Fitness

Guide to Shakti Yoga | Release Your Inner Goddess of Strength

Inspired by the Indian female goddesses, shakti yoga is a powerful form of yoga. From poses to benefits, here’s everything about shakti yoga!

shakti-yoga-for-women-sun-salutation-suryanamaskarHey all! I’m mesmerized by the fact that there are so many types of yoga. While the basic ideology remains the same, the ways they are practiced are different. I have been a yoga student for almost 6 years now, but I still feel there’s so much to learn and explore.

When I started writing about different types of yoga, I thought there might be five or six different variations of yoga. But I was so wrong. From the classic hatha yoga to prana yoga, from the newer aerial and power yoga, the list is endless. And of course, each time I write or read articles on yoga written by my SlubTeam mates, it not only amazes me but also motivates me to try them.

Now whosoever complains that yoga is boring or plain or bland, I suggest you all to take a look at our yoga series. I bet you’ll be surprised. So, coming back, I’m writing about shakti yoga. As interesting as the name sounds, this form of yoga has a few interesting facts, too! Let’s check out!

What Does Shakti Mean?

In Hindi and a lot of other Indian languages, shakti translates to power or energy. According to Hinduism, Shakti is also the name of a goddess (Lord Shiva’s wife), which refers to divine feminine power and is referred to a goddess.

indian-goddess-shakti-yoga-feminine-energy

What is Shakti Yoga?

Shakti translates to power in Hindi. It is believed to be the basic element for any change in the universe and also in the creation. Shakti yoga revolves around sun salutation or suryanamaskar, sitting and standing poses.

Philosophy Behind Shakti Yoga

Shakti symbolizes the feminine energy that is drawn from Indian god, Shiva. According to Jeff Migdow, MD, the former director of the Kripalu Yoga teacher training program, and current director of Prana Yoga teacher training in New York City, “Shiva is the embodiment of the destructive/transformative aspect in the universe,”

Migdow also states,  “He is a male energy or deity, one of the most revered in Hinduism due to his transformative nature. It is said the void that exists before the physical universe is created is the essence of Shiva. He is said to be the father of yoga.” So, Shiva is responsible for the destruction of ego.

Shiva’s wife, Shakti, represents feminine energy that fills the universe. She’s also the divine mother. Basically, she’s the female version of Lord Shiva. In ancient times, people used to chant as “Shiva Shakti”. So, shakti yoga is a combination of both characteristics of  Lord Shiva and goddess Shakti.

shakti-yoga-practice-sun-salutationWho is Shakti Yoga for?

Shakti yoga is recommended for women of all ages. It can be practiced by anyone. Expecting mothers should consult doctor before practicing it.

Benefits of Shakti Yoga

shakti-yoga-for-beginners-exercises1. It improves blood circulation of the body. Due to active breathing in and out of air, lungs are ventilated and the blood is oxygenated.

2. When practiced at a faster rate, it aids in weight loss just like any cardio session.

3. Shakti yoga is based on feminine energy and helps to promote regular menstrual cycle.

4. Sweating it out detoxes the blood and benefits skin and hair. One can retain beautiful skin even in old age.

5. It stabilizes the thyroid glands by reducing anxiety and induces calmness.

Can Shakti Power Yoga Help with Weight Loss?

Shakti yoga, when combined with other forms of cardio exercises and by maintaining a proper diet, will be helpful for weight loss.

Shakti Yoga Poses

The sun salutation or suryanamaskar defines shakti power yoga. Sometimes, a few more poses are added along with, depending on the instructor. Suryanamaskar has 12 steps and you need a yoga mat to practice it. You can practice indoors or outdoors, too! Let’s check out the poses of suryanamaskar. Also, watch the video for shakti yoga for a complete workout session.

1. Prayer Pose

Stand at the edge of your mat by balancing your weight on both legs. Relax your shoulders and bring both your palms together in front of the chest to prayer position. Concentrate on your breathing, too.

