Shiva, Shakti & Divine Union
For those of you who don't know about Shakti....
"Shakti means power, energy, or force. Mythologically, Shakti is always described as feminine, often personified as the goddess, Devi, the divine feminine consort of the divine masculine god Shiva. But at the deepest level, Shakti transcends gender.
Metaphysically, in Indian tradition—as well as in Taoism (where they refer to Shakti as “chi” or “qi”), Shakti is the name given to the fundamental creative dynamism that gives rise to universes. She is considered the source of both matter and physical energy, as well as of just about everything else. Her dance is the dance of the cosmos.
It makes sense then, that there are different forms, levels, and expressions of Shakti in the universe.
In essence, yoga teaches that Shakti is the energy within everything. And yet, there’s an aspect of Shakti that remains hidden until it is awakened through yoga or some other means: Shakti that specifically governs our spiritual evolution. This aspect of Shakti—sometimes called Antar Shakti (literally, inner Shakti, meaning the aspect of Shakti that specifically opens up the inner world of meditation), Yoga Shakti (because she unfolds the state of union, or yoga, between body, mind and spirit), or Kundalini—is the secret force that evolves your consciousness and opens the doorways into your soul.
However it happens, the awakening and unfolding of your inner Shakti has its own natural timeline. The evolution of your consciousness is analogous to the physical growth of a baby. A baby’s growth from childhood to adolescence to maturity is governed by biological systems, but it is optimized by nourishing food, sunshine, and exercise and other environmental forces. In spiritual growth, that same life force works to transform and evolve your experience of who you are, of your life-goals and priorities, and of how you relate to others and the world.
It grows your capacity to tune into subtle Presence. It strengthens you to hold higher frequencies of energy. It catalyzes longing for truth, brings up mystical emotions, dissolves traumas and quickens your capacity for insight. Spiritual growth is natural, like physical growth, but it also requires the right nutrients: among them awareness, contemplation, meditation, self-inquiry, a supportive cultural environment, and a willingness to do what we’ve come to call “inner work.” Effort is necessary—use it or lose it applies to spiritual muscles just as it does to physical muscles and brain cells.
But here’s the gift: Once your inner Shakti has revealed herself—and most of us sense Shakti for the first time during asana or meditation—she will literally empower any practice, and lend it power. That means any practice—asana, meditation, a creative project, your somatic therapy work, or your doctoral program. That’s when spiritual and creative growth accelerate exponentially. And that’s why learning to tune into your own Shakti is so life-changing."
-Sally Kempton, Yoga Journal
Awakening Shakti Transformational Workshop:
During our Revive & Revitalize Yoga Retreat, you have the opportunity to participate in a variety of Transformational Workshops. Our first Workshop is "Awakening Shakti."
In this two-hour transformational workshop, we will invoke the Power of Shakti as the force of Kundalini and explore her journey of awakening through the Chakras from Root to Crown. We will use traditional Tantra and yoga practices to activate Shakti within the body and express her currents of creative energy through us. We will look at the many faces of Shakti and how she reveals herself in the natural world and through our human experience.
We will journey with Shakti into Shamanic Dance as a practice to fully activate, liberate, and cultivate the Power of Shakti within and through us. Lastly, our Awakening Shakti workshop concludes with a Creative Art exercise to channel and crystalize the potency of ourselves as embodiments of Shakti.
"Shiva is the most difficult of the ‘Holy Trinity’ to describe. His character is the most complex amongst the three aspects of the ‘Unmanifest Supreme Lord’. He is at once merciful and dreadful — most benevolent and most ruthless when angry. He is attired in just a tiger skin with snakes round his neck and arms — a necklace of human skulls and another of his favorite bead Rudraksha — His body is covered with ash.
Shiva means pure or auspicious. Shiva is that name that denotes a univibrational energy that is non dual in nature and is free from the Trigunas of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Shiva is auspicious because it depicts the true nature of the soul that is untouched by Trigunas, transcendental and beyond the ever-changing cosmos. The true meaning of Shiva lies in supreme consciousness, effulgence and an awareness that is unaffected by Maya ( illusion).
Shiva is the one who is non existent and unbound in the physical form of existence."
