March's Theme: Shiva & Shakti
Shiva and Shakti exist within each of us as the masculine and feminine principles. SHIVA (or Purusha), is pure consciousness – the unchanging, unlimited and unswayable observer. SHAKTI (or Prakriti) means energy, power, movement, change, nature. Shiva and Shakti are manifestations of the all-in-one divine consciousness - different sides of the same coin.
The static yoga poses are powerful transmitters into pure consciousness (Shiva). The postures send kundalini up toward the Sahasrara chakra (top of the head). So in this way yoga postures raise us up to a level of pure consciousness and undisturbed focus (considered the masculine quality).
The Vinyasa flow, on the other hand, the transitional dance between the postures can be viewed as the Shakti energy. Shakti calls us back down to the Muladara and Svadhisthana chakras (base of the spine) and navel center. Home of earth, creation and nurturing. Here we find creative energy and directionless beauty. In this way the vinyasa practice keeps us moving between the two, Shiva and Shakti. It gives us the opportunity to both balance, and deepen our access both sides of the coin. This is not to be confused with male and female genders. It is very healthy, in fact for each gender to embrace the qualities of both Shiva and Shakti within themselves.
It's a very enlightening process to embody the asana’s with all of their masculine lines and directions bringing us the strength and focus we at need at times but it's also just as important to let the pendulum swing back to a direction where we embrace our natural feminine, Shakti qualities while still holding the powerful direction of Shiva. In this way, we allow ourselves to open to curves and imprecise shapes feeling stable enough to let go, drape more, sway, and feel circles instead of lines and ultimately to play, laugh and dance inside this human body with all it’s sensuality and luster.
The beautiful thing about yoga is that it brings balance to where ever you need it. It custom fits us all. But to receive this balance, you have to take it upon yourself to “practice” within the class. By this, I mean, the quality you bring to the structure the teacher offers, can start to be your own. You can do the same practice with either a sense of powerful focus, or gentle embrace. Side by side two practitioners can have a very different experience. This month, play with each of these qualities. Let your masculine, or feminine shine through in whatever way serves your path to ultimate balance.