Category: Deities: Gods and Goddesses

All About Ganesha: why he’s so popular, how Ganesh can help you, his story, and a mantra you can chant or sing to Ganapati

Ganesha: story, meaning, and mantra

All About Ganesha: why he’s so popular, how Ganesh can help you, his story, and a mantra you can chant or sing to GanapatiGanesha is one of the most popular Hindu deities.  He is also one of the most easily recognizable because he has the head of an elephant.  He is known as the Remover of Obstacles so many Ganesh devotees pray or chant to him when they are struggling but wish to succeed.  Ganesha has 4 arms and rides a mouse named Krauncha.  Ganesh is also the Lord of Beginnings, as obstacles are removed Ganesha helps guide believers down new paths.  He provides prosperity and success.  He is also the patron of arts and sciences.  Ganesha also guards the Muladhara Chakra (root chakra), where kundalini resides.

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Story of Ganesha’s Birth

Parvati created Ganesha to guard her door as she bathed.  When Shiva (Parvati’s husband) returned, he tried to enter Parvati’s chamber, but Ganesha wouldn’t allow it.  Shiva was not accustomed to being disobeyed so he was furious.  In his anger, he beheaded the boy.  When Parvati emerged, she was very upset to find Ganesha beheaded and explained to Shiva that this was their son.  Shiva realized his mistake and sent his men to find a replacement for the missing head– he instructed them to take the head of the first creature they found, which turned out to be an elephant.  He placed the head on the boy’s body and breathed life back into it.  He declared Ganesha to be his son and the leader of all groups of beings (ganas), so he is also called Ganapati.  Shiva also declared Ganesha would be honored first from then on and he is found in front of many temples, guarding the gates.

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Mantra

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha


Om means wake up! (it is also the sound of the universe)

Gam is Ganesh’s bij mantra or seed mantra

Ganapataye is one of Ganesh’s names

Namaha means “it’s not me” or “it’s not mine” meaning praise and credit for success or the outcome of the prayer should be given to Ganesha, rather than the person chanting the mantra

This mantra can be chanted aloud or within as you listen.  This mantra removes obstacles, awakens kundalini, and clears a path to success.

Here’s a Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha Song from a great podcast I subscribe to, “Mantra, Kirtan and Stotra: Sanskrit Chants.”

Mantra and Kirtan Podcast: Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

Shiva Shambho Mantra- meaning and how to use this beautiful chant or song. Also, information about Lord Shiva and how he can help you #shiva #shivashambho

Shiva Shambho Mantra: meaning, how-to, music, and info on Lord Shiva

Shiva Shambho Mantra- meaning and how to use this beautiful chant or song.  Also, information about Lord Shiva and how he can help you #shiva #shivashambho

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One of my favorite take-aways from Yoga Teacher Training was mantra.  Mantra is the yoga of sound.  There are lots of ways to use it, but this particular post is about a sort of chanted song.  Singing is so healing for every part of your being.  I love focusing my mantra energy toward Shiva, especially in the chant, Shiva Shambho.  I like to sing it alone in my apartment even though I know the walls are thin and my neighbors can probably hear.  I also like to sing it on my motorbike with the wind rushing into my face, sweeping the words up into the universe (though I should be giving my full attention to either driving or Shiva).

About Shiva

Shiva is the transformer.  He is god of destruction and transition or transformation.  He destroys the present moment to make way for whatever is coming next.  He is also the god of yoga and is said to bring bliss.  Shiva is sometimes blue and sometimes has 4 arms.  He loves to dance.  He has a third eye on his forehead and a snake around his neck.  He wears a crescent moon on his head and the Ganga river flows from his hair.  He carries a trident and a 2-sided drum.  He rides a white bull called Nandi.  He often sits on a tiger-skin rug.

Mantra

Shiva Shambho Mantra- meaning and how to use this beautiful chant or song.  Also, information about Lord Shiva and how he can help you #shiva #shivashambhoMy favorite song goes like this:

Shiva shiva shiva shambho

Mahadeva shambo

Shiva shiva shiva shambho

Mahadeva shambo

Mahadeva shambo

Mahadeva shambo

Mahadeva shambo

Mahadeva shambo

Meaning

Shiva shambho means Shiva, “the auspicious one” and acknowledges Shiva as a greater being, beyond our dimension.  This title, Shiva Shambho calls him down to us.  Maha means great, deva means God, Shambho again means auspicious one; so this second line mahadeva shambho means Great God, the auspicious one.

This recording is from us singing at yoga teacher training. I hope you will enjoy mantra as much as we do!

 

Kaliasana: how to do the poses, meaning, benefits, and info on the Goddess of Destruction #kali #kaliasana #goddessofdestruction

Kaliasana: how to do the poses, meaning, benefits, and info on the Goddess of Destruction

Kaliasana: how to do the poses, meaning, benefits, and info on the Goddess of Destruction #kali #kaliasana #goddessofdestructionKaliasana is one of my favorite poses.  It’s so strong and empowering, just like the Goddess of Destruction herself.  I hope you enjoy the pose and the great goddess as much as I do!

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About Kali

Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction, power, time, and transformation.  She is also sometimes called the Divine Mother.  She has blue or black skin and usually sticks out her tongue.  In 4 of her hands, she carries a trident, a sword, a human head, and a bowl catching the blood dripping from the head.  She is often portrayed dancing on her consort, the God Shiva.  She is a ferocious goddess with a necklace of human heads and a skirt of arms.  This is symbolism; Kali helps souls find liberation from attachment to their bodies at the end of their life.

Kaliasana: How-to

For Kaliasana, spread your feet wide and at a slight outward angle.  Sit into a deep, low squat, keeping your back straight.  Bring your arms up parallel with your shoulders then bend at the elbow to create a goal post shape.  Bend your wrists so your palms are facing up to the sky.  For the full expression, look at your third eye with your two open eyes and stick out your tongue as far as it can go.  This powerful pose helps create energy, and strengthens the body, especially the legs.

Pranayama: Breathe like Kali

To take it even further, you can add Kali pranayama or breath-work.  I have seen a few different variations.  Also for other types of pranayama, click the pranayama image below

Kali Breath Variation 1

  1. Begin in Kaliasana as described above8 Limbs of Yoga: Pranayama, breath control: about and how to
  2. On an inhale, rise up from your squat, keeping your legs wide and opening your palms with fingers pointed up to the sky. Bring your tongue into your mouth
  3. On an exhale, sit back down into the squat, squeezing your hands into tight fists.  As you exhale, stick out your tongue and breath out like a daring dark goddess would, or as if you want to fog up a mirror.  Remember to look up toward your third eye
  4. Continue for 10 rounds

Kali Breath Variation 2

  1. Begin standing in mountain pose, tadanasa
  2. On an exhale, step out wide into Kaliasana, using the goddess breath, like you want to fog up a mirror, and sticking out your tongue
  3. On an inhale, step your leg back in and return to mountain pose
  4. On the next exhale, step out with the other leg, alternating which foot you step out with on each round
  5. Continue for 10 rounds

Kali Breath Variation 3

  1. Sitting deeply into your squat, start with your arms extended down, straight in front of you, palms together
  2. On an inhale, raise your arms in front of your body until they are overhead, keeping your palms together
  3. On an exhale, open your arms out to the sides and bring your hands to meet in front of your body again (option: stick your tongue out and breath out like you want to fog up a mirror on each exhale and bring your tongue back in on each inhale)
  4. Continue for 10 rounds