Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Your intuition is your innermost GPS and one of your greatest allies in life. Sianna Sherman teaches you how to cultivate it.
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.
Intuition. You have it, whether you choose to follow it or ignore it, cultivate it or repress it. It is your innermost GPS and one of your greatest allies when it comes to making choices in your life.
Think of a time when you were at a crossroads. Your rational mind could measure choices and be very practical in assessing the situation, but maybe there was another underlying feeling that you couldn’t ignore. This feeling is beyond the logical mind and often difficult to explain. It is a knowing beyond reasoning or proof. In my own life, I experience this as an inner nudge or tug on my soul – something calling me forth in a new way and it requires tremendous courage to follow it.
I had a tough choice to make 25 years ago: follow my logical mind to medical school or follow my intuition to India. My rational mind was pushing me to do the seemingly “right thing,” and yet my instinctual voice was begging me to leave this path and dive into yoga. I remember one of my most trusted teachers saying to me: “We think the shortest path is from A to B, but the truth is that the shortest path is when you follow your heart.”
See also What Is Goddess Yoga?
Meet Saraswati, the Goddess of Intuition
In the yoga tradition, the Goddess Saraswati embodies the essence of intuition, creativity, and wisdom. Her name means “the flowing one.” She is the flash of insight, the instinctual knowing, and the knowledge that’s deeper than words. She is the connection with the cycles of the moon and the feminine rhythm that reveals wisdom from within. Saraswati is the free-flowing creative energy that lives within everyone.
How To Use Saraswati’s Teachings
Saraswati teaches you to listen within and trust your intuition. Everyone has strong feelings, and it’s a challenge to trust your innermost knowing when it doesn’t make sense to your logical mind. Saraswati teaches you how to distinguish between the inner voice of Self and the unconscious fears and trickeries of a delusional mind. The powerhouse combination is intuition with discernment and we can cultivate this consciously with the practices of yoga.
3-Step Meditation To Inspire Your Intuition
Use this practice to call on Saraswati whenever you need to remember your highest truth from within, when you are standing at a crossroads in life, and when your rational mind is dominating your decision-making. Ask for a balance of receptivity and courage to follow your highest path. Trust your intuition and follow the inner YES of your life.
1. Tratka, Candle Meditation
Sit facing a candle at third-eye level approximately 12 inches away from you. Let your eyes soften and gaze gently to the flame. Bring your awareness to the breath and rest within.
Still seated comfortably, place your hands on your knees. Inhale, rock to the front of your sitting bones and extend your spine forward with an open heart like Cow Pose (Bitilasana). Exhale, rock to the back of your sitting bones to flex your spine and look into your heart in Cat Pose (Marjaryasana). Repeat 10 times with long deep Ujjayi breathing. Come back to neutral and return your gaze to the candle.
2. Hamsa Meditation
Saraswati rides a swan, called hamsa, in Sanksrit. Hamsa is a mantra within the sound of the breath to help you clear your mind and listen within.
Staying seated, tune in to your breath. Softly listen for HAM on inhalation and SA on exhalation. Hamsa means “I AM THAT.” Feel the increasing state of relaxation and clarity as you gaze at the candle while inwardly chanting Ham and Sa. When you feel ready, close your eyes and continue chanting the mantra inside the breath for 10 minutes or longer.
See also Sally Kempton’s Intuition Meditation
3. Listen within.
Bring to mind any situation that is currently concerning you. Call on your inner GPS to guide you. Ask your intuitive knowing to rise up within you and reveal the most resonant path for your soul to flourish. Spend as long here as you need, allowing ample time for the answers to come. When you are finished, lie down in Savasana to receive and assimilate the effects of your practice.
See also Third Eye Chakra Tune-Up Practice
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.