yoga shakti

Shiva and Shakti: The Divine Masculine and Feminine

Paravati, the embodiment of Shakti, sat meditating for a thousand years in a remote region of the Himalayas. As she sat in extreme austerity, her appearance became anything but lavish. Her hair was matted into long dreadlocks that held the secrets and mysteries of the sky above and the earth below, and on her body she wore tatted deer skin and bark. The purpose of Parvati’s meditation practice was clear and concise: she wanted to reunite with her divine love, from whom she had been separated from through many incarnations. As she meditated, the story of her infinite lives played out before her….

She saw Brahma, the God of Creation, birth from his mouth an odd, indescribable, a-sexual membranous creature that looked much like an egg. Terrified, because he could not describe it, Brahma cried out: “Divide yourself!” The creature instantly split into two halves, which soon assembled into two bodies: male and female, Shiva and Shakti. Shakti was filled with awe as she stared at Shiva, who was clearly her other and herself. She couldn’t tell where one began and one ended. As Shakti reached out a hand towards Shiva, Brahma shouted “NO! You must stay divided!” In the pain of separation, Shakti turned to duality, with the unyielding hope of reconnecting with Shiva. Shiva, on the other hand, found the pain so unbearable that he took off to the Himalayas where he meditated among the ghosts on death and destruction. With discipline, Shiva liberated himself of all desire, thus obtaining the power to create and destroy. Shiva and Shakti continue to unite and separate for eternity, just like we, in our humanness, oscillate between wholeness or oneness and separateness.  

Shiva is often called the awareness and Shakti is the aliveness. Shiva is the sacred ground on which Shakti creates. Without the stillness and groundness of Shiva, the creative potential of Shakti becomes unmanageable. Without the creative potency of Shakti, Shiva becomes an observer lacking the ability to create or manifest. Shiva and Shakti merge to create Oneness and dissolve into this oneness where the masculine and feminine cease to exist and the pure consciousness of creation manifests in its place. Shiva and Shakti symbolize an intrinsic duality, balance, and the freedom to embody and dance with our devotion and prayer in any form.

I didn’t grow up listening to stories of Gods and Goddesses. In fact, my Jewish upbringing told me that idol worship was forbidden. When I was 18, a fierce mentor of mine gave me a photo of Shiva and Shakti, the divine masculine and feminine. She told me that the divine masculine and feminine lived and thrived inside of me, and that masculinity and femininity were actually not gendered. Radical. I kept this photo in a hidden place and would glance at it from time to time for a spark of inspiration and guidance. I began to explore what it meant to be gender non-conforming, and to break free from the deeply embedded patterns and intergenerational trauma that lived in my body as I moved through the world as a female-bodied, Jewish woman. This is an ongoing exploration that shifts, morphs, softens, ignites, unites, and separates.

I now have an altar in my room that is graced with symbols of the gods and goddess that have meaning to me, and the many incarnations of Shiva and Shakti. I also honor my Jewish faith on this very altar. I chant to the different forms of Shiva and Shakti in the ancient language of Sanskrit, and I chant to the divine in the ancient language of Hebrew. I believe that all symbols of the divine evoke certain qualities within ourselves that ultimately bring us back to balance or oneness. We can also serve each other in this same way. As Ram Dass says, “We are all just walking each other home.”

by Amy Rae Ruben

Amy believes yoga acts as a mirror so that we can greet and tolerate our discomfort as it shows up each day, rather than turn away or react against it. Amy trusts in yoga as a daily, embodied practice. She believes that with discipline and devotion, we can awaken the tools inside of ourselves to stay present with whatever arises and begin to trust in the process as it unfolds. Amy lives and teaches in San Francisco, California and is currently working on a Masters in Somatic Counseling Psychology.

ॐ☯The Art of Yoga☯ॐ

Just three more days till I get back home, cannot wait. It’s Friday today, are meditation or yoga on your list of Friday night plans? 🙌🌟#Rumi #Mysore #sripatthabijois #yogasutras #yogibhajan #bhajan #iyengar #lightonyoga #ytt #yoga #yogalife #yogalifestyle #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogachallenge #ashtanga #ashtangayoga #vinyasa #vinyasaflow #shakti #woman #meditation #selflove #selfconfidence #love #practicedaily #yogagirl #igyoga #yogapose #yogachallenge #meditationmonth

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The Pathway of the Two Serpents.

Gold Solar Serpent and the Black Lunar Serpent are alchemical opposites with different paths through the alchemical container of the body. When they meet, the Marriage of the Sun and the Moon takes place and this is when there is a possibility of immense energy. When the two serpents reach the crown, they become known as the Uraeus, which anoints the higher brain centres and leads to increased intelligence.

As they ascend, they crisscross one another to form nodes at each chakra, and magnetically energise them, as they go. The chakras spark into life as each one is touched in this alchemical weaving dance. In this way, with the interwoven pattern, the two serpents create what’s called the Central Column or Central Pillar. Eventually the two serpents reach the crown and then the hypothalamus, which is visualised as a Chalice. 

