The Power of Inviting Symbols in Your Yoga Practice #1

This series consists of two articles and is written by Azuka Muse
#1 Allow yourself to be guided by the unexpected
#2 A practice to invite female transformational energy in your life

Allow yourself to be guided by the unexpected

Sometimes in life, we meet times of change. Deep transformation, internal, external or both, and we may need some inspiration, some support. Now I do not mean support by people, friends or family (even if it is very nice!), but I mean by some symbols, signs, stories or myths… to find a higher sense of self and a deeper meaning to the situation.

To continue, to grow, to burn the things that don’t serve us anymore, to find strength and confidence, to see our truth; sometimes a book, an article, a poem or even a picture can be very helpful and meaningful to us. I am writing this article as some repeated signs have appeared to me, in different ways. I am not the typical person to blindly follow signs, but at this point I just couldn’t ignore them anymore, so i started to put attention into them and did some research about them. What I found was so meaningful and absolutely related to what I was living at that time, and thus very useful. I can tell that ‘opening up’ to signs helped me a lot, it opened my vision, which is why I would like to share what I found, experienced and understood 🙂

Ever since that experience I try to include some of these inspirational things in my yoga practice, my teachings as well as in my daily life. This article is dedicated to the Kali Goddess, whose image I don’t stop to meet since a few years and especially since my trips to India. Even when I am stay in Europe, many signs come to me. Often. Funnily enough I had always felt attracted by her representation, but actually didn’t know nothing of the true meaning. I will share me insights with you over the next three articles.

~ Deity Energy In Yoga ~
As you go deeper into your yoga practice, it will ask you at some point to confront yourself with those aspects of yourself that may have been suppressed by fear, trauma or social conditioning, and which has been undermining your confidence, joy, passion, and has been sabotaging your health.

The deities in yoga serve as archetypes of higher, transpersonal forces; forces that may not be accessible easily. Yoga has always offered practices for tuning in these archetypal forces. The statues we can see in yoga studios were originally meant not just as decorations, but also meditation aids, focal points for rituals, and reminders of the powers we have inside us. Invoking deity energy is a way of opening yourself to energies within that can support, protect, and act with some power.

The godKalides Kali shows up in yogic art almost as often as Ganesh (the one with the Elephant head). You can recognize Kali as the one who sticks out her tongue. Try it now! Stick out your tongue, all the way out, and  you will see that it is one the quickest ways to get in touch with your unconventional wild side! 🙂 Kali is supposed to have arisen out of the warrior goddess Durga during a particularly fierce battle with demons. The demons had a nasty power: their spilled blood turned into more demon warriors. Kali‘s job was to lick the drops of blood from the slain demons, so that Durga won the battle. She is a warrior, yes, but the demons she slays are the demons of the ego and the sources and attributes of ignorance.

DurgaFor yogis and spiritual aspirants generally, Kali represents enlightenment itself. Just as reality itself is be both kind and fierce, the Kali is the enlightening force that smashes preconceived notions, free you from conditioned beliefs, false personal identities and everything else that keeps you from recognizing your true identity. That power often remains in shadow, hidden behind social masks and even the masks you assume in yoga.

You don’t become free just by ‘going with the flow’, you become free by knowing when to say ‘no’, fighting for what is right, and engaging with the fiercer forms of Grace. Whatever version of Kali you seek out , ‘finding your Kali‘, is always about transformation, liberation, and a kind of permission to find the warrior side in you.

Let her inspire you to transform your identity over and over again, letting go of the old rigid ideas of who you are, stretching your mind and life itself in liberating ways!

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