Women tell me all the time that they are not physically strong and therefore they struggle through an Ashtanga based Vinyasa practice.
When I hear this, I always ask them to question that belief and where it originated. I encourage my students to examine their relationships with others for insight. As women, we often have the misconception that if we repress our own needs for the sake of others that we are somehow “preserving” our relationships. Before long, the good intention of compromise turns into feelings of self-sacrifice. When women commit too much of themselves for the sake of others happiness, a sense of self or the divine feminine disappears. Our innate desire to nurture and care for others before our self often results in a lack of time dedicated to self–care and empowerment. A lack of time dedicated to syncing with our inner voice opens the door for feeling out of touch or even feeling weak.
Blessings come into your life disguised by pain, heartbreak and hardship. During these times of fear, disappointment, or simply feeling just plain broken we may hear a deeper calling towards healing. When we hear this calling, a feeling of being “putback together” arises within us and begins to bring us back to our divine feminism and inner strength. That innate force is SHAKTI. Sometimes recognized as Kundalini symbolized by a coiled up Snake that lies dormant at the base of the spine. Shakti meaning “Power” or “empowerment,” is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. We invoke our Shakti Power through natural sensual movements, creativity and our desires to transform stagnant energy into vibrant and radiant expression.
A great way to revive Shakti is to awake your inner snake by beginning with a vinyasa sequence that uncoils your serpent through unstructured asanas. Allow your asana practice to transform into a free form dancing flow that focuses on releasing tension from the spine and loosening the hips. Discovering just how Shakti manifests in each of us in her own unique and diverse way will allow for increased creativity and energy.
In my upcoming workshop, Invoking Shakti, we will come together through the support of the community to embrace the divine femininity that resides in us as individuals. My hope is that when we gather we will leave our mats and inhibitions behind. With our insecurities gone, we will embrace our inner feminism and divine power, showing up as more authentic, free, and truly ourselves. This authentic and free atmosphere is where mutually enhancing relationships become possible, and we may bond with our fellow women warriors. We all have the ability to leverage Shakti to our benefit and to invoke the powerful and creative forces within us. All we have to do is let go and believe in our own inner strength!
Judy Rukat-Bussell has been a personal trainer for over ten years. Judy embodies yoga as a lifestyle and practices integrating all aspects of the self through breath and movement. Judy’s style of teaching embraces humor and playfulness and an unending curiosity which allows her students to show up to their practice in an authentic way. Judy has a BA in Movement & Exercise Science and an MA in Psychological Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies. She has teaching certifications in both Ashtanga and Integral styles of yoga.
Upcoming Workshops with Judy:
Saturday, August 9 | 1:30-3:30pm | Namaste Grand Lake | $30