What is Shakti?

What is Shakit?

Shakti is our personal power. It is sometimes used interchangeably with prana, but shakti and prana are different. Prana is our energy or life force, shakti is feminine form of our power. Shakti empowers one with confidence, helps you feel good in your own skin and encourages you to have meaning and value in you life.

Shakti is in males and females alike, we all have masculine and feminine energies in us, Shakti represents the female energy and Shiva represents the male energy.

When your shakti is flowing you have the energy to engage in life, seek growth, and encouragement to reach a higher consciousness.

Signs your shakti is strong:

  • You feel vitally alive and full of energy
  • You have a desire to influence something, somewhere, to make a difference
  • You can face stress with equanimity and find the lesson in the challenge
  • You can easily digest and detox food and life experiences

Shakti being the feminine representation of our power is expressed through creativity and creation. It is a fluid, flowing, shape shifting quality in us that embraces reality as a dance, moving through life with flexibility.

However shakti can have down side as well, it can be raw, sensual, and wild if not consciously used.

Sometimes shakti abruptly awakens in someone, when this happens it is called a kundalini awakening and it usually accompanies a transformation of some type, a healing or deep cleansing and sometimes a few dark nights of soul searching.

Shakti-pat is a term used in Hindu and Buddhism and it refers to an instant transfer of power, usually spiritual power from one person to another; usually a teacher to a student, or directly from a deity. The transmission is a look or a word, a mantra, a touch to the 3rd eye center or other place, even a thought.

There are 3 forms of shakti power:

  1. Jnana shakti – The power to know
  2. Iccha shakti – our willpower
  3. Kriya shakti – the power to act

Theses 3 different forms of shakti can be likened to:

  1. Intention – wanting to create or change something
  2. The desire and formulation of that intention
  3. The expression or creation of the idea

Keep your Shakti – Don’t give your power away

Many unconsciously give their power away. Ways you give your power away:

  • Let others make decisions for you
  • Follow orders of an elder, teacher,  or professional such as a doctor, when your gut tells you otherwise 
  • Don’t honor your own desires or promises to yourself
  • When we believe something negative someone told us about ourselves when in reality it is not so – use critical thinking to evaluate the statement to see if it could be true. Also if the person said it with love and caring then it might be true vs. if it was said in anger or in a hurtful way it might not be true.
  • We have something we want to say or do or tell someone but we don’t because we are afraid they will judge us
  • When you make a statement don’t make it a question. For example; will I see you tomorrow in class? vs. See you in class tomorrow 🙂 
  • When you don’t voice what you need. Instead voice it but be conscious of the other person’s boundaries
  • When you make choices based on fear instead of what you really want to do.
  • Compulsions, obsessions, addictions can all take your power. 
  • Relationships that are no longer healthy
  • “Shoulding” upon ourselves 

One of the best ways to take back our power is not repeat unconscious behaviors that do not serve us!

Need to mention this since we are in a yoga class, many yoga students give their power away to a teacher. When a yoga teacher suggests something that does not feel good to you, use your power and say “that’s not right for me!” If the teacher expects you to do what they say out of respect or lineage when it doesn’t feel right to you the teacher is not respecting the student. Respect goes both ways.

Shiva – The Masculine counterpart to our Shakti

The male energy that is in all females and males alike is represented by Shiva. Everyone has Shiva and Shakti counterparts.

It’s believed our feminine side resides on our left, and the masculine on the right. When we are in balance with our masculine and feminine traits — or in Indian philosophy when they are united in us — we experience more joy and presence.

Shiva in Hinduism is known as the Lord of Yoga, because he has a steadfast union between the internal and external worlds. Our male shiva counterpart energy gives us a strong inner strength, and spaciousness. Our shiva energy holds space for our shakti to express and be creative. Shiva energy gives direction to shakti energy. When we witness our own shakti we simultaneously feel our shiva.

Shiva also represents being unmoved by pain or suffering brought on by the external world. The male energy is centered and grounded but also compassionate. Our male qualities gives us direction, purpose, freedom, and awareness.

While Shakti is a moving and flowing energy Shiva energy is stillness. Our inner masculine side knows who we are. When we sit in meditation we are resting in our inner shiva nature.

In yoga philosophy we want our shiva-shakti to be in union. In Indian philosophy Shiva and Shakti make up a half woman-half man lord known as ArdhaNariShvara. The androgynous figure represents the mystical union of our masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves creating a wholeness within. When we have this wholeness we are free to be with a mate or companion if we want ~ but we don’t need to be.

Shiva is the yogi god with muscled legs and dreadlocks, a snake around his neck and a trident. He has a peaceful face.

Shakti has long hair, large almond shaped eyes and delicate features. She wears a flowing silk cloth and often her foot is raised in dance. She has a calm, nurturing face.

The image is representative of the balance of our masculine and feminine within us.

Anjali Mudra 🙏 is the mudra that represents balance of our masculine and feminine energies. As you bring your hands to your heart in prayer position, pray you have that balance! Most of the world is masculine dominant, we need a little more shakti in the world today. 

Masculine energy is driving and forceful, feminine energy is nurturing and accepting. Society needs to nurture and accept more while backing off of the driving need to succeed or dominate.

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