Meditation and yoga are becoming a global trend as the world starts moving in a faster pace. People struggle to reconcile with themselves, listen to their body and feelings overwhelmed with everyday city hustle. Clearing the mind from obsessive thoughts, detaching from stressful routine, and finding peace and quietness, becomes a vital necessity. This specific type of yoga aiming at listening to the signals your body sends you and establishing a connection with energy flowing around and through your body. Follow this article to find out what Shakti yoga is.
Who is Shakti?
According to Hinduism, Shakti is a female goddess that personifies feminine divine energy. Shakti is considered to be the great mother in this religion. The universe wouldn’t be able to manifest itself without the Shakti energy. Shakti creates and changes, she is interdependent with the rest of the universe, while maintaining her autonomy. Goddess Shakti is responsible for creative, pulsating movement animating all living beings, including humans. Thus, the Shakti yoga named in honor of this goddess aims at recognizing and listening to the Shakti energy flow, its dynamical pulsation inside and outside, allowing for the increase of self-consciousness and bodily sensibility.
How practicing yoga benefits your life
While having roots in ancient religion, yogic practices are bringing immense benefits to your health according to multiple studies (1, 2, 3, 4), enhancing muscular strength and body flexibility, promoting and improving respiratory and cardiovascular function, promoting recovery from and treatment of addiction, reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improving sleep patterns, and enhancing overall well-being and quality of life.
What is Shakti yoga?
To have an in-depth understanding of Shakti yoga, you have to grasp the mental and physical focuses of this practice.
Mental focus of Shakti yoga involves attention to simple everyday experiences and how you internally deal with them. The ability to relax deeply when you want to and confront the stresses of life with confidence, strength and flexibility is indispensable for modern life. Shakti energy strengthens your ability to take in all of life’s positive energies while getting rid of all of life’s negative energies. The creative energy of Shakti is an internal resource that is beneficial for the growth and awakening of your consciousness and spirit.
Relax and breathe
Physically Shakti yoga focuses on linking your breathing with dynamic movements that awaken the Shakti energy within you. Instead of the more static poses usually found in yoga, Shakti yoga accentuates smooth movement and flowing transitions between poses, focusing not so much on the poses themselves as to spaces in-between them. Shakti yoga includes breathing techniques, pranayama, and mantras. While in other forms of yoga mantras – repetition of words and sounds – are usually said in the beginning, and at the end of the practice, in Shakti yoga mantras might be repeated during the poses themselves. Shakti yoga goes in line with other types of yoga. It incorporates classical yoga asanas, such as warriors, chaturanga, and particularly heart and hip openers. They are incredibly important, as they provide a connection to the energy and chakras, and strongly influence the opening of your mind, and increasing your trust in life.
The sun salutation
The main pose sequence in Shakti yoga is the sun salutation, which stretch and flex your spine in different ways. It includes 12 body positions. This sequence is a series of postures strengthening, warming, and aligning the whole body. You might practice it more swiftly, yet the slower pace is more suitable if you wish to calm down and immerse yourself in Shakti.
The sun salutation includes the following poses:
- Ardha Uttanasana
- High Lunge
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Plank pose
- Chaturanga Dandasana
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
- Adho Mukha Svanasana.
To sum up, Shakti yoga is a practice incredibly beneficial in the context of the modern world’s bustle. It helps you build an inner connection with energies flowing through yourself, allowing you to listen to your body, relieve stress, and improve self-consciousness. Indeed, this is not simply a relaxing practice. Shakti yoga will assist you in achieving peace with yourself, and building a true and fulfilled relationships with people around.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Medical Yoga Therapy (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Effect of Yoga on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Women (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)