I Hear the Calling Loud and Clear! A ‘Shakti Rising’ Submission
This year for International Women's Day, Shiva Rea and Yogacampus wanted to extend their support to women of all walks of life by empowering teachers and students with their wellness practices. We asked readers to submit a motivational piece explaining where they think the future of Women's work with Yoga is heading and why it is so important, and how they would benefit (themselves and others) with this training, for a FREE place on the Shakti Rising intensive (9th to 13th July 2019).....And the lucky winner is......
I Hear the Calling Loud and Clear! A 'Shakti Rising' Submission written by Jasmine Pradhan
I heard about the Shakti Rising course before I heard about the scholarship place, and experienced an immediate tug in my stomach, a jolt of electricity, a resounding ‘YES’ in my bones.
The curriculum reflects what I’ve been exploring in every aspect of my life for the past couple of years. I’ve been diving deep into unwrapping my understanding of the divine feminine within me and ways to work with the cyclical nature of being a woman in this world.
And I’m absolutely ready to go deeper, to humbly receive the teachings of the amazing course facilitators so that I can pass on these much needed learnings to my community - in the hope of empowering them in the way I am beginning to feel empowered for the first time in my life.
I could write pages and pages about the need for the sacred feminine to be woken up in each of us if we have any hope of creating a better future, how honouring shakti in our global society affects everything from politics to the treatment of our earth. But as I only have one page of A4, I’ll speak specifically to the yogic context for now.
Yoga is a gift, it’s an incredible practice that has been a dear friend to many of us for so long. HOWEVER, in the majority of the yoga classes I witness, there is a huge piece of the puzzle missing.
So much of the practice offered currently in studios is incredibly linear, both physically and psycho-spiritually. There’s a sense of ‘mastering’ the body and disciplining the mind, controlling ourselves and our impulses (stifling our intuition for the sake of the full expression of a pose, or a misguided belief that we need to physically work hard to be good yogis). Although we are encouraged to feel, we are also taught that some feelings are better than others, and that ultimately we should be embodying the light/peace/bliss aspects of ourselves over the shadows. We even move in straight lines, stepping back and forwards on our rectangular mat space. For over 10 years that way of practicing and teaching yoga has served me, and I believe it still has a place for some people at certain points in their lives. But for women, this is not a “whole” practice, we need more because we are beautifully complex and ever changing beings.
We need a place to experience, allow and embody all aspects of ourselves (the good, the bad, and the messy). We need practices that recognise our cyclical nature, and that change and adapt to meet us where we are in our menstrual and life cycles, rather than being expected to show up to our mat the same way day after day. We need spaces to connect with other women, and permission to embrace all aspects of womanhood rather than try to cram it into masculine shaped spaces and practices. We need yoga that leaves room for creative exploration led by somatic experience rather than obsessive alignment and routines that were founded and designed for, and by, men. We need to recognise and celebrate that life, just like womanhood, is not all sweetness and light (although it can be that too!), and to learn to engage skilfully with that fact rather than running from it.
Why do we need this?
We need these things so that we can start reconnecting with our inner teacher and healer. We need these things so that we can understand our menstrual and life cycles and celebrate them rather than being afraid or ashamed of them. We need these things so that we can reclaim our bodies and sexuality from the historical abuses we have collectively suffered . We need these things so that we can come into our own, blossom, and show up in the world powerful and receptive - an embodiment of shakti. It will transform our relationships with ourselves, and through that inner transformation we will transform our relationship with others, being able to show up for the other women AND men in our lives with deeper authenticity and presence.
For this we need skilled space holders who can fully support women in their own processes. It is my dream and my calling to integrate women’s work into my work as a yoga teacher. I am passionate about being a woman and celebrating all that that means, but although I am well grounded in my personal explorations and an experienced yoga teacher, I really feel I could benefit from the guidance of this course in order to learn how to best to integrate this into my teaching and facilitate this work for others. I want to learn to share these practices with other women with as much knowledge and skill as I can. I can’t write enough how much it would mean to me to learn more skilfully how to be of service in what I deem, the most important work of my life.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I wait with a beating heart and the hope that what I am seeking is also seeking me.
Congratulations Jasmine on your beautiful piece! We so look forward to welcoming you along the course and seeing where you will take this amazing women's work.
Shakti Rising – Healing & Empowering Practices for Women will run Tuesday 9th to Saturday 13th July 2019. Join international master teacher Shiva Rea on this Prana Flow Immersion & Teacher Empowerment course rooted in evolutionary practices from Tantra, Ayurveda, Bhakti, and Prana Flow teachings - based on many pilgrimages to India, initiation into Shakta and Tantric traditions, and over 25 years of offering yoga for women - that can bring liberation, integration, and empowerment to women in a circle of tenderness, support and love.
Shiva is also offering an evening of music and ecstatic meditative flow on Friday 12th July – book your place on Rhythm & Flow – Prana Vinyasa and Free-form Movement Meditation here – and will also be offering an Earth Mandala Pilgrimage to Avebury on Sunday 14th July 2019. Book your place here.
Book all three courses together and save £25. Discount applied at checkout.