Today is Mother’s Day in the UK, and while I will be enjoying being a mother (albeit with two of my boys overseas), and spending time celebrating with my mother, I wanted to reflect today on the ‘Great Mother’, the Hindu goddess Shakti, and the other use of the word, the Shakti energy.
In Hindu tradition, The Goddess Shakti is the consort of Lord Shiva.
Shiva and Shakti together make up the energy of the manifest universe. Shiva brings things into being, but it is Shakti who gives them life force, who brings creativity, fertility, passion. She is the vital, creative energy that gives the universe and all of creation its vibrancy. There is a perfect balance between Shiva, the masculine energy, and Shiva, the feminine, both need one another, complement one another, and cannot exist without the other. If Shiva did not create the universe, there would be nothing for Shakti to bring life into, and without Shakti energy, Shiva’s creations would come to nothing, only to decay and die before they have even truly lived.
Shakti is also known as Durga, Kali and Parvati. These three avatars represent the many aspects of the Shakti energy.
Durga is the warrior goddess, a fierce protector and ally in the fight against personal demons. Parvati is the goddess of fertility and creativity, the mother and nurturing energy. Kali is known as ‘the black one’ because she represents the cycle of destruction of life (all must end, all will pass), but is also worshipped for bringing balance to the world and the destruction of evil.
It is easy to see how the elements of these three goddess figures would be brought together in the Shakti energy. Motherhood is the most powerful act of creativity. The very act of conception take the cells brought together by a perfect dance between masculine and feminine, and infuses them with life force, keeps them safe as they grow, and nurtures the growing life in balance and harmony, bringing into play the three aspects of Shakti energy in the very creation of life. And like the manifestation of the universe through Shiva and Shanti’s union, we need the balance of masculine and feminine for this act of creativity, it cannot happen without one or the other.
Shakti in Yoga and life
Yoga is all about bringing balance to life, so practising awareness of the dynamic between Shiva and Shakti, masculine and feminine, will enhance your practice and your life. We all have elements of the masculine and feminine in us, both dimensions of ourselves need to be in harmony for us to function well in the world.
Shakti energy helps us to bring balance to life, to learn to let go and to relax, to take care of ourselves, the people we love, and the world we live in, and to take the good from life while letting go of the negative. It helps us to turn anger and injustice into action and change, instead of letting it fester inside us.
The yoga mat is the perfect place to start to develop these qualities, in contemplation of the Yamas and Niyamas, awareness of the flow and movement of the breath and body, and in training the mind and body to relax deeply and let go of what can’t be controlled.
Shakti Yoga practices focus on flowing movements, such as Surya Namaskar and other kriyas that allow energy to flow freely throughout the body, connecting breath to body, and moving both in harmony with one another.
Shakti energy fuels spiritual growth and positive change in life, and inspires us to be the vibrant, creative, passionate, nurturing beings we are all, male, female and all along the spectrum in between, are meant to be.
Channel your inner goddess in The Shakti Lounge
The Shakti Lounge was named because of all these wonderful qualities that Shakti energy brings to the world, and to us as individuals. If you can develop your inner Shakti, what could you achieve in life?
Balance, inner peace, strength, creative power, vitality and joy are all yours for the taking, regardless of what your life appears to be right now.
In the Shakti Lounge you will explore yourself deeply, learn practices that help to understand, value and love yourself deeply so that you are able to apply that innate nurturing quality we all have to yourself as well as to those around you.
You will learn practices that will help you to relax, to be more present in life, that energise, harmonise and calm mind, body and spirit. You will start to notice more good things happening around you, and will find healthier ways to deal with the things you don’t want in life.
You will be in a community of like minded soul sisters, all with their own beautiful experiences to bring to the world, all able to support, inspire and nurture you.
The Shakti Lounge is officially opening on March 20, the spring equinox, the day of balance and celebrating the arrival of new growth, but I will be holding a special 90 minute workshop, delivered online, on Sunday March 18th for anyone who signs up to join before that date. In this workshop we will look at some of the concepts I will be teaching in the Shakti Lounge, and taking you through a beautiful Yoga practice.
Learn more about The Shakti Lounge here, and I look forward to welcoming you!