Coffee Contemplations – Vol. IV : Durga दुर्गा

Jai Maa All!

Last night was the first in the Hindu 9 night celebration of Navratri (Nava meaning nine, ratri meaning night) during which observers pay homage and celebrate the Goddess Mother – the representation of Shakti. We come together to pay devotion and love to the goddess within us that connects us to our our places of divine femininity, creativity, love, and compassion.

Quickly – if you’re not sure what Shakti is – Shakti is a sanskrit term for the divine feminine energy that resides within all creatures and creations throughout the universe. It is the undying generation of creation, love, compassion, potential and fertility. Though often dormant in men (who are ruled by the divine masculine) it is possible to open passage-ways to Shakti in everyone. When honoring this energy in the individual, we allow ourselves to deeply and honestly connect with those we come in contact with in a very loving and open way. Accessing Shakti shouldn’t wait until Navratri, but during this very sacred and exciting time, bringing it into focus is a blessing and opportunity to explore your own divine feminine in safety and company.

One of the main goddesses that we celebrate during this time is Durga – The inaccessible. The invincible. Durga is the ultimate goddess and a representation of Shakti – of our potential. She wields instruments of battle in her 8 – 18 arms and flows forward with an energy of clearing, of removing challenge, overcoming battle, and victory. She herself is not in danger of being harmed or killed for she is the energy that flows and propels potential into reality and belief into action. She – the Shakti – the invincible and inaccessible (by others, but always accessible to us) – resides deep within each and every one of us and is the fuel to our life’s fire.

Celebrating this Shakti, this potential, this divine feminine is a powerful thing. With hundreds of thousands of people (if not more and more) around the world bringing their divine feminine energy into their awareness, we’ve created an energetic wave over each other and the world of transformation. Of self-reliance and free will connecting us to the universal energy around us and propelling us toward one another.

What a profound moment we’re in. We’re passed into fall, we’ve encountered this new moon in Libra, it’s also Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – and now this Navratri celebration of the divine goddess all happening in the SAME WEEK. If you’re feeling a little whacky, my friend I hear you!

It’s a deep time for reflection. For removal of the weights that have held you down in the past so you may start to access your own true potential and move forward with purpose and more importantly, self reliance, self trust, and self inspiration. This is not an easy thing to do – considering the year we’ve all had. If you cannot take the time to deeply reflect on yourself and these ideas in a safe and supported way, you may feel the energy swirling around is too much and start to lose touch with yourself. Worst case, you may withdraw completely and miss out on the powerful love, compassion and transformation that is all around you. It’s a very intense and sacred time and for the next week, I feel it’s very important we all take the time we need to patiently, ardently, honestly, and compassionately prioritize and focus so all this work we have done thus far does not go to waste..

Suggestions for Reflections:

As the transition in season begins, take advantage of the last few days of summers fruits by taking a long walk and collecting earth gifts. This could be fruit, flowers, grasses, leaves, etc. Anything and everything that you find beautiful. Bring them home and display them somehow. Any way you are inspired. Make a wreath. Keep them in water. Collage. Make an alter. Hang them to dry. Anything that is true to your own creativity. Honor your ability to create.

Over the next few nights, set aside one hour to express yourself. Dance in your room. Write. Draw. Paint. Sing. Color in a coloring book. Cook. Whatever inspires you and feels empowering. Share it or don’t – that is not the point. The point is to express it, whatever “it” is.

Temporary masterpiece : to celebrate the impermanence of all things – for life continues on and all battles lost or won do end – create something to destroy it. Knit a scarf and pull it apart. Write a letter to a long lost love or your past self and burn it. Make some expression and destroy it immediately. The more attached you are to it, honestly the better. Get in the practice of letting go.

Meditate. This goes for every day, but over the next few days, get honest with yourself and set aside time (at least 15 minutes – an hour if you’re a baller) to sit quietly and focus on your breath coming in and out of your belly – deep near that Shakti center. Place your hand on your belly button and breathe into your hand, perhaps counting the inhales. For 2 – 3 minutes after your meditation, repeat to yourself “Love. Compassion. Shakti Shakti.” to bring these divine feminine qualities into your awareness which has now been cleared and sharpened. Carry it with you.

YOGA! Duh… If you don’t have time for a daily practice over the next 8 days, I invite you to try this short sequence. (Sorry these photos are terrible.. I guess I need a real camera and tripod…or personal photographer. Whatever comes first.)

Shakti Sequence:

Start laying on your back in Supta Baddha Konasana ; soles of the feet together, knees reaching to the sides. Feel free to bring blocks or a blanket under the knees for support. Rest here for about 10 breaths, breathing in and out of the nose and directing the breath to the belly.

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Set the intention of awakening potential, trusting in yourself and celebrating your experience of the divine feminine while you rest.

Draw the knees to the chest and gently rock to sitting.

Come into table top – all fours – and take 4 cat/cows movements riding your own breath.

 

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Cat – Exhale

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Cow – Inhale

Tuck the toes and lift the hips to downward facing dog. Lift the sit bones up and work the heels toward the floor. Fingers are spread wide and shoulder blades draw toward the sit bones. Hold for 5 breaths.

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Inhale and step or hop to the top of your mat in Uttasana (forward fold), exhale.

Inhale to standing, hands at the heart.

Exhale step the left leg back coming into crescent lunge, arms over head. Hold for 3 breaths.

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Bring your hands to your hips and turn your right toes to the left coming into a wide stance facing the length of the mat.

Walk the toes in slightly so they’re about double the width of your hips. Turn the toes out and bend the knees. Reach the arms up then bend the elbows at 90 degrees. Press the elbows forward, tone the low belly, draw the tail bone down slightly  and the head up.
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15 seconds of Kapalbhati (breath of fire – rapid inhalations and exhalations through the nose)

Return to crescent lunge. Sandwich the front foot then step the feet together.

Inhale to standing.

==Repeat other side==

Exhale step the right leg back coming into crescent lunge, arms over head. Hold for 3 breaths.

Bring your hands to your hips and turn your left toes to the right coming into a wide stance facing the length of the mat.

Walk the toes in slightly so they’re about double the width of your hips. Turn the does out and bend the knees. Reach the arms up then bend the elbows at 90 degrees. Press the elbows forward, tone the low belly, draw the tail bone down and the head up.

15 seconds of Kapalabhati (breath of fire)

Return to crescent lunge. Sandwich the front foot then step the feet together.

Inhale to standing.

Exhale forward fold.

Sit the seat all the way to the floor and recline all the way to your back.

Rest in svavasana.

=====

Do all of these things or one of these things – or get creative and do your own damn thing! Whatever you do, do something to celebrate all the fire, divine feminine, transformation and life in the air. Breathe it in and celebrate. Your life is precious and I for one am ecstatic you’re alive.

All the best wishes coming your way.

Jai Maa!

Shoshana Tova!

May All Beings be HAPPY!

~Namaste~

Tayla

 

Because we have to:

The techniques and suggestions presented on this site are not intended to substitute for proper medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. Namastayla / Tayla Ealom  assumes no responsibility for injuries suffered while practicing these techniques. Namastayla / Tayla Ealom does not recommend Yoga exercise for pregnant or nursing women or for children under 16 years of age without proper consultation. If you are elderly or have any chronic or recurring conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, arthritis, heart disease, and so on, seek your physician’s advice before practicing.

 

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