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Goddess Yoga: 5 Heart-Opening Practices

Goddess Yoga: 5 Heart-Opening Practices

Of all the Goddesses in the yoga tradition, Lakshmi, the Goddess of love and good fortune, is perhaps the most sought-after throughout the world. She is called upon for harmony in relationships, wealth, beauty, power, fame, royalty, recognition, and regal grace. That is Lakshmi’s domain and yet she is so much more. She is the divine inner spark, the radiant power of grace, and the ocean of abundance within every single person. One of the most concise ways to describe Lakshmi is in Sanskrit: bhukti-mukti pradayini, or“she who bestows both worldly success and spiritual liberation.”

HOW TO USE LAKSHMI’S TEACHINGS

A key teaching of Lakshmi is to open to love. She reminds you that the core of the Self is a magnetic power of radiance. She beckons you to stop looking at the surface of life to see your beauty. She cries out to you to stop comparing yourself to each other in a negative way or judging your beauty based on magazines and big screens. She insists that you go inside and really see the undeniable magic within.

Invoke Lakshmi when you can’t remember your inner abundance or your true beauty. According to Hindu myth, Lakshmi is born out of the churning of the ocean, seated on a blossoming lotus and surrounded with honeybees and the most fragrant flowers. She is the deep-seated beauty of the Self that gets buried by woundedness and must be churned through yoga practices to be reborn again. She is the landing pad of grace within us for every situation in life. She shows us how to turn our face to the golden sun and calls us home to wholeness.

 

5 WAYS TO OPEN YOUR HEART

1. EXAMINE AND QUESTION YOURSELF
Look at your life and ask: Where you are comparing yourself to others? Where are you trying to measure up to outer definitions of success and beauty? Notice any part of life where you believe that someone else’s success takes away from yours. Are you willing to open your heart and shift your vision to abundance and consciousness, where everyone flourishes and wins?

2. LOTUS VISUALIZATION
True wealth is generosity of heart. At the beginning of your day, go outside and turn your face to the morning sun. Ask for the sunrise of your heart to illuminate your inner vision and guide your every thought, word, and action. Try this practice: Visualize a lotus opening in the center of your heart with the Goddess Lakshmi seated on it in total radiance.

3. OM WITH PADMA MUDRA
Bring your hands to prayer. Keep the heels of your hands together along with the thumbs and little fingers; blossom open the three middle fingers of each hand. Lotus (Padma) Mudra invokes a feeling of expansiveness and love in the heart. Repeat three times.

4. SUN SALUTATIONS WITH UJJAYI BREATH
As you flow through three rounds of Surya Namaskar, visualize Lakshmi as a sunrise at the root of your heart releasing any dark thoughts and illuminating your way.

5. BRIDGE FLOWS
Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor straight and hip-width apart. Place your hands by the sides of your hips with straight arms. Inhale and lift your hips up into Bridge Pose and bring your arms overhead to the floor behind you. Exhale and lower your arms and hips to the original position in sync with each other. Do this 3–11 times and chant the bija mantra of Lakshmi as you exhale: SHRIM. This is the seed mantra of love, radiance, and inner abundance.

REMEMBER: Lakshmi is You. You are the power of grace, and your radiance pours out into the world as love itself.

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