Balance

The Goddess Every Vinyasa-Flow Fan MUST Know

Sianna Sherman introduces you to Durga and teaches you how to summon her strength in practice and in life.

Sianna Sherman is on a quest to help every woman discover her inner deity. Deepen your physical, mental, and spiritual practice with knowledge of mythic feminine power through this blog series and Sianna’s four-session Goddess Yoga Project online course. Be the first to know when it launches. Sign up now and join @yogajournal and @siannasherman using #YJGoddessProject to create an inspiring female collective, sharing experiences in real time.

Durga means “fortress” and “the one who takes us through difficulties.” The warrior goddess of strength, protection, and courage, she is the revolutionary force within our being that initiates massive change and compels us forward in our own spiritual evolution. Her battle cry unleashes our innermost desire to grow and take responsibility for our lives. No challenge is too big for this blazing goddess, who rides a lion or tiger into battle wielding multiple weapons to slay the demons of self-doubt and unworthiness. No matter how many times the demons shape-shift or try to seduce her with false promises, she never wavers in her commitment to transform every part of the Self.

How to Use Durga’s Teachings

Durga is the force of revolution both inwardly and outwardly. Her key teachings are to never doubt your own power, to stand firmly in your truth, and to call forth your fearless heart. Invoke her in times of difficulty, when you’re struggling to make a decision or to act with the highest integrity. Call on her presence when you want to take a stand for justice and refuse to hide your feminine power. Tap her power and teachings when you need ultimate strength from within during life changes.

READ MORE What Is Goddess Yoga?

3 Ways to Invoke Durga in a Vinyasa Flow

As much as Durga supports you through life changes off the mat, she can also support you on it. She exemplifies pure grace under pressure. Summon her strength, the steady eye in the middle of the storm and the anchor at the center of the flow, to invigorate your vinyasa.

1. Power up your flow with Tiger Paws.

Sianna Sherman Tiger Paws

Invoke Durga each time you vinyasa. As you jump and float from one pose to the next, come onto your fingertips, clawing them with strength into the Earth, like Tiger Paws.

See also How Cupcake Hands Saved My Vinyasa

2. Connect to Durga through the steady strength of the breath.

Sianna Sherman Durga blog Cobra Pose

Durga’s essence is the breath inside the breath, the unwavering awareness between poses and through the transitions of life. Stay connected to your breath when the flow gets intense and dedicate your practice to personal transformation that serves the greater community.

Also watch Vinyasa Yoga: Tips on Alignment + Breath

3. Call on Durga in Goddess Pose.

Sianna Sherman Goddess Pose

1. Come to stand in Goddess Pose.
2. Call on Durga by saying her name out loud.
3. Now begin this visualization exercise:
You are riding a lion into the great victory of your life. Embrace the goddess and ask her to show you the truth of any situation that currently feels confusing to you. Ask her to send you allies to stand by your side and help you through any difficult circumstances. Visualize wild cats walking on each side of you. Ask for unwavering confidence in your own truth and the courage to follow through with actions in the world that reflect your highest knowing. Durga always perseveres and rises within to meet any obstacle with fierce love. Know you are held in the fortress of grace.

Also see Guided Meditations

About Sianna Sherman

Sianna Sherman is creator of the Goddess Yoga Project in partnership with Yoga Journal. She is the founder of Mythic Flow Yoga, a unique style of alignment-focused asana informed by ancient wisdom and myths. She leads teacher trainings and retreats around the world..