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Shakti Yoga cultivates Shakti energy as transformation, play, and expression. It works through creativity, bliss, and ecstasy extending into all forms of art and culture. It is primarily a Yoga of awakening the Shakti within us and letting the flow of Shakti guide us on our path.
However, Yoga means unification, which is first the unity of all the dualities and contraries that constitute the energies of life. Yoga philosophy teaches us to understand and transcend duality, but this rests upon harmonizing the dualities within us in a transformative state of balance.
Shiva and Shakti as the dual cosmic principles are an intrinsic part of all Yoga, which constitutes a natural process of integration and transformation. All Yoga is a development of Shiva awareness and Shakti energy, the state of the seer and its energy of seeing, drawing the dual forces from their lower manifestations in the realm of division to their higher reality in pure Oneness.
The philosophy of Shiva and Shakti reveals the truth principles (dharmas), energies, and potentials of all creatures and all worlds.
- Shiva is pure Being and Shakti is its power of becoming on all levels.
- Each world has its Shiva nature, its Self or Spirit, and its Shakti power or energy movement.
- Each sentient being has its Shiva nature or inner Self and its Shakti or diverse manifestation.
- Each one of us has our underlying Self or Shiva factor and our outer expressions through body and mind or Shakti factor.
- Shiva and Shakti form the Being and power of the individual soul.
Alignment Between Shiva and Shakti
Yoga consists of the proper alignment, balance and union of the Shiva and Shakti energies within us on all levels. The more we hold to Shiva or stillness within, the stronger, higher, and subtler our Shakti or energy level naturally becomes. For example, the greater our capacity to dwell in the state of Being, the greater our capacity for transformative action in the outer world becomes and higher planes of manifestation will be revealed to us.
Shiva is the state of balance; and Shakti is the energy of transformation that naturally arises from it.
Whenever we reach a state of balance, the energy is naturally taken to a higher level. There are many such points of balance or equilibrium that we can cultivate in Yoga, whether it is a still asana, relaxation of the breath, or meditation and equipoise of the mind.
The path of spiritual growth does not mean to deny Shakti in favour of Shiva, but to align Shiva and Shakti together in the fullest possible manner. That affirms the essence of both Shiva and Shakti.
Shakti creates all things through the presence of Shiva. All her creations are manifestations of qualities inherent within Shiva. Shiva meanwhile is the essence or inner nature behind Shakti, not a separate principle.
All Yoga is ultimately Shiva-Shakti Yoga. Shiva and Shakti are present together in every aspect of existence, pervading and reflecting one another on every level. Once we recognize this all life becomes Yoga for us.
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Shakti Yoga consists primarily of Yoga practices flowing, creative asanas, pranayama, mantra and meditation relative to different forms and energies of the Goddess as discussed in Tantric teachings like Sri Vidya, Dasha Mahavidya (Ten Wisdom Forms of the Goddess), or Devi Mahatmya.
Shakti Yoga cultivates Shakti energy as transformation, play, and expression. It works through creativity, bliss, and ecstasy extending into all forms of art and culture. It is primarily a Yoga of awakening the Shakti within us and letting the flow of Shakti guide us on our path. Shakti Yoga employs a variety of techniques, practices, images, and actions but emphasizing the inner energy over the outer form. Shakti Yoga does not always have fixed forms or fixed techniques, but emphasizes the adaptation of form according to and force that ultimately resides beyond all forms. It proceeds more through inspiration than through technique, though it may employ many methods. The formless inner orientation of Shakti Yoga is its Shiva point or Shiva bindu. Most forms of Hatha Yoga and Tantric Yoga have a strong Shakti orientation.
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