ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Modern Yoginis: Union with God & the Goddess

Updated on August 1, 2010

Maa Parvathi Nath Saraswati

For those who know me, they know that I am a practioner of Bhakti Yoga. Bhakti is a form of yoga which is focused on love and devotion. I am involved with combining music and katha (stories and teaching) as part of Bhakti Yoga. I am also a practioner of Karma Yoga, which is action yoga or service in the world. These are the forms of yoga I am most familiar with in my own life, but there are many forms of yoga. The word yoga means union with God or the Goddess. There are numerous practioners of yoga in the world who are called yoginis. A yogini is a female practioner of yoga, while a male practioner of yoga is a yogi.

It is believed that yoga was brought into being by women. One of the yoginis who writes about and teaches yoga, Vicki Nobel, believes it came into being around the 7th millenium B.C.E. In the archaeological record we have discovered sculptures, murals, frescoes and rock art which show female yoga poses which go back to this date. She writes about a form of yoga called Lunar Yoga, which is centered on the phases of the moon. Women are very attuned to the phases of the moon because of their menstrual cycles. Even those who are experiencing menopause know that the moon phases affect them greatly. Women are very attuned to that kind of energy and focus. She writes also about the Kundalini, which focuses on the snake energy.

We do know that some of the yoginis were seers called female rishis, or rishikas. Today there are many different types of yoginis. I want to feature a modern day yogini who many people admire. Although many leaders in the Yoga Movement are male, there are certainly a number of women in those types of roles. The majority of practioners of yoga are women. The woman I will feature is an example of the modern day younger woman who has this kind of role. Her name is Maa Parvathi Nath Saraswati. She views herself as a woman who teaches and has knowledge of a various spiritual practices and yogas, but she does not called herself a guru. She calls herself a yogini. Parvathi was born in India. Her family was very much interested in yoga and the Vedanta. So she grew up with this hertiage. After that she had formal teaching in various schools of yoga. She was initiated into the Pratyabhijana Marga School of Kashmir Shaivism by a yogini adept. She also combined this training with yoga, Vedanta and Samaya Tantras. Shree Amritananda Saraswati of Devipuram transmitted knowledge of the Shree Vidya tradition to her. She is the disciple of Shree Lalleshwari of Odjagiri, a teacher in the tantric tradition of Kashmirian Shaivism. It is believed this tradition goes back to Matsyendranath who received the teachings directly from Goddess Kali herself. She has knowledge of various mantras and sadhanas (spiritual practices) of the Kaula lineage. She was asked to teach by her teachers after her training in each lineage. She then went to the United States and later founded the Saraswati River Yoga School and co-founded Yogasphere. She trains teachers in the intergrated knowledge of all these practices. She is a mother, a householder and practices yoga daily. According to her website, "The Feminine Principle or Shakti is the power of wisdom and compassion in action." This is an active form of yoga and definitely for people living in the world, not for renunciates of the world. This tradition definitely emphasizes being in harmony with Nature. According to her website, "Wisdom emerges in our lives as the power of compassion and justice; this is the yogic lifestyle...The yoginis understood that nothing exists outside of relationship." Some very powerful statements about how to be in the world. Some methods she uses in her teaching are the use of mantra, Spanda, meditation, Hatha Yoga, Tandava, Pranayama, Yoga Psychology and Tantra Vidya.

I must say that I admire people who can make their bodies achieve various poses. Because I have acid reflux, it is very difficult to do these poses without compromising my health. My abilities in yoga are definitely in Bhakti and Karma Yoga. Instead I use a method of meditation, breath, healing and energy work called qigong, which I learned from a Taoist Chinese International Qigong Master named Chunyi Lin. This shows you that the Chinese have a form of yoga, too. In fact Buddhists from India knew yoga and taught it to the Chinese when they travelled to China. Yoga practices combined with qigong practices from this exchange.

It is wonderful that so many women are involved with the practice of yoga, and there are women who are becoming leaders in the movement. I say the more the merrier! Choose the practices which are best for you!





    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)