On Practice & Teaching
Archtypes & Mythology: Shakti – The Divine Feminine
This is where we can infuse our classes with creativity and playfulness. Shakti is the creative power of existence, the cosmic energy that animates the universe, the source of energy, the mother goddess, representing the active, dynamic principles of feminine power.
In some Indian traditions, every god in the panoply of Indian deities has his Shakti, the divine feminine energy without which the god would have no power. Shakti is the world-protecting, feminine, maternal side of god, symbolizing the spontaneous and loving acceptance of life’s tangible reality. She is the creative joy of life, the beauty, enticement, and seduction of the living world, instilling in us surrender to the changing qualities of existence. She is the preeminent enigma to the masculine principle of spirit, symbolizing the way that the flow of experience in daily life casts mists around the clarity of being. As we constantly project and externalize our Shakti energy, we create the universe of our life, the small sphere of our immediate concerns. Like a painter covering a canvas, we populate and color the canvas of our lives, creating dramas and delights that are the illusions of our own Shakti energy. When we are entangled and captivated by what we feel are the vital, passionate issues in our lives, we are dealing with the projection of who we are, the spell of our creative being.
Becoming aware of these creative projections, observing them just as we revel in them, brings dynamism to a life that might otherwise be quite boring. Rather than always guiding students into holding poses in a static mold, Shakti insists on liberating that dynamism in asanas, playing with the asanas, dancing with them, feeling them as fully alive, vibrant, and sensuous.
Mailing: Mark Stephens,
c/o Santa Cruz Yoga, 402 Ingalls St., #11
Santa Cruz, CA 95060