When you dive into energetic healing, you’re bound to hear the word Shakti sooner or later. While this may seem like a vague, intangible concept– depending on the way the word is used– you’ll soon come to understand that shakti actually represents something massively important, not just in humans, but in the Universe as a whole. Here, we’ll dive into what shakti means, as well as how you can use shakti energy to your benefit.
What is the meaning of Shakti energy?
The word ‘shakti’ in Sanskrit means, ‘Power’. Shakti actually represents two things in yogic tradition: the first meaning of shakti is the goddess of the same name. Goddess Shakti, in Hinduism, is essentially the feminine goddess of all of creation, also known as The Divine Mother.
In addition, shakti (with a lowercase “s”) also represents divine feminine energy. Here, you can see how the two meanings of shakti tie in with one another; shakti, as divine feminine energy, is the animating life force that imbues every living being in the Universe. Furthermore, in order to stay in balance, one’s Shakti must be on-par with one’s Shiva (or divine masculine energy).
But what exactly are divine feminine and masculine energies? Think of it this way: while Shiva is the container of still, pure consciousness– i.e. God or the Universe– Shakti is the life force that exists within this container, or the energy which creates all of life. We all have both Shiva and Shakti within us, and yet sometimes, we tend to get out of touch with our shakti energy in an over-masculinized world.
Below, let’s look at some symbols associated with shakti, or divine feminine energy.
Symbols Associated With Shakti
1. Shakti Mudra
To practice the Shakti Mudra, curl your index fingers, middle fingers, and thumbs towards your palm, while keeping your ring and pinky fingers extended; then, you press the tips of your ring and pinky fingers together. This mudra (or “gesture”) is said to activate the sacral chakra, which is the home of your feminine, creative energy.
2. Sacral Chakra
It follows from the above point, then, that the sacral chakra– located a few inches below the navel– is intimately tied to shakti energy. This chakra is the center of our sensuality, creativity, and emotions. Likewise, you’ll find that the symbol for the sacral chakra has elements which resemble the Shakti Yantra described below– namely, the lotus flower, or padma.
3. Shakti Yantra
Similar to mandalas, Yantras are symbols which assist one to enter a meditative state. Consisting of sacred symbols such as the lotus flower, and interlocking triangles, this Yantra has helped yogis contemplate shakti, or divine feminine energy, for centuries. The three primary Shakti Yantras you canuse are the Sri Durga Yantra (picture above), Sri Kali Yantra and Sri Shakti Bisa Yantra.
The Shatkona is a six-pointed star that many recognize as the Star of David, central to Judaism. This symbol also appears in Hinduism; it consists of two overlapping triangles, one upward facing and one downward facing. The downward facing triangle– known as the Shakti Kona– represents Shakti, while the upward facing one represents Shiva. Thus, the Shatkona as a whole represents the union between the divine masculine and divine feminine.
5. Eight pointed star (or star of Lakshmi)
The Goddess Lakshmi, commonly known today as the goddess of abundance, is the shakti (or feminine) counterpart to the Hindu god Vishnu; as such, Lakshmi is a divine representation of shakti. Her symbol, the eight-pointed star, represents the eight forms of abundance: monetary wealth, ability to transport, endless prosperity, victory, patience, health and nourishment, knowledge, and family.
6. Triple Moon symbol
Shakti is occasionally represented artistically alongside the triple moon symbol, which symbolizes the “triple goddess” or maiden, mother, and crone, alongside its representation of the moon’s feminine energy. On the whole, the moon itself is associated with shakti and the divine feminine.
7. Lotus symbol
As discussed earlier, lotus as a symbol has always been associated with Shakti. In the Hindu culture, you will find many goddesses namely Lakshmi (God of wealth) and Saraswati (God of knowledge) seated on a lotus. The lotus is also symbolic of spiritual enlightenment, inner peace, being grounded, wisdom and purity.
