MATRIKA SHAKTI – The Power of Words
by Julee Yew-Crijns
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” ~Upanishads
Words have power. In Sanskrit, this power is ‘Matrika shakti’, the creative energy behind the letters that make up the words. It is said that each Sanskrit letter has a sound vibration that resonates in our subtle energetic body and in the cosmos. This corresponds with what science tells us, that everything vibrates, including the cells in our body. These vibrations can lead to thoughts, which may lead to feelings which may manifest through words and actions.
Words can be those we receive from others as well as those we receive from ourselves, through verbalisation or thoughts. Words are like seeds that we plant, that will influence the quality of our mental wellbeing. Our inner thoughts form a big part of Matrika Shakti. We are usually our worst judge. Throughout the day, we probably criticise ourselves without even being aware of it! And we say things to ourselves that we would never say even to our enemies! This energy (shakti) resides in our body and when can manifest as thoughts, feelings or actions. So in other words, our thoughts may create an outcome that you may not desire.
Yoga asana and meditation practice is a great mode to help us realize this and cultivate kinder, softer, non-judgemental internal (or verbal) dialogue. The more we practice watching this, the more mindful we will become of our thoughts and our words. When we begin to create more peace and love and kindness within ourselves, we also create more peace, love and kindness around us. Remember, our vibration is powerful. It does not just affect us. Words are not needed for someone to feel our anger, pain, frustration, or our love and kindness. I remember the first time I encountered a Rinpoche. I was a child. My whole being felt so incredible expansive, just from a distant encounter, that I remember that feeling even now.
Yoga asana practice can be our great teacher if we allow it to be. By this, I mean to practice mindfully. Move slowly, feel everything and expand the range of your feelings as your body opens. Hear what your body and thoughts are feeding back to you and take time to digest* your practice, so that you can practice letting go of all those things that you hold on to that no longer serves any purpose -fear, anger, limitations, habits… these are useful sometimes but we have to be aware when they are and when they are not..
And remember, it takes time. I often have to be reminded of this myself.
It is a practice, and like all practices, we will have great moments and tough moments
All equally important & really, there is no bad practice, all is practice 🙂
I am grateful to Jaye Martin for telling me the story of Matrika Shakti. It sent me into one of my favourite explorations of Hindu mythology and yoga philosophy
I see more and more that shavasana is like an obligatory rest
shavasana is a yoga pose and should be practiced with the same tenacity
When you are doing your practice, it is like… you are cooking a grand meal
And at the end of the practice, the meal is ready- this is shavasana
missing it is like missing the taste of the meal you’ve just cooked