Durga is the Hindu Goddess of war and the protector mother of the universe. Armed with weapons to fight evil, she can overcome anything she puts her mind to. Sometimes in life, we forget how capable we really are. In times of struggle, we need to channel the Goddess Durga to summon our inner strength. When we remember how strong we are, we have the power to tackle anything that life throws at us. Thankfully, we can do this by hitting the yoga mat. In this article, we explore how to channel the Goddess Durga when you need her most.
There’s nothing better than the Warrior postures for channelling the Goddess Durga. To practice the Warrior One, stand tall on your mat. Keep your left leg in place and take a big step forward with your right leg. Bend your right leg and extend your left leg out behind you. Finally, draw your shoulders back and raise your arms above your head. You are in Warrior I. Hold the posture for around 1 minute before switching sides.
To practice Warrior II, stand tall with your arms by your sides. As you breathe out, open your legs and move your feet apart. Next, turn your left foot to the left slightly and your right foot out 90 degrees. Raise your arms out to the sides until they are in line with your shoulders. Your palms should remain facing down. On your next exhale, bend your right knee until it is directly above your right ankle. Lower your hips until your right thigh is as parallel to the floor. If you can’t get your thigh parallel to the floor, don’t panic; just move it as far as you can whilst keeping the bend at 90 degrees. You are in Warrior II. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before switching sides.
To practice Warrior III, begin standing tall with your hands on your hips. Straighten your left leg and extend it behind you. Next, square your hips to the mat and bring your torso and left leg parallel to the floor. Depending on your which you prefer, keep your hands on your hips or choose another position. You are in Warrior III. Hold the posture for around 1 minute before switching sides.
King/Queen Pigeon Pose is a deep backbend designed to stretch your spine. This complex posture will test your inner strength and channel the goddess Durga. To practice the pose, kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Your shoulders, hips and head should all be in line with your knees. Reach your hands behind you and place them on your lower back.
Without moving your hips forward, bring your chin toward your chest and begin to lean your head and shoulders back. With your shoulder blades back, lift your chest toward the ceiling. Once your chest is lifted, continue to tilt your head backwards. Bring your hands forward in front of your sternum. Next, reach them over your head toward the floor. To maintain balance, bring your hips forward as your upper body reaches back. As you drop back, try to keep your thighs at a 90-degree angle from the floor. Gently rest your palms on the floor, ensuring that your fingers are pointing at your feet.
Using the strength of your arms, raise your head off the floor and lift your hips. As you do so, extend your spine and carefully walk your hands to your feet. Bring your forearms toward the floor and hold your ankles. Rest your elbows on the floor, positioning them so they are shoulder-width apart. Gently lengthen your neck and rest your forehead on the ground. As you inhale, expand your chest. When exhaling, press your lower-legs and forearms against the ground. You are in Queen Pigeon Pose. Hold the asana for 1 minute, taking time to summon your inner goddess.
To practice Garland Pose, stand tall with your feet directly beneath your hips. Keeping your spine as straight as possible, push your hips back and down as if you’re sitting in a chair. You are in Garland Pose. For best results, bring your hips as low as you can without bending your spine. To make the posture easier, try placing a rolled-up blanket beneath your heels to stop them from lifting off the ground. To further open your hips, bring your palms together in front of your chest and push your elbows into the inner knees.
To practice Wheel Pose, lay down on the floor and bend your knees. Keeping your feet hip-width apart, press your feet into the ground to lift your bottom and back off the mat. Press your hands into the ground and open your chest. Finally, lift your stomach towards the ceiling and tilt your head back. You are in Wheel Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
To practice Eagle Pose, begin in a seated position. Wrap your left leg over your right and your right arm over your left. Next, engage your inner thighs and bring your palms together. Finally, draw your shoulder blades down and lift your hands towards the ceiling. You are in Eagle Pose. Hold the asana for one minute for best results.
So, there you have it – How to channel the Goddess Durga when you need her most. Next time you’re facing a tough situation, throw on your yoga bra and channel your inner goddess. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve when you put your mind, body and soul into it.