Navratri for Yoga Practitioners
The festival of Navratri is celebrated in various parts of the country with great devotion and zeal. While most of the people follow the path of ritualistic worship of the Goddess, one can also celebrate it through yogic practices and disciplines.
It is often suggested that the first three days of this nine day festival be spent in worship of Goddess Mahakali, the next three days in the worship of Goddess Mahalaxmi and the last three days be spent in the worship of Goddess Mahasaraswati. These three goddesses represent the three gunas namely Tamoguna, Rajoguna and Satvaguna. These three qualities spring from Adi Shakti - the primal energy sustaining the universe.
As per classical yoga system Shiva without Shakti is like a Shava (corpse). Hence, Shakti is equally important to yogis as Shiva is. For a practitioner of yoga, Adi Shakti is not to be searched outside. She resides at the base of the spinal column at Mooladhara Chakra and takes the name of Kundalini Shakti. A yoga practitioner can spend these nine days in yogic kriyas such as pranayama, bandhas, mudras and meditation that awaken the sleeping Goddess. For better results he can observe the following nine rules during this period:
- Do not complain / argue / fight with anybody.
- Do not judge people based on your biases.
- Take satvik food avoiding junk food items.
- Talk as less as possible.
- Do manasik japa of your ishtam as much as possible.
- Practice breath awareness and present moment awareness as much as possible.
- Do not take any help or service for your personal duties (cooking, cleaning etc.)
- Read Durga Saptashati in prose form or any other spiritual text of your choice before going to bed.
- Donate at least a small amount of money in charity on all the nine days.
Wish you a very happy and enlightening Navratri!