a global and timeless circle of conscious women.

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Course material:

The Women’s Temple Group Manual

How do I register?

See our Training Calendar to find the Temple Training nearest to you.

bullet pointThe training is facilitated by our AWI Temple Training Teachers, and some sessions will be led by members of the Temple Training Team.

bullet pointThe content of this training is authorized by AWI and follows the curriculum developed by Chameli Ardagh.

bullet pointThe trainings are organized by the AWI Temple Training Teachers and not by Awakening Women Institute (AWI).

Meet the Temple Training Teachers

SimoneRita Egger

Germany (German Language), Spain, China

SimoneRita is a single mother of two teenagers and lives in Zurich. Her path has led her to various wisdom teachers, from toltec shamanism up to tantric Buddhism. Her feminine spiritual practice consists of meditation, dance, movement, chanting, being a business woman and a mother. For many years she has been holding women’s temple groups and workshops for women.

As a Yogini she practices feminine embodied spirituality. She passionately engages in an intimate relationship with every experience and every moment, always in search of unconditional truth in this often times challenging life in a woman’s body.

SimoneRita has been studying at the Awakening Women Institute since 2013.

Yashodhara Van Vilsteren

Germany (German Language)

Yashodhara, originally from Holland, lives near Munich and has been practicing with Chameli and  Awakening Women since 2005. She has participated and assisted in many AWI seminars. Yashodhara was the team leader of all German temple group trainings when Chameli taught them. For 12 years she has been facilitating women’s temple evenings, days and weekends.

Yashodhara also works in a holistic hospital, offers temple for couples, private sessions in Tibetan Pulsing Yoga and The Journey of Brandon Bays.

Dominique Youkhehpaz

United States, India, Europe

Dominique fell head-over-heels in love with Awakening Women and the Yogini Circle in 2011 and has since given her life to this wild path of feminine embodiment.  She has spent the last 6 years traveling and apprenticing with Chameli, the founder of Awakening Women, attending and assisting in most trainings and retreats, deepening her practice as a yogini committed to awakening.

Dominique works as part of the AWI team as the event coordinator. She held her own Women’s Temple Groups in Sebastopol and Berkeley for 5 years. For several years, she has been initiating new women into the Nevada City Women’s Temple group, the first Temple group started by Chameli Ardagh and Helena Montelius. She has dedicated her life to what it means to be an embodied, truth-devoted woman on the earth at this time.

Tanya Morris

Australia

After being completely inspired by the Awakening Women Facebook page and then Chameli’s TED talk on anger, Tanya decided to jump two feet in and fly to America to do the AWI temple training in California in 2013. Since that completely heart, mind and soul-opening experience, she has been holding her own women’s temple, bringing the awakening love to Australia.  She has since been blessed to join the Corfu and online retreats and welcome Chameli to Australia for a temple training in 2015. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her daughter and husband. She loves weaving women’s temple practices into her naturopathic practice and college lecturing.

Renée Sjernstedt ~ Visby, Sweden
This training is going to change my life and impact me to make the next steps on my path.

The atmosphere of Temple created a space of gentleness and tenderness that was unique. It was soft, allowing, opening, evolutionary. It was a blessing to be in this space of the feminine and divine. In that space I understood the depth and the ancient wisdom of the circle.

The training made me feel capable, gave me a lot of knowledge about how to manage a group, understanding and inspiration. This training is going to change my life and impact me to make the next steps on my path. To live my life close to the heart, to be true to myself and to stand up for the Divine. I’m in deep gratitude to you. And I’m very proud of being a Temple Mama!

Renée Sjernstedt ~ Visby, Sweden
Miriam Kalliwoda ~ Berlin
This lovely, gorgeous training helped me to share more of my gifts with the world.

I enjoyed the training so much. I discovered that no matter what language you speak, if you are present and speak with an open heart, everyone can feel the words…the meaning…the practice. The tools I have learned are not only helpful for leading a temple, they are also amazing support (pillars) for diving deeper into yourself and of becoming more aware of who you truly are. This lovely, gorgeous training helped me to share more of my gifts with the world. Each practice feels like a deep breath. You become more centered and aware. It is like a drop of water expanding when touching and diving into the surface.

Miriam Kalliwoda ~ BerlinGermany Police Detective and Life Coach

Global Network of Women’s Temple Groups

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Listing Your Temple Group

We welcome graduates of the Temple Group Training to list their groups on our website. We ask that you meet the following guidelines:

You have participated in the Awakening Women’s Temple Group Facilitator Training

You have read the “Create Your Own Women’s Temple Group” manual

Your group will follow the intention and culture of Women’s Temple (of course with your own unique flavor)

To get listed, please fill out the Temple Group Questionnaire.

Francisca Guimaraes ~ Portugal
It connected me with something deeper inside myself.

The Temple Training has changed me in ways I was not expecting. It connected me with something bigger, with something deeper inside myself and awoke me for a different way of living – more aware, loving, compassionate and in touch with my true essence.

I definitely feel compelled to start a Temple group and create the space for women to gather and celebrate the blessing of being a woman. Deeply grateful for this retreat.

