Navratri - Nine Nights of SHE Power
Today is a new moon in Libra and it's also the start of Navratri - the nine nights of the goddess.If EVER there was a time to tap into your SHE Power, it's NOW. From today through to Wednesday 21st is considered THE most powerful time for Shakti worship - it's super-charged, potent, goddess/shakti/SHE juju.
What is Navratri?
The word Navratri, means 'nine nights' in sanskrit and it was over the 9 nights of Navratri that the Hindu goddess, Ma Durga, is said to have fought the Demon Mahasura (otherwise known as the ego) finally defeating him on the ninth day because she's a badass feminine warrior who knew that SHE power will ALWAYS win out. Navratri is now dedicated to the worship of Durga + has come to represent a time of renewal, badass-ery and empowerment, where light overcomes dark, a time when we can connect with Ma Durga and her fierce + feminine nature, a chance for us to connect with our own potent SHE power and an opportunity to draw new strength and depth from our own spiritual practices - whether that's asana, breath, dance, chanting, writing, meditating, painting, praying, singing - you get the idea, right?
Who is Durga?
If you don't know Durga, this is a great opportunity to get to know her. Durga is a mumma + a warrior, she has ten arms, carries weapons that each symbolise the culmination of all the divine power in her, a lotus flower to represent her connection to source and she rides around on a tiger. See? Badass.
How to take part
So there are LOTS of ways to celebrate Navaratri from the deeply spiritual, to the truly traditional, to joining the awesome dudes + dude-esses who dress up as a different form of the goddess daily in praise of her. Personally, I use these nine nights + ten days to plug into the power o' SHE + I invite you to join me.
Yep, for the next nine nights, I will be chanting, breathing + shaking my Shakti daily in deep devotion to SHE.
If any of you joined me for SHE Flow Yoga Summer School, you'll know this chant well, the way I give BIG love to Durga is by chanting her mantra:
‘Om Dum Durgayai Namahah’
Do this 108 times daily. This is the length of a mala (yep, believe it or not, mala beads aren't just a pretty accessory, they're a way to help you keep count as you chant with a big + open heart. You can speak it, whisper it, sing it - whatever feels right for you each day, it might change, be open to that. Start with the mala in your right hand, and your left hand facing up + open either in your lap or resting on your knee. Begin your chanting at the guru bead (the big bead with the tassel) and then each time you chant 'Om Dum Durgayai Namahah' pass a bead through your thumb and middle finger, keep doing this until you return back to the guru bead. When you reach here, I invite you to breath.
Take in some big beautiful womb breaths - a deep breath in through the nose that passes down your spine, behind your heart, behind your gut and into your womb + ovary space. Hold it there for the count of three before slowly releasing it allowing it to pass up through your gut, through your heart + out through your mouth in a big sigh, you can stick your tongue out Kali style if you like too - that feels so good! Do this for between 5 + 10 breaths.
Shake Your Shakti
Choose a piece of music by a favourite female artist - make it a different one for each of the nine nights then by the end of it you'll have your own SHE Power soundtrack (mine will include Tay-tay, obv.) - and move your body in a way that feels good. Start by moving your toes, and let Shakti move through you, working her way up your shins, into your thighs, into your hips, and pelvic bowl - let her roll around in here for a good long while before you invite her to stretch up your side body, into your chest, down and into your wrists + fingertips, back up your arms + into your neck and into your head - let her move you, be the music, let SHE be you + you be SHE.
This practice is a deeply delicious way to create a daily disciplined devotional to the divine ( how many 'd' words?!!) - it's a really powerful way to give thanks + be in communion with SHE + also to connect in with your SHE power if you're joining me, let me know in the comments below, and I'll add your name to my altar (see the picture above) that I'll be sitting in front of each night as I chant.
Other things you can do to celebrate Navratri:
- Make yourself a Goddess/SHE Power vision board or pinterest altar - you can see mine HERE - really think about the women you want to include and why - Find a woman from myth/history/modern day and do a daily research project on her - what did she do? Why do you dig her? What traits does she have that reflect your own awesome SHE power? - Join me over at Instagram where over the nine nights o' Navaratri, I will be sharing practices, stories + pictures to inspire you + help you to access your SHE power. Why don't you do the same? Use the hashtag #ninenightsofshepower and share a picture of your favourite woman, your girl crush, a practice that connects you with the divine feminine for the next nine nights - tag me, I'm @sassylisalister as I'd love to see + share in it with you!