- By Supreeth Palem in Meaning of Shiva
During our Revive & Revitalize Yoga Retreat this November in Costa Rica you'll have the opportunity to meet Shiva.
During this two-hour "Awakening Shiva" transformational workshop, we will invoke Shiva as Supreme Consciousness. We will explore the relationship between Shiva & Shakti, or Consciousness and Energy as defined by Traditional Tantra. We will explore the “7 Laws of Success”, as given by Shiva, and learn about Shiva as the “Wild Yogi” and his “Dance of Destruction.”
We will use traditional tantra and yoga practices to activate Shiva within and open our minds into vast awareness. We will explore awakening Shiva through Shamanic Dance as a practice to fully activate, liberate, and cultivate the Power of Shiva within and through us. Lastly, our Awakening Shiva workshop concludes with a Creative Art exercise to channel and crystalize the potency of ourselves embodying Shiva.
Awakening to Divine Union….
During our Revive & Revitalize Yoga Retreat this November in Costa Rica you'll have the opportunity to Awaken Divine Union, symbolized by the Hindu Deity Ardhanarishvara. Ardhanarishvara is the embodiment of both Shiva and Shakti unified in one body.
“Ardhanarishvara symbolizes that the male and female principles are inseparable. The composite form conveys the unity of opposites (coniunctio oppositorum) in the universe. The male half of Ardhanarishvara stands for Purusha and female half is Prakriti. Purusha is the male principle and passive force of the universe, while Prakriti is the female active force; both are "constantly drawn to embrace and fuse with each other, though... separated by the intervening axis". The union of Purusha (Shiva) and Prikriti (Shiva's energy, Shakti) generates the universe, an idea also manifested in the union of the Linga of Shiva and Yoni of Devi creating the cosmos. The Mahabharata lauds this form as the source of creation. Ardhanarishvara also suggests the element of Kama or Lust, which leads to creation.
Ardhanarishvara signifies "totality that lies beyond duality", "bi-unity of male and female in God" and "the bisexuality and therefore the non-duality" of the Supreme Being. It conveys that God is both Shiva and Parvati, "both male and female, both father and mother, both aloof and active, both fearsome and gentle, both destructive and constructive" and unifies all other dichotomies of the universe. While Shiva's rosary in the Ardhanarishvara iconography associates him with asceticism and spirituality, Parvati's mirror associates her to the material illusory world. Ardhanarishvara reconciles and harmonizes the two conflicting ways of life: the spiritual way of the ascetic as represented by Shiva, and the materialistic way of the householder as symbolized by Parvati, who invites the ascetic Shiva into marriage and the wider circle of worldly affairs. The interdependence of Shiva on his power (Shakti) as embodied in Parvati is also manifested in this form.
Ardhanarishvara conveys that Shiva and Shakti are one and the same, an interpretation also declared in inscriptions found along with Ardhanarishvara images in Java and the eastern Malay Archipelago. The Vishnudharmottara Purana also emphasizes the identity and sameness of the male Purusha and female Prakriti, manifested in the image of Ardhanarishvara. According to Shaiva guru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927–2001), Ardhanarishvara signifies that the great Shiva is "All, inseparable from His energy" (i.e. his Shakti) and is beyond gender.”
– Wikipedia, 2022
During our Revive & Revitalize Yoga Retreat this November in Costa Rica you'll have the opportunity to Awaken Divine Union, symbolized by the Hindu Deity Ardhanarishvara.
Our final two-hour Awakening Divine Union Transformational Workshop concludes with uniting the energy of Shakti with the Consciousness of Shiva, awakening to the Divine Union of our inner masculine and feminine power. In this workshop we will explore the practices of Tantric Alchemy and the inner marriage of fire and flow, purusha and prakriti, consciousness and energy, masculine and feminine, Shiva & Shakti.
We will journey with Shiva and Shakti united as one through Shamanic Dance as a practice to fully activate, liberate, and cultivate the Power of Divine Union within and through us.
Lastly, our workshop concludes with a Creative Art exercise to channel and crystalize the potency of ourselves as embodiments of Divine Union.
Please join us for this Transformational Journey of Awakening.
Hope to see you there!