”From the Mahakundalini the universe has sprung. In Her Supreme Form She is at rest,coiled round and one (as Chidrupini) with the Siva-bindu. She is then at rest. She next uncoils Herself to manifest. Here the three coils of which the Kundalini Yoga speaks are the three Gunas and the three and a half coil are the Prakriti and its three Gunas, together with the Vikritis. Her 50 coils are the letters of the Alphabet. As she goes on uncoiling, the Tattvas and the Matrikas, the
Mother of the Varnas, issue from Her. She is thus moving, and continues even after creation to move in the Tattvas so created. For, as they are born of movement, they continue to move. The whole world (Jagat), as the Sanskrit term implies, is moving. She thus continues creatively acting until She has evolved Prithvi, the last of the Tattvas. First She creates mind, and then matter. Shakti, and Kundalini Shakti. The difference between the two is
that they are Shaktis in specific differentiated forms in movement; and Kundalini Shakti is undifferentiated, residual Shakti at rest, that is, coiled. She is coiled in the Muladhara, which means ‘fundamental support’, and which is at the same time the seat of the Prithvi or last solid Tattva and of the residual Shakti or Kundalini. The body may, therefore, be compared to a magnet with two poles. Thus, when completely dynamic,that is when Kundalini unites with Siva in the Sahasrara, the polarisation of the body gives way. The
two poles are united in one and there is the state of consciousness called Samadhi. The polarisation,of course, takes place in consciousness. The body actually continues to exist as an object of observation to others. It continues its organic life. But man’s consciousness of his body and all other objects is withdrawn because the mind has ceased so far as his consciousness is concerned, the function having been withdrawn into its ground which is consciousness.”


“Yoga means unification, which is first the unity of all the dualities and contraries that constitute the energies of life. Yoga philosophy teaches us to understand and transcend duality, but this rests upon harmonizing the dualities within us in a transformative state of balance.

Shiva and Shakti as the dual cosmic principles are an intrinsic part of all Yoga, which constitutes a natural process of integration and transformation. Recognition of the cosmic duality leads us into the practice of Yoga, which is their unification. All Yoga is a development of Shiva awareness and Shakti energy, the state of the seer and its energy of seeing, drawing the dual forces from their lower manifestations in the realm of division to their higher reality in pure Oneness.

The philosophy of Shiva and Shakti reveals the truth principles (dharmas), energies, and potentials of all creatures and all worlds. It is a system of higher knowledge rooted in the Cosmic Mind.”

—Dr. David Frawley

Goddess of the Day: April 9

Shakti - Ultimate Goddess of India.  Shakti is the primal force of female energy found within each Goddess.  She is the ancient force of power, the breath and the will which animates the divine Devi. Shakti liberates women from the trivial events of everyday life, and leads them to enlightenment.  Her creative abilities and transcendent power is the core of every Hindu goddess. She is the force in yoga practices and in tantric rituals.

(text from Brandi Auset, The Goddess Guide)

The Goddess or cosmic feminine force in Tantra is worshipped as Shakti, generally translated as “power,” whereas the God or cosmic masculine force is worshipped as Shiva, meaning “peace.” Yet to render Shakti as power creates many misconceptions. Shakti is the power of Shiva or the power of peace. It is not power born of violence or aggression. It is the power born in passivity, in silence of mind, the energy which comes forth from the Void, like the life that comes forth from the womb. Shakti is not a power which is asserted against something, but a power that enlivens everything from within.
—  Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses

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  • The Sacral Chakra is the partnership/power of relationships chakra. With the 2nd chakra, energy shifts from obeying tribal authority to discovering other relationships that satisfy, personal, physical needs. Every relationship we develop serves the purpose of helping us to become more conscious.. Relationships are all spiritual messengers. To learn to see ourselves as reflected by the duality. from all is one (tribe), to being/seeing the other. Mirroring. We create our own reality. Life reflected back to us. divide before we can come back together consciously.
  • Exploring the power of choice – dealing with duality/significance of opposites so that we come to know ourselves/personal and professional decision making ability and talent.

  • Independent interactions – giving and receiving physical, mental, and spiritual pleasure. Flow of power between self and others – relationships and their effects on us.

  • The ability to survive physically and financially on one’s own: power, money; self sufficiency/personal identity and boundaries/ to defend and protect oneself/ fight or flight/ ability to take risks/ the resilience to recover from loss.

  • The desire to create, managing creative energy, and contribute – honor one another – managing sexual power/the quantity of emotional and sexual energy.

  • Love manifests as caring for others to whom we are not connected by blood.

  • Enables us to generate a sense of personal identity and protective psychological boundaries- the 2nd chakra energy of a healthy physical ego keeps us able to interact with the world of seductive forces ( sex, money, other people, etc) without having to sell ourselves.

  • Our need to control the dynamics of our physical environment. Attachments to authority, money, people, other power sources.

  • To learn to interact consciously with others to form unions with people who support our development and to release relationships that handicap our growth


Goddess of the Day: August 31

Shakti - Ultimate Goddess of India.  Shakti is the primal force of female energy found within each Goddess.  She is the ancient force of power, the breath and the will which animates the divine Devi. Shakti liberates women from the trivial events of everyday life, and leads them to enlightenment.  Her creative abilities and transcendent power is the core of every Hindu goddess. She is the force in yoga practices and in tantric rituals.

(text from Brandi Auset, The Goddess Guide)