“The ultimate purpose of yoga is the awakening of kundalini shakti, the evolutionary energy in man.”- Sw. Satyananda Saraswati, “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha”
One of the great Darshanas (or systems of thought) of the Vedas (ancient texts from India, that contain treatises on philosophy, astronomy, cosmology, astrology, healing, science, poetry, art and of course yoga) is Tantra. Tantra is a system of evolving individual consciousness from the mundane to the transcendental. In Tantra, everything in life is regarded with reverence, and has spiritual significance. It is a practice oriented system, which produces results of personal experience of different states of consciousness. One of the core beliefs of Tantra is that everything in the universe is created from the union of Shiva (a male personification of divinity, representing consciousness) and Shakti (a female personification of divinity, representing energy-our feminine energy). Shakti is very like the idea of mother earth, nature, or the divine mother in other religious and spiritual systems.
These two opposing forces are apparent on every level from gross to very subtle, until they finally unite. The union is yoga. The tantric texts are actually recorded as discussions between Shiva and Shakti.
Tantra’s main tools include mantras (words of power which resonate within the system creating higher states of balance and mental focus) and rituals such as Puja (offerings given to the divine) to honour nature and Divinity in everyday life.
We can connect to the creative power of Shakti energy in our yoga practice in the following ways:
- Choosing postures that open the hips, giving a strong stimulus to our creative force
- Creating flowing, connected, dance-like movements, perhaps using mudras drawn from Indian dance, to give the physical part of the practice grace and fluidity.
- Using mantras such as ‘Om’, or any intuitive sound vibration using our voice, on the out breaths as we practice.
Making a simple but heart-felt offering (perhaps a flower, or a shell, or a piece of home-made cake!) on an alter of our own making to consciously honour and give thanks to the divine power within us and all around us.
Here are some ideas on using yoga to connect to your feminine energy but feel free to create your own!