Happy Yoga Monday 6/17

Hindu Goddess Lakshimi, one of Ananda's favorite yoga goddesses
Hindu Goddess Lakshimi, one of Ananda’s favorite yoga goddesses

Happy Yoga Monday!

During my yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2005 and 2006, I developed a series of yoga classes that emphasized the attributes of Hindu female deities better known as goddesses or archetypes and how they corresponded to the seven chakras (energy centers in the body). See a list of some of my favorites below (the meanings are based on my own interpretation and understanding).

  • Durga is the Hindu warrior goddess of determination, persistence, personal power, and will power who governs the third chakra.
  • Kundalini is the Hindu goddess of inner power who governs the first chakra (the first chakra is the seat of Kundalini energy).
  • Lakshimi is the Hindu goddess of material and spiritual prosperity who governs the first chakra (physical survival including material prosperity)
  • Radha is the Hindu goddess of love and governs the fourth chakra.
  • Sarasvati is the Hindu goddess of wisdom who governs the sixth chakra. She is also the Hindu Goddess of creativity and the arts who governs the second chakra.
  • Shakti is the Hindu goddess of divine feminine energy who governs the seventh chakra.
  • Vach is the Hindu goddess of communication and speech who governs the fifth chakra.
Photo Credit: SallyKempton.com
Photo Credit: SallyKempton.com

Earlier this year, I learned Sally Kempton, one of my favorite spiritual teachers and Yoga Journal’‘s columnists, had authored Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, a book that tells stories, offers meditations, and shares the wisdom of many of my favorite yoga goddesses. Click here to read a Yoga Journal interview with Kempton about her new book. After reading a review of the Awakening Shakti in Yoga Journal, I put it on my Amazon.com list of books to buy. Last month, I purchased it from Amazon.com and decided to add it to my stack of must read summer books (which I will begin reading on June 21, the first of day of summer a/k/a the Summer Solstice).

Photo Credit: SallyKempton.com
Photo Credit: SallyKempton.com

Last week, I glanced through Awakening Shakti to see what juicy wisdom and insights I could expect to receive. Here’s what I found. Kempton shares how the qualities of 11 yoga goddess archetypes can help people deepen their meditation and yoga practice and better understand themselves. She also shares her personal experiences with each yoga goddess archetype. I am excited about exploring each goddess archetype’s meditation exercises, invocation mantras, visualizations, and personal Gayatri mantra. I adore chanting the Gayatri mantra, one of the oldest and most powerful of Sanskrit mantras. It’s one of the first mantras I learned before entering yoga teacher training.

Click here to learn more about Awakening Shakti. Be sure to visit sallykempton.com, follow her on Twitter, and LIKE her on Facebook.

Enjoy your day!

OM #YogaMonday OM!

Photo Credit: "OM" drawing by Ananda Leeke
Photo Credit: “OM” drawing by Ananda Leeke

PS: If you would like to read about my yoga journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle

My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a yoga teacher in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.

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