Yoga with Melissa 143 – Shiva Series- Introduction

by Melissa West on September 8, 2012


With Yoga with Melissa epiosde 143 we are introduced to the Hindu God Shiva which means auspicious one. Shiva is the destroyer and transformer among Trinity of Gods including Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver. He is the ultimate yogi who lives the life as an ascetic meditating in Mount Kailash. As a householder he represents the divine union of masculine and feminine as he lives with his wife Parvarti and sons Gaensh & Kartikey. He also takes his fearsome form as warrior and the form of a cosmic dancer.

Shiva means “pure” and one who is not affected by gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) It is said that one can be purified just by uttering his name.

Shiva is responsible for change in the form of death and destruction, in the positive form of destroying the ego, and false identification with form, also shedding old habits and attachments. In destruction nothing is truly destroyed but the illusion of individuality and the destruction of Shiva is a great purifying power. He helps us see reality more clearly on a more universal level.

Shiva as yogi represents the art of meditation wanderings and attachments of mind are dropped. Shiva stands for letting go of everything in the world of form.

In today’s class we will be introduced to Shiva’s form by practicing various yoga postures. Legs up the wall will explain why Shiva’s big matted hair came in handy! Ever wonder why Shiva has a crescent moon in his hair? You’ll find out while we practice crescent moon side bend. We’ll honour the divine shiva/shakti union between Shiva & Pavarti with Eagle Pose (in fact an eagle shows up during our filming – I kid you not!) We honour Shiva’s form as the cosmic dancer with Natarajasana. We’ll reflect on Shiva’s fierce side with Warrior I. You’ll learn why Shiva sits on a tiger skin and wears snakes around his neck. And finally we’ll practice some meditation (like Shiva) and reflect on the Shiva Linga form with the Shiva Linga Mudra.

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