8. Spiral Goddess
The spiral Goddess symbolizes creativity, fertility, evolution, wisdom, connection between the inner and outer worlds. As you would have noticed, this symbol also corelates with the Triple Moon symbol discussed before.
18 Ways to Increase Your Shakti Energy
1. Shakti Yoga
Whereas traditional vinyasa yoga has more of a masculine style (meaning that it instructs you to perform specific poses), shakti yoga, on the other hand, allows for a wide range of personal creativity. Shakti yoga is basically a mix between dance and asana practice, which allows you to move in a way that feels good to you in-between each yoga pose.
The following video demonstrates some powerful Shakti yoga poses:
2. Shakti Mudra
The Shakti Mudra, described above, can be practiced while sitting in meditation. The mudra opens blockages in the sacral chakra, thereby allowing your free-flowing shakti energy to activate and revitalize your body and spirit. This mudra also helps balance and heal the Sacral Chakra. You can place your hands (in this mudra) in front of your pelvic region to activate your sacral chakra.
The following video demonstrates how to do the Shakti mudra and its amazing benefits:
3. Deep breathing
If shakti represents the life force within you, then shakti, by definition, represents your breath itself. The breath, in fact, is far more sacred and powerful than we understand it to be! By simply sitting still and mindfully slowing down your breath, you tap into your vitalizing shakti energy.
4. Yin Yoga
Yin is literally the feminine counterpart to yang in the Taoist yin-yang symbol. Likewise, yin yoga is a much more feminine style of asana practice, as opposed to the yang traditions of Vinyasa or Hatha Yoga. In yin yoga, you hold deep stretches for one to five minutes, which can heal the sacral chakra and allow for deep emotional release.
5. Healing the Sacral, Heart, and Third Eye Chakra
Of the seven chakras, these three are most closely associated with feminine energy. We’ve already discussed the sacral chakra, which is the home of our emotions. The heart chakra is the home of empathy, and the third eye is the home of our intuition; together, empathy, emotion, and intuition are powerful aspects of the divine feminine. Healing these chakras can invite more shakti into your being.
You can heal these chakras through journaling, meditation, chanting mantras or engaging in chakra rituals.
6. Connecting with Water element
The element of water is associated with– you guessed it– the sacral chakra! Think about it: water itself is incredibly flexible, soothing, and healing. It’s also vital for any living being on Earth. This, in turn, also describes shakti energy and its feminine nature. Therefore, connecting with water (e.g., in an ocean or river, or even just by taking a spiritual bath) can help you to raise your shakti energy.
7. Chanting mantras
Chanting mantras, such as OM or OM Shakti, will help you to raise your energetic vibration and calm your nervous system, both of which will improve the flow of shakti in your energetic body. To start, try setting a timer and chanting your chosen mantra for five minutes straight.
You can also chant seed mantras that are specific to each chakra. For instance, ‘VAM‘ is the seed mantra for the Sacral Chakra.
8. Working with crystals
Plenty of crystals have a naturally feminine, flowing energy; working with these by carrying them around with you, placing them in your bath, or creating a crystal grid can help you to lift your personal shakti energy. A few examples to start with are moonstone, labradorite, and selenite.
Since shakti energy is connected with the sacral chakra, our emotional and creative center, a journaling practice is a powerful way to ramp up your shakti energy. Try simply freewriting about what you’re feeling, particularly if you’re feeling strong emotions. This will help to get the sacral chakra unblocked.
Here’s a list of journaling prompts for balancing each chakra.
10. Developing empathy
Empathy and feminine energy are intimately intertwined. If you find yourself in an overly masculine mindset, ignoring the needs of others (and even your own needs, too), you may be lacking in shakti energy. Try practicing empathy– i.e., putting yourself in others’ shoes– a little bit at a time, to get in touch with this feminine essence.
