The month of October is marked in the Hindu calendar for the worship of Goddess Shakti. Mother Shakti, the female aspect of creation, manifests before the devotee in countless forms. In this month, the entire country joins in worship and celebration to pay respect to nine incarnations of the Mother over a period of nine nights. “Navratri” or “nine-nights” is the time when new beginnings are welcomed. This time is considered highly auspicious— a time for believers to be blessed by the grace of the Divine Mother in anything they choose to pursue. Navratri, observing the Goddess’s glory in the world, continues to inspire people through generations to come forward in good deeds. This is also the perfect time to embark on your yoga journey.
To usher positive energies of the Navaratri in your yoga practice, come to India at the end of this fall. The weather during this time is pleasant with a whiff of approaching winter, and this is when the whole nation readies for the ritual of the nine-nights. It is an absolute delight to find yourself amidst all the diverse sights and sounds of the holy Navratri celebration in the streets of India. The temples of the Goddess are adorned with garlands of fragrant flowers and melodious prayers are sung through. It is also a festival of lights when each house in the locality brightens up as householders decorate their premises with candles and beautiful earthen lamps to reflect love for/towards the Mother. This is when an entire nation of people revels in worship and festivity, spreading love and harmony, moving beyond their mutual differences. During the days of such joys, everyone is welcomed with equal warmth and nobody is a stranger. The grace of the Mother is for all.
A visit to India on a yoga journey during these auspicious hours of Mother-worship will set you on the right path with blessings from the divine. The surrounding culture in India’s most influential pilgrim places like Rishikesh holds many opportunities for yogis to meditate upon the Goddesses’ all-embracing power in the Navaratri season. At the various Shakti shrines located in and around Rishikesh, you can join the mass in offering prayers to the Goddess in the hope of salvation and peace of mind. This will enrich your yoga experience as you will become acquainted with the general religious community of India. Their way of life is a form of meditation. The everyday activities are performed as an offering to the divinity and the Goddess Mother Shakti stands as a symbol of the same ‘absolute power’ which is at once the creator and the destroyer, the protector and the prosecutor.
Just as yoga is an exercise of the mind and body to achieve unity between the several different internal forces, so is this ritual. Come one come all to India, the motherland of yoga during Navratri to submit to the Goddess with all your strengths and weaknesses.