This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to teach my Yoga for Women's Health workshop again. As I returned to my notes and practices, I found myself expanding the workshop and incorporated new teachings into the already enriched format. What I found was the connection to the Shakti Energy and the Divine Mother.
For those of you that have joined me for class over the past month, you’re aware of the connection to Saraswati as we transition deeper into spring. Lately I have been feeling like my life is on hold and that I’m stuck on a branch while traveling down the Saraswati river. I hear my heart screaming out it’s desire for change/growth and see the next stop on my journey, but it feels so out of reach like I’m in a holding pattern that I just can’t get out of.
So what is the answer to this feeling? The answer is to be content with where I am at on my lotus flower and slowly moving down the river of dreams. As we all know, this is a lot easier said than done. How can we stay positive in moments where we’re burnt out and have had enough? This is the struggle we deal with when our journey is in transition, so my teaching is for us is turn to the flow of Saraswati.
Saraswati is a beautiful symbol of the divine mother and she is here to guide us by tapping into our creativity, spirituality, knowledge and the part of us that has the ability to create beauty. She represents the things we wish to create in our life and she is the wisdom to know that we need this space of holding in order to appreciate what she provides to us next on our journey.
Like the river named after her, she flows on her white lotus flower and plays her lute to create and flow through life. Her beauty is un-matched and she is hard to touch just like the things we want most in our life. She carries with her the knowledge to know what is to come and has the symbol of a book to remind us to continue to learn and explore in order to grow.
Also, she reminds us that we’re never alone on this journey, so she travels along with a swan and peacock. The swan is a reminder of the beauty in life above the water. That our journey is beautiful when we take the time to look around, but underneath we’re pedaling away or gliding along to create the life destined for us. The peacock is also a symbol of beauty but it reminds us to keep our ego in check. That we can love ourselves, show our beauty but also have to remember to care for those around us and not try to engage them on a path they shouldn’t be on.
I always turn to Saraswati in times of uncertainty and transition to remind me that life is a continuous flow of good times and bad. In these moments, she reminds us to take a step back into self care and that our journey will unfold in front of us. This is key for people in the arts who need inspiration or even for those who want to explore what their creative side might be.
Today take time to connect to your own flow and energy to see where you’re at on your journey this spring. Remember to feed and nourish your seeds now so they will be ready to bloom!
Chant: Jai Saraswati Ma (Victory to the divine mother of knowledge, arts, creativity and science)
Lately I have been struggling with what the practice of yoga really is in our society. For some, it means to tone our body and release muscles in a hot room and for others it may be about finding a deeper connection to their self and embracing the power of our own voice.
As I turn to my truth and connect to my heart, I find it to be a mix of both. Over the past 8 years, my practice has transitioned into the unexplainable. How can I explain to someone who loves the physical practice that I only do the physical when my body craves it? That to me, my practice is to dance, sing, play harmonium, breathe, sit in a pose to learn to just be and to do tonal techniques not for the look of the muscle but to make my body stronger to help me take on the effects of working at a desk or being trapped in a car?
I’m finding as I tune into myself and teach what I practice that there are students out there searching like me and they’re ready for the practice that I bring them. I can only teach from my heart and find the souls who are ready for what I call the practice to awaken the soul. The practice to look deep within ones heart and ask the hard questions to find true freedom and to use holistic techniques to release the stress that has been allowed to build up in the body over the years.
So in the end, isn’t yoga about waking up the sleeping soul? Awakening to release all the stories, anxiety, stress and hopelessness that the world has presented us and to start to see the world in state of love. Every day is a challenge and a battle with ourselves but we should come to whatever part of yoga that speaks to us to find some sort of freedom or release whether it is physical or mental. To go beyond the Instagram postings, the need to show off power poses like handstand and to preach to the masses in a way that only turns the ego on instead of getting our truth out.
This blog will explore all accepts of yoga and answers that fateful question, how do you awaken a soul that has been sleeping so long? I look forward to sharing the truth about bhakti, the meaning of yoga and how we can get through this thing called life by being true to ourselves.
Music Reference: Sleeping Soul (Jive Jago)-Gaura Vani and As Kindred Spirits