Intermediate/Advanced Yoga Level Class
Props Needed: Bolster, Blocks, Strap, Wall
Yoga Asanas/Yoga Postures: Supta Baddha Konasana/Reclined Goddess Pose, Windshield Wiper/Knee Sways, Supta Virasana/Reclined Hero Pose, Bhadrasana/Butterfly, Janu Sirsasana, Cradle Stretch, Adho Mukha Svanasana/Downward Facing Dog, Kapotāsana/Pigeon, Utkata Konasana/Goddess Victory Squat, Ardha Matsyendrasana/Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Gomukhasana/Cow’s Face Forward Fold, Agnistambhasana/Fire Log Pose, Padmasana/1/2 Lotus, Lotus, Savasana, Corpse Pose
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Yoga 161 Lakshmi Series: Aadi Lakshmi, Intermediate/Advanced Level Class
This week we begin a brand new eight week series covering the eight forms of the Goddess of Abundance, Lakshmi. We will begin with Aadi Lakshmi, Great Lakshmi. “Adi” means eternal existence. Aadi Lakshmi signifies the never-ending nature of the Goddess Lakshmi. She has no beginning and no end. She is continuous. Just like Aadi Lakshmi wealth flows continuously. Abundance has always been there and always will be there.
Aadi Lakshmi is known by many names: Primeval Lakshmi, Maha Lakshmi or the Great Lakshmi. She is the Lakshmi from the beginning of the ages. As Vishnu’s wife, she is often depicted sitting in his lap. When she serves Vishnu, it is symbolic of her serving the entire universe.
Aadi Lakshmi has four arms. Two of her hands are in the Abhaya Mudra and the Varada Mudra. The Abhaya mudra represents protection, peace, benevolence and dispels fear. The Varada mudra is a wish-granting gesture.
In her other two hands she and holds a lotus and white flag. As you will experience in this class, the lotus is a symbol of fertility and life. As the lotus grows out of the muddy waters, Lakshmi by association represents the fully developed blossoming of organic life according to David Kinsley author of Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition. From a wider perspective the lotus is a symbol of the entire created world.
Aadi Lakshmi is the womb that contains all of life. There are numerous references to Adi Lakshmi in the Puranas. It is stated that the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas – emerged from her. Sattva (harmony) was represented as Goddess Saraswati, Rajas (Agitation) as Maha Lakshmi and Tamas (inertia) as Maha Kali.
In Brahmanda Purana there is a further development of the womb concept associated with Adi Lakshmi. It is suggested that three eggs (life symbol) emerged from her. The first egg gave rise to Vishnu and Ambika, the second to Brahma and Lakshmi and the third to Shiva and Saraswathi. Adi Lakshmi then gave Ambika in marriage to Shiva, Saraswathi to Brahma and Lakshmi to Vishnu. Creation started with these three couples.
In this class we will access the “womb” through the second chakra and hip opening postures to prepare for lotus pose.