11. Protecting your energy
On the other hand, if you’re an empath, you may find that you have too much empathy– do you tend to put everybody’s needs above your own? If so, protecting your energy can strengthen your shakti. To protect your empathic energy, try grounding in nature (this is described below) or working with grounding crystals such as black obsidian, black tourmaline, or hematite.
12. Connecting with your body
As shakti is your life force energy, it literally flows through your body– and yet, most of us spend all of our waking hours trapped inside our thinking minds. If you find yourself constantly thinking, without paying attention to what you’re doing or to the world around you, then connecting with your body can help to improve the flow of your shakti! Try mindful exercise, practicing yoga, or simply dancing around your living room to start.
13. Connecting with nature
Connecting with nature can help you to open your heart and to protect your energy (especially when you walk barefoot or put your hands on a tree!). When you move from a closed heart, you wall yourself off to feeling your feelings and practicing empathy. Walking in a forest, in a garden, or on the beach can help to remedy this and improve your shakti.
14. Using symbols
There are many symbols that are associated directly with the feminine energy which has been discussed earlier. Find out symbols that resonate deeply with you and try to use them in your daily life through meditation, visualization, decor, drawings etc. Delve deeper into these symbols to know what they truly mean.
15. Letting your creative energy flow
Connect with your creative energy by finding out how you like to express yourself creatively. Dance, sing, hum, draw, paint, play music, write, create – let your creative energy flow. Engage in creative pursuits that bring you joy.
16. Self love & Spirituality
Shakti thrives on a loving connection with the Self and with Spirit. In order to feel fully alive and revitalized, it’s essential that you talk to yourself lovingly, rather than constantly putting yourself down. Therefore, you might try raising your shakti energy by saying self-love affirmations, or simply by praying to whatever higher power you believe in!
In addition to these, here are 32 more ways to increase your spiritual wellness and connect with your inner shakti.
17. Conscious relaxation
When your body is relaxed, there is free flow of Shakti energy as opposed to when you are rigid and stressed out.
Make a conscious effort to check in with your body at regular intervals throughout the day and keep your body relaxed.
18. Flushing out the toxins
Keep your body free from toxins by including a few sacred herbs like chamomile, cardamom, cinnamon, holy basil, bay leaves, cumin, Fennel, ginger, parsley, thyme, nettle, crabapple, mugwort and Yerba Santa in your daily intake. You can also consider growing some of these herbs indoors.
Benefits of increasing shakti energy for both men and women
Benefits for men
Just because you’re male doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from increasing your flow of feminine energy! You can still be a masculine person, if that suits you, and enjoy the effects of increased shakti.
For men, increasing your shakti energy may help you to connect more deeply with family, friends, and your partner. You’ll be better able to open up about your own emotions, and you’ll enjoy an increased ability to listen deeply to others’ needs.
In addition, if you’re a high-achieving man, don’t think that increasing your shakti will interrupt your productivity! In fact, better shakti flow enables you to listen to your needs more actively, which in turn, leads to smarter, more efficient, and more high-quality work.
Benefits for women
Women may often feel overpowered by the excessive masculinity which rules mainstream culture these days; some of the side-effects of this imbalance are feeling shame around your emotions and feeling like you have to “do it all” without caring for yourself.
For women, increasing your shakti flow can counteract this harmful imbalance. Women may find that increasing their shakti allows them to unapologetically get in touch with their feelings, without fear of “being dramatic”.
Furthermore, working with shakti energy– and with the goddess Shakti, particularly– can assist women with honoring their divine femininity, rather than feeling less-than for being female or ashamed of their divine ability to feel, care, and nurture.
Summing it up..
To wrap things up, shakti is a vital life force energy that we should nurture and tend to– and anyone can benefit from improved shakti flow, whether you’re male or female. If nurturing your divine feminine energy seems foreign or overwhelming, feel free to start small. Do a little bit of journaling or spend a few minutes in nature each day, for example, and notice how you feel! As a result, you’re sure to notice more emotional peace and comfort, and possibly more creative energy, too!