Maha Gauri: Purifying Intermediate Yoga Practice
This week as we come to the penultimate class in our Durga series we take come to Maha Gauri who is the exact opposite from Kaal Ratri Durga. Whereas Kaal Ratri Durga was dark, Maha Gauri is all light.
Maha Gauri is means extremely white as she is white in colour and known for her beauty. She wears white clothing and rides on a white bull. As the story goes Goddess Parvati performed extreme tapas or penances to win over Shiva as her husband. During her penances her body became covered with soil and turned black. Shiva observed her penance and was very pleased. He decided to grant her the boon that she would become his wife. Lord Shiva cleaned Parvati in the water from the Ganga river and her skin shone like gold, and thus she was named Maha Gauri.
Maha Gauri’s beauty is said to glow like the gleam of a white pearl. Her image conjures peace and her penance stands for endurance. She has four arms. Her right arm is held in the gesture to allay fears, the lower hand holds a trident in it. Her left hand holds a tambourine in her upper arm and the lower one offers a blessing.
Maha Gauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. Just like in the story when Shiva cleaned the dirt from Maha Gauri in the Ganga river, it is Maha Gauri’s grace that can remove the “dirt and darkness” from our own souls and wash them away. She clears the darkness from our hearts and makes her devotees honest, honorable and virtuous. By connecting with this form of Durga devotees become sacred. Maha Gauri has the ability to influence her devotees towards a path towards truth and purity. It is said that the illumination of her grace is infinite. Maha Gauri is a Goddess of generosity and morality.
According to Hindu mythology Goddess Maha Gauri has the power to fulfill all the desires of her devotees and relieve them from all their sufferings in life. Her devotees are released from their wrong-doings not just from the past and present but also the future! All that gets washed away and devotees are purified in all aspects of their life. Maha Gauri is the ultimate Goddess in peace and calm.
To top it all off if you are looking for a husband it is said that Maha Gauri will help unmarried women find a desirable husband, and help married women enjoy a peaceful, harmonious and long married life. Those who are devoted to Maha Gauri live a life of honesty, loyalty, and a life-long relationship.
Asanas/Yoga Postures: Viparita Karani/legs up the wall pose, Apanasana/Knee to Chest Pose Crocodile Twist Cat Pose/MarjaryasanaDownward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana, Nadi Shodhana/alternate nostril breathingKriya for Disease Resistance, Pumps, Bear Grip, Forward Bends, Leg Stretch, Neck Roll, spine flex on hands and knees, Alternate Shoulder Shrugs, relaxation, Triangle Pose, Ankle Walk, Mudra for a Calm Heart
Gayatri Mantra:Om bhur bhuvah svaha tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Props Needed: Yoga Mat, Yoga Blanket, Bolster