November Theme Reveal – Sacred Symbolism

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This month we’ll explore some of the sacred symbols that are related to the yoga tradition, as well as others that aren’t, but are often seen used in western yoga paraphernalia. Join Ashi Box by 5:00pm Mountain Time on November 15th in order to receive this unique Ashi Box. All boxes will be shipped on November 18th, so sign up now! If you have any questions, please contact us at info@ashibox.com.

Root Down Ashi Box Unboxing

The root chakra is the red energy center located at the base of the spine. It’s referred to as Muladhara in Sanskrit and is the first chakra. Muladhara is our root chakra, and affects our right to be here, our security, and our connection with our physical body. The root chakra is associated with the earth and fall is a great time to work on balancing and healing this energy center. The changing weather and colors, in conjunction with the fall harvest provide an example of the importance of grounding, creating deep roots, and our connection to mother earth as a source of strength. Learn more with the Root Down Ashi Box, which includes the following items:

Tucketts Yoga Socks – Tucketts are the perfect accessory to keep you warm and grounded in the cooler temperatures. With the non-slip sole and free toes you are set for all the grounding yoga poses you’ll be doing this fall.

Black Tourmaline Black tourmaline serves to protect, ground, and transform negative energy. To cleanse it run it under cold water, place it in the sun for an hour, or leave it out under the full moon. Once it’s clean you’ll want to charge it with your intention. One way to do this is to hold it in your hand, picture light around it, and say, “I dedicate this crystal to the highest good of all, may it be used in light and love. I program this crystal for ____.” Then place it in your sacred space, carry it with you, or keep it near your computer or other electronics where it will absorb electromagnetic energy. Clean it again when it begins to look dull.

Turmeric and Sandalwood Face Pack – Turmeric, which is a root spice, combined with the earthy scent of sandalwood create the perfect grounding combination found in this face pack. Mix with water or milk and apply to the face to increase suppleness and blood circulation, and bring out that healthy fall glow!

Ganesh Magnet – Ganesh is the God governing the root chakra. He is the remover of all obstacles and the one worshipped at the beginning of any new endeavor. With his elephant head and human body, he provides us with an example of being grounded, happy, and connected to our physical body.

Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips – Nourishing yourself is one of the most grounding things you can do, and root vegetables are the perfect food to eat this time of year. Indulge with these sweet potato chips made with coconut oil and a hint of sea salt.

Brass Diya (Deepak) and Wicks – Lighting a candle or being around a fire is a great cleansing, purifying and grounding activity. And with Diwali, the festival of lights, being celebrated October 30th we had to include a traditional Indian lamp. To light it, fill the diya with coconut or mustard oil and soak the entire wick in the oil. Bring just the tip out, light it and let it burn.

Root Chakra Roll-On – Balance your root chakra with this grounding blend of vetiver and bergamot essential oils in coconut oil. Apply generously!

 

Happy Dussehra!

dussehraToday is Dussehra! Also known as Vijayadashmi, today marks the end of Navratri and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The major victory celebrated today is that of Rama over Ravana, but we also celebrate the victory of Durga over Mahishasura, as well as all of our own personal victories. Everyday of Navratri we took a few minutes to be silent, to give thanks, and to see that all of the blessings and gifts given by the goddesses actually already reside within us. We are the goddess (you too, gentlemen!) and all of her many faces. We are good. We are strength & courage. We are knowledge and wisdom. We are beauty, creativity & abundance. We light up the world with our smiles!

This morning I heard a really cool interpretation of the Ramayana – the story of Rama’s victory over Ravana. In case you aren’t familiar with the story – here’s my one sentence version: Ravana kidnaps Sita (Rama’s wife); Rama and Lakshman (Rama’s brother) go to save her; Hanuman (monkey god and devotee of Rama) makes the great leap between India and Lanka to find Sita; a battle begins; Lakshman gets hit by a poisonous arrow; Hanuman makes another great leap to the Himalayas to get the medicinal plant to save Lakshman; Rama has a great battle with Ravana and wins.

The interpretation then is that Rama represents the soul, Sita represents the heart, and Ravana represents the mind that kidnaps the heart from the soul. Lakshman represents consciousness, which is always active on your behalf. And Hanuman represents the intuition and courage that help retrieve the heart to reanimate the soul. This is why we practice, this is why we meditate or do yoga or write or exercise or do that thing that reconnects our hearts and souls, and quiets the mind if even for a short time. We have all the tools to live happier, more peaceful, and engaged lives, and the celebration of Navratri and Dussehra is all about connecting to that power and grace which we already possess.

Jai Shri Ram! Jai Mata Di!