Francisca Guimaraes ~ PortugalHealth Blogger, Nurse, NaturopathMissKale.pt
Shiana Seitz ~ San Luis Obispo, California
I have increased my appreciation of the beauty around me, including appreciation of my inimitable self.

Women’s Temple is a rooted way of being that honors the life we are experiencing right here, right now. It is the awakened way for a woman to explore all possibilities, especially what is true in the moment. By participating in the training, I have increased my appreciation of the beauty around me, including appreciation of my inimitable self. I am learning and recognizing that we are mirrors of each other in our experiences, I am learning I am not alone! In this process, I have stepped into ways of moving beyond judgment, comparison or blame. This emotional support and nurturing, has created the opportunity to make friends from around the globe, and as sisters, we are awakening to a more wholesome way of being. It is vitally our time to do so. 

Shiana Seitz ~ San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaCrone, Wise WomanCroneButterfly.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Women’s Temple?

Women’s Temple is a space where we come to mirror, celebrate and empower each other. A space where we can drop our masks, and let the beauty of our authentic face be seen, in all our glory and pain and passion and vulnerability.
 Where we return to the wisdom of our own feminine roots and listen to what we know to be true in our bones and in the very depth of our soul.  We practice a fierce willingness to let the this moment touch us for real, and the experience of life in this woman’s body to become more transparent, fluid.

We practice the feminine way, an all inclusive in-the-body spirituality, beyond dusty dogmas and far-fetched goals of the future. Spiritual awakening, instead of being a peak experience you once had, or a concept you read about and compare yourself with, becomes a lived and embodied realization of freedom and love uniquely experienced and expressed through you.  Women’s Temple is the bridge across the tormenting schism between spirit and our aching humanness. It rips away the fog, the dusty old concepts, the plastic spiritual food, and invites us to feast at the table with the Goddess herself.

Can anyone start a Temple Group?

Yes, as long as you have the longing to meet women in a new way. The Temple Manual is full of tools and resources to help you to start a temple group, whether you are new to the practices or have already experienced Temple.

Do I have to be trained by AWI to start my own Temple?

It is not necessary to have attended an AWI retreat or Women’s Temple Group Facilitator Training to start your own Women’s Temple; many women have started a Temple group without having attended an AWI retreat or training. Still, there is a great advantage to having an in-the-body experience of Temple practices when leading a Temple group, and we have a whole body of training and retreats to support you in deepening your understanding of the intention and culture of Women’s Temple.

Do I have to follow the manual guidelines and practices exactly when I lead Temple?

When you use the Temple Manual, you can follow an evening outline exactly, you can modify the practices to suit your group, or you can pick different sections from different evenings to create your own evening. In the manual, you will also find a section with a list of feminine inquiries, which can be “thrown in” wherever you feel they fit.

If you would like to create a Temple group using the practices we share here, however, we passionately invite you to follow the guidelines included in the manual. They have been tested and carefully molded and we know that they support Temple to be a sanctuary that grows and thrives. But remember, they are guidelines, not rules.

Can I use "Women’s Temple" for the name of my group?

What you name your Temple group is up to you, and you are welcome to use the name “Women’s Temple” for your group. All we request is that you use something other than Awakening Women, as that is a registered trademark.

I looked at the Temple group list and I couldn’t find any in my area. What do you suggest?

You can start your own Temple group with the help of the Temple Manual—perhaps there are women in your community who also long for the kind of sanctuary women’s temple holds, and just need the invitation for it to be created.

What if I don’t have anyone to start Temple with? Can I practice on my own?

Yes, and there are many Temple practices in the manual that you can modify to do on your own. Then, once you feel comfortable, you can start to invite other women. Your own practice will become the foundation for what kind of Temple you want to have with others, and your own familiarity with Temple practices can become a powerful invitation and container for other women to step into.

The very first Women’s Temple started in Nevada City in 2005 with just two women meeting regularly, and was just a small group of 2-5 women for the first year. There is no minimum number of women needed for Temple to happen. The practices can be just as powerful and deep with a few women.

I want to start my own Temple group, but there is already an existing Temple group in my area. Can I still start my own group?

Yes, we have several cities that have multiple Temple groups. The Temple group that you start will have its own unique medicine and flavor, and can often compliment Temple groups in similar areas, serving the women who want a Temple group but can only meet on a certain day of the week or who long for more opportunities to be in Women’s Temple. Women who lead Temple groups in nearby areas often will attend each other’s Temple as a chance to go deeper in their own practice and receive support and inspiration.

Can I list my temple group on your website?

We are happy to support you by listing your Temple group on our website. To have your Temple group listed, we ask that you meet the following guidelines:

You have participated in the Awakening Women’s Temple Group Facilitator Training

You have read the “Create Your Own Women’s Temple Group” manual

Your group will follow the intention and culture of Women’s Temple (of course with your own unique flavor)

To get listed, please fill out the Temple Group Questionnaire.

How can I order Temple Manual eBooks and Sisterhood Manifesto cards in bulk for my Temple group?

Contact us at yoginiteam@awakeningwomen.com for bulk pricing and include how many eBooks or cards you would like.

most photos are by Bibbie Friman

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