The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time, Part 4: The Way of Yin

durga

THE WAY OF YIN

The Divine Feminine comes in many forms – from the subtle to the overt, from the form to the formless. She is everything that is form and beyond. My song The Birth of Lakshmi illustrates how Lakshmi, the goddess of matter, arises out of the waters of pure consciousness to come into form. The traditional Sanksrit chant Sri Mahishasuramardini Stotram narrates the story of the warrior goddess Durga who draws her sword to slay a demon and keep cosmic balance. The traditional Sanskrit chant 108 Names of Parvati Devi celebrates the goddess in all her various forms. She is everything and nothing. She is eternal and temporal.

I called my recent show YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub for a specific reason. Not only is YIN an acronym for Yoga In the Nightclub, but the word also references feminine power. The show celebrates the divine feminine, so this is fitting. YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub celebrates the Divine Feminine in all her aspects, be it the oceanic goddess Lakshmi, the compassionate mother in my song Lokah, or the fierce Parvati and warrior Durga. We tend to think of yin as soft, and in our culture, this is often associated with weakness. But the power of yin is very deep and beyond what we yet understand in our culture. It is deep within the inner knowing in women. We can liberate this as we educate ourselves on the value it has.

It is no surprise to me that we tend to culturally admire yang more than yin energies globally. We value productivity, willpower and exertion. We tend to take from the Earth what we can, without considering giving back. Just as we seem to praise the sun while calling the moon “fickle”, we like to think of the feminine as somehow not as good as the male.

Yet the power of softness, yielding, openness, is what great spiritual masters ultimately teach. There is no black belt martial artist who can master his craft if he does not embody yin as well as yang. If we can learn to soften, open, receive, listen and commune, it seems to me many wars would be prevented, lives would be saved and our world would be a far happier and healthier place.

Both men and women can go inside and trust these yin qualities. Women can easily access them, as they are part of their makeup. We can learn that there is a deeper power, greater than pushing and conquering. Women hold within their biology the power of a revolution. But this power does not come from fighting, rather, from a profound surrender to the force of nature and life itself.

 

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I took yoga for three years with a woman who lived relatively right down the road and it was fine. It was what it was and it was good for me. Then my grondsan was born and my schedule got all wonky and I couldn’t commit to regular classes and I vowed to continue on my own but I have not.Maybe this will be a little shove in that direction. A gentle nudge.Ah-lah.I need it. Thank-you, Yo.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

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