Ah I’m back from the most beautiful four days with my teachers: J.C.Rawady and Candido Nunez. The group of us, 16 in total were beyond happy with the love from these two very, special teachers. Each morning we would meet in the beautiful shala for meditation. Warm and snug and lit by candles we could meditate until the sun came up. Then a pranayama usually related to the Deity we would be practicing. Ganesh, Hanuman, Lakshmi and the fierce Kali. All our asana practices were super strong yet we were encouraged to be light and move with fluidity. To actually feel into the movement as if we were calling upon the God or Goddess. My personal favourite was Kali. The blue faced goddess with her tongue sticking out, to lick up the blood of the demons, our egos. She carries a head in one hand and wears a necklace of skulls…scary stuff. But kali is known to fight our demons for us and will not tire. She fights her fears as we must do. Day in day out. She is loved throughout India as the mother Goddess. One who will defend us and fight our innermost fears. usually fuelled by our ego. I felt fierce with my hands in Kali mudra and a practice both strong and fearless. We practised a Kali dance on Tuesday at class and chanted in her name. We then practised Bakasana or crow. This pose is one that can strike fear in students hearts ( and heads) but we faced them with kali by our side.
The deities are an important part of Yoga history and don’t get bogged down with them, as they sure are a complicated bunch! You don’t have to be religious or even believe in their stories. Just next time you are fearful, place your hands into Kali mudra: Three fingers, from pinky finger, folded over the hands, first two fingers pointing forward, left thumb over right. And breathe. Feel like a warrior. a goddess. Realise your fear is actually of death and you are not going to die. You are facing a challenge and fear has no place in your thoughts. Breath it away. Be gone fear! Be Kali.