Invoking the Goddess: Durga

Invoking the Goddessis sitting on the

I’m participating in an 11-week Shakti series with Devi Yoga’s Kirsten Warner and almost 30 other magnificent Colorado women. Each week, we examine a different goddess of the Hindu pantheon and embody her energy, teachings and wisdom.

Durga. “Unattainable.” Protectress of humanity. The indestructible Warrior-mama goddess who never seems to break a sweat, even when slaying Mahishasura, the power-crazed buffalo demon who was taking over the world and the heavens. She is fierce, autonomous, and belongs to no one but herself, exhibiting all the love, warmth and protectiveness of a lioness protecting her cub. All other incarnations of the goddesses spring from her–she is their source. She reminds me of the Virgo of the zodiac; virgin by impeccable purity, mastery and independence rather than innocence. Free from fear.

Om Dum Durgayae Namaha.

This is her mantra, and this is what I meditated on this week. In seated morning meditation, while moving through my asana practice, sometimes even in the shower. I imagined myself as a warrior, clad in armor and ready to slay my own demons with the otherworldly effortlessness that Durga embodies. Focused and poised at the ready, this image seeped into my thoughts every day this week. She lit a fire under my ass, inspiring me to go do.

Like it ain’t no thing.

With Durga at my side, my week was fiercely productive. I created, I put things out into the world. Be known, seemed to be her message for me. Projects that had seemed on the precipice of manifesting were finally birthed into existence. A flurry of image creations, ideas for blog posts, getting the word out about my coaching programs and teaching yoga all came up. But effortlessly. Nothing felt rushed or frantic. A reignition of inspiration seemed to flow through me bolstered by an energy to give that inspiration form.

There is a methodical discipline to her magic, something that encourages me to hone my focus,

There is also an element of self-care that showed up for me. That same method showed up in my morning routine, giving it the feel of a delicious sacred ritual. It permeated my abhyanga, prompted a few more moments of exquisite morning silence. It felt simultaneously very important and very joyful, that in treating myself sweetly, spending time on myself and giving myself what I need, I was paying homage to Durga. I even scheduled appointments with various healers I had been meaning to see for a while.

I felt feisty over the past week: a little more outspoken about perceived injustices–from speaking up to a manager at work to reaching out for volunteering opportunities with a local non-profit.

There is a duality to Durga that clearly emerged for me. A sweet compassion intermingled with a sense of responsibility. An urgency to care for and to serve in a take-no-shit kinda way.

What I love so deeply about working with the goddesses’ energies in general is that you are putting your focus on these qualities that are already within you. I am Durga, she is me. Realizing that we encompass this divinity, this power, this heartbreaking love and ability to connect deeply is transformative.

Jai Maa Durga!


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