1-prayer-pose-suryanamaskar-shakti-yoga2. Raised Arm Pose

Inhale and lift the arms up and backward keeping the biceps close to the ears. And stretch your body from heels to the tips of your fingers.

2-raised-arm-pose-back-bend-shakti-yoga3. Hand to Foot Pose

Exhale and bend forward from the waist. Bring your hands down to the floor beside the feet. Make sure your legs are straight.

3-hand-to-foot-pose-suryanamsakar-sun-salutation4. The Lunge or Equestrian Pose

Inhale and bring your right leg as far as possible and the knee to the floor and look up while exhaling.

4-lunge-Equestrian-pose-sun-salutation-shakti-yoga5. The Slanting Plank or Stick Pose

Inhale and take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line. Keep your hands straight.

5-dandasana-stick-position-plank-pose-shakti-yoga6. Salutation

Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Make sure the hips are slightly hunched and the two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body) should touch. Hence, it is called as saluting with eight parts.

6-salutation-8-organs-floor-touching-suryanamaskar7. Cobra Pose

Slide forward and raise chest up looking forward into a cobra posture. Try to keep your shoulders away from the ears and relaxed. Breathe in and push your chest forward. Breathe out to push the naval down to relax. Stretch as much as you can, without forcing or overstraining yourself.

7-cobra-pose-suryanamaskar-shakti-yoga8. Mountain Pose

Lift the hips and the chest downwards to make an inverted V pose. Try to keep your heels on the ground so that the tailbone is pushed upwards by stretching.

8-mountain-pose-inverted-v-suryanamaskar-shakti-yoga9. Equestrian Pose

Again perform equestrian pose by bringing the right foot in between both the hands, left knee down with hips pressed.

4-lunge-Equestrian-pose-sun-salutation-shakti-yoga10. Hand to Foot Pose

Breathing out, bring the left foot forward, keep the palms on the floor and your legs straight.

3-hand-to-foot-pose-suryanamsakar-sun-salutation11. Raised Arm Pose

Breathing out, straighten your body and bring the arms down.

2-raised-arm-pose-back-bend-shakti-yoga12. Prayer Pose

Relax and bring your hands in front of your chest to prayer position.

1-prayer-pose-suryanamaskar-shakti-yoga

Shakti Yoga Wear

Tee shirt with yoga pants or leggings are ideal for practicing shakti yoga. You can also go for a sports bra with yoga pants.

So, that was all about shakti yoga. Hope you found it helpful and inspirational. Are you gonna try? Let us know by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!

Also, read:
Karma Yoga: The Path to Selflessness, Positivity & Inner Peace
– Aerial Yoga: All You Need to Know About Anti-Gravity Yoga
– Prana Yoga: The Benefits of Breathe Yoga & A Beginner’s Guide
– Pole Fitness: Benefits & Basics to Know Before Finding Pole Classes
Iyengar Yoga: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Benefits & Postures
Power Yoga: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Benefits, Poses & More
Guide to Om Yoga | Your Gateway to Meditation & Stress Busting
– Bikram Yoga: A Complete Guide to Its Benefits, 26 Bikram Poses & FAQs
– Hot Yoga Benefits & Dangers, Myths & Facts + How to Do It Right
– 7 Best Period Tracker Apps to Keep Track of Your PMS & Ovulation Cycle
– Alcoholism Treatment Program: Options & Steps to Know Before Seeking Help
– Get Fit Fast with These 7 No-Fail Basic Exercises You Can Do at Home

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Florance Peroni

    June 12, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I appreciate this yoga guide, ’cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! Bless you. Have a nice day. Bye

  2. Brent

    May 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I love it when people share opinions on types of yoga, espcially shakti yoga, great blog, keep it up.

  3. Fawad

    May 26, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Most what i read online is trash and copy paste but this article on Shakti Yoga offerd something unique. Keep it like this! Cheers!

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