Have you ever had several days of yoga aha moments?
What did you learn?
Over the past three days, I had a series of yoga aha moments about the power of Shakti energy in my yin yoga practice and studies and my work with yoga clients. Cluck on the link to listen to today’s podcast to learn more abput yoga aha moments (9 minutes). http://soundcloud.com/ananda-leeke/listen-to-yoga-teacher-ananda
Have you ever had a yoga study buddy to create more accountability and support in your yoga practice?
This month I realized I needed to create a yoga study buddy partnership to help ground my current study of the power of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga in my home yoga practice. So I reached out to Benjamin, one of my best friends and fellow Kundalini yoga practitioners, via Skype to discuss my idea. Our conversation revealed that we are both on a journey to understand Shakti, chakras, Kundalini yoga, and living from our hearts. Since he lives in London and I live in D.C., we decided to use email for quick check-ins and information sharing (videos, web links, articles, music etc.). We also chose to schedule one or two Skype calls per month to discuss what we have been learning and noticing in our yoga practice and life.
As a result of my yoga study buddy partnership with Benjamin, I have been creating collages that illustrate how I feel about the power of Shakti in my yoga practice and life.
I’ve started watching YouTube videos that Benjamin sent me via email that feature Maya Fiennes, an international Kundalini yoga teacher. This week, I am using Fiennes’ root chakra and sacral chakra videos to enhance my morning practice.
Having Benjamin as my yoga study buddy has created more accountability in developing inspiring content for my weekly Yoga Monday blog and podcast. Click here to listen to today’s podcast which includes three yoga wisdom quotes, my poem about yoga and writing, and reflections on the power of Shakti in my yoga practice and life. OM Enjoy OM!
PS: Yoga and Reiki healing touch sessions are great ways to energize your spirit, heart, mind, and body for the Spring season. If you are in the DC area and are seeking to develop or strengthen a kind and gentle yoga practice for your daily life, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have several slots opening up for my Spring yoga one-on-one sessions. I also have several slots opening for my Reiki healing touch sessions. Click here to learn more about my yoga and Reiki services.
Today’s podcast gives you an inside view into my afternoon yoga session that included mala beads and a Shakti mantra. Click on the link to listen (3 minutes). http://voicebo.com/6mGAnv
What mantras do you like to chant during your yoga practice?
If you are in the DC/MD/VA area and would like to experience kind and gentle yoga or a Reiki healing touch session, contact me at email@example.com to schedule a phone consultation about your yoga/Reiki needs and my fees.
What are you focusing on during your yoga practice this month?
My February yoga focus is on developing a deeper understanding of the inner Shakti energy (chi, prana or creative life force or power inside you and all things in the universe) that opens the door to meditation and spiritual evolution. Click on the link to listen to today’s podcast (5 minutes) that shares how the February issue of Yoga Journal sparked my focus. http://voicebo.com/xnZQBR
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.
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).
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.