October 11th – Pink is worn

Navratri Day 9 – Siddhidatri

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Siddhidatri

On the 9th and final day of Navratri we celebrate the form of Durga as Siddhidatri. Siddhi means supernatural power and Datri means giver, so she’s the supreme goddess who fulfills all divine aspirations and provides knowledge to her devotees. Siddhidatri is seated on a lotus and is surrounded by both gods and demons worshipping her, as she is the goddess of all achievements, and the one that destroys ignorance. Siddhidatri is really one of the most glorious forms of Durga. With her grace, all wishes are fulfilled, and as she satisfies our desires, it’s also believed that after worshipping her, no desire will remain in the heart.

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Ardhnarishwar

Legend also says that after worshipping Siddhidatri, Lord Shiva was blessed with all 26 of her Siddhis. With her blessing, half of Shiva’s body became that of Maa Shakti (female form), and thus he became Ardhnarishwar.

Take a few minutes of silence on the final day of Navratri to give thanks and appreciation for all the blessings we are bestowed that live within us and all around us. Let your desired achievements be known, and give thanks for the super powers that you possess. The final devotion to Siddhidatri completes the Navratri festival! Jai Mata Di!

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Siddhidatri Durgayei Nahama

Oct 10th – Sky Blue is worn

Note: Tomorrow, October 11th is Dussehra, which always follows Maha Navratri. It’s the celebration of Durga’s victory over Mahishasura, after fighting him for nine long nights; and also the celebration of Rama’s victory over Ravana in Lanka. More to come…

Navratri Day 8 – Mahagauri

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Mahagauri

The eighth day of Navratri is called Ashtami and is dedicated to Mahagauri. She is a beautiful form of Durga – equally radiant and compassionate. She’s adorned in pure white clothes, white ornaments and rides a white bull. She is said to have liberated the world from evil forces, and now has the powers of purifying the souls of her devotees and removing all of their sins. She helps improve our knowledge and has a calming effect on us. She is said to be free from the attachments of the material world, and will also help us detach in order to remove suffering from our lives. She will lead us to the path of virtue and inner power.

Take a few minutes today to give thanks for the lighter aspects of our lives, for the things that come freely and easily. Then think about your relationships (to people, things, activities, habits) and see if there is anywhere you might be able to detach a bit. Ask Mahagauri to bless you with her grace in order for you to release and detach more easily in order to create more of what your soul desires.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Mahagauri Durgayei Namaha

Oct 9th – Purple is worn

Navratri Day 7 – Kaalaratri

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Saraswati

The final three days of Navratri are dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess and grace behind knowledge, creativity and intuition. She lives in the space where creativity and inspiration arise, and she is the power behind us living and speaking our truth.

She is the goddess of creativity, more specifically writing and music. She’s the muse that removes our egos when we’re creating and gets us centered in the flow. Saraswati is always there to help us find the inspiration and creativity residing inside each one of us, and helps us to listen and trust our intuition.

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Kaalaratri

In addition to Saraswati, we also celebrate the fierce aspect Durga today – Kaalaratri. Although Kaalaratri depicts the dark side of existence, she is also the power that creates chaos in order to destroy negativity. She removes ignorance and arrogance and brings light into the darkness. She is a source of courage who demolishes evil, eliminates terrors and suffering, and is always there to protect us. She teaches us that destruction is a necessary force that cannot be ignored, and reminds us that the other side of the destruction coin is creation. This knowledge and her grace can help us remain unattached to the material world, and realize the fullness and potential of our being.

Take a few minutes today to give thanks to Kaalaratri for her constant protection, and for showing us that destruction is just part of the process of transformation and creation. Ask for her protection and wisdom if you are suffering, fearful, or wondering why it seems that things are falling apart. Remember that with her grace, and the grace that already exists within you, clarity and strength and transformation are yours.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Kaalaratri Durgayei Namaha

Oct 8th – Peacock Green is worn

Navratri Day 6 – Katyayani

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Katyayani

On the 6th day of Navratri the goddess Katyayani is celebrated. She is recognized as having 3 eyes and 4 hands. In one hand she is holding a sword, in another she holds a lotus, and in her other two she performs gestures of protection and generous giving. Legend says there was a great sage named Katya who performed extreme penance to have Durga be born his daughter, thus she has the name Katyayani. She is a warrior aspect of Durga and likely Durga’s fiercest avatar, being the one that defeats the great demon Mahishasura.

In yoga and tantra traditions she belongs to the sixth chakra (ajna chakra or third-eye), and can be invoked by concentrating on this point. She is a symbol of strength, knowledge, victory of good over evil and courage. She inspires devotees to face challenges and perceive the inherent strength within. She is also a goddess of love and can help anyone that desires love and marriage.

Although everyday of Navratri is dedicated to a different aspect of Durga, today is the last day of the three dedicated to Lakshmi. As the first three days were dedicated to Durga and her energy of action, the past three days have been dedicated to Lakshmi and her energy of love. To celebrate this last day of Lakshmi and Katyayani, take a few minutes of silence and focus on your third eye to see the inherent strength and love inside of you. Focus on how this love can expand within you and spread to those around you.

Mantra: Om Hreem Shri Katyayani Durgayei Namaha

Oct 7th – Green is worn