Having participated in an all-night meditation and chanting session in honor of Sivaratri,
gave me plenty of time to reflect on and wonder about Siva energy. (And when I say "all-night"- I mean from 9pm - 6am)!
First, let me explain what Sivaratri
is and why I participate in this annual "night of Siva." Siva (also spelled Shiva
) is often described as the ultimate yogi in deep meditation. He is painted with...
I've written previously how devoting my breaths to the Durga mantra
, Lakshmi mantra and Saraswati mantra has affected my life. (See my blog entries on Navaratri for September 23- October 2, 2006). (more…)
There are two ideas here: mantra practice and yoga practice. One may include the other, for example, OM is actually considered a mantra and you'll frequently hear the sound of OM at the beginning and end of a yoga class. Perhaps you've also heard of or participated in chanting the Lakshmi mantra or Siva mantra. (more…)
Meditation, in yogic practices, is not usually given as much explanation time in beginners yoga classes as guidance on the positioning and alignment of asanas. In fact, many of the explanations used by yoga teachers actually arise from Buddhist meditation techniques. Partly this is due to the fact that Buddhist practices have more written material available - having been developed and maintained through Buddhist monastic traditions.
So what's the difference and isn't it...
The tenth day of the navaratri (which means "nine nights") is known as Durga's Day of Victory.Â Celebrated differently in various regions in India with dancing, puja, food, visits and festivals, it marks the end of Durga visiting us in this realm. (more…)
Saraswati is beloved by schoolchildren, poets and musicians. Anywhere there is this transmission of inspiration, knowledge and information. She resides in libraries, bookstores, amongst artists, performers of art and ceremony and scholars. (more…)
If you're wondering how is it that someone with my last name also ended up with a name like "saraswati" - this is the story of how I realized the power of a name.
While attending yoga teacher training in Kerala, India with the Sivananda organization in 1990, I requested a name initiation. This is a common practice for many in the yoga community as you recognize that you are entering a different life-...
Honoring Saraswati for three days. I'm happy to do so, having been blessed with saraswati energy in my life.
She is goddess of the arts and science, knowledge, learning, music, sound, poetry, medicine. Saraswati is also the name of an actual river that used to run in India and that is now considered to be underground. (more…)
As I did for the three previous days devoted to Durga, I silently repeated the Lakshmi mantra during these 3 days devoted to Lakshmi. During the first day, I felt "off" - it took me another day to really better align with the rhythm and cadence that felt different from that of the Durga mantra.
Mantras are a science of sound. Mantras that are connected with specific energies, like Lakshmi, are a combination of...
Prosperity can be a difficult idea, if not an outright taboo subject, in some spiritual circles - including in yoga communities. While renouncing all worldly pleasures, including the enjoyment of being comfortable and well physically, can be a yogic path-it is by no means the only or even the ultimate path. (more…)