This is truly a unique moment in history. As the entire world has been brought to its knees, we witness the societal and economic systems that have served as the foundation for our whole lives crumble before our eyes.
Unexpected events, like the Coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic, can leave us feeling scared, vulnerable and stripped of everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve. However, since we were unable to proactively change our ways, the universe is pushing us into a new way of being; encouraging us to step into our cocoon and transform in order to re-emerge as a greater version of ourselves.
Meanwhile our ego clings desperately to its old stories and our rational mind scrambles to make sense of the chaos. As such, fear takes over and the result is usually fight, flight or freeze—yet there is another way.
Surrender and transform.
As humans, we embrace creation but resist dissolution. We covet birth, yet fear death; wish to fall in love, yet reject heartbreak. Even though we know change is inevitable—in all aspects of our lives—moving out of our comfort zone, especially when it's forced upon us, can be terrifying at best.
Enter Kali, the Goddess of Transformation and Destruction.
In the Hindu tradition, Kali is depicted as black or dark blue with bright red eyes, fangs protruding from her mouth and hair that is wild and dishevelled. She wears a skirt made from human arms, a necklace of decapitated heads and in her rage she stands with Lord Shiva pinned to the ground under her right foot. She reflects a darkness we don’t want to acknowledge—endings, death and destruction.
However, if we choose to look deeper, we see the beauty in Kali’s dharma (purpose) and understand that she offers salvation. She destroys in order to make space for re-creation, and that which she devours is evil, sin and expired ways of being—all forms disappear and dissolve within her. What’s left is essentially a wide expanse of fresh energy that we can mold into a new experience.
Kali’s story teaches us that there can be no beginning without end. That to create we need space; we need to release the old so the new can become. We are reminded that the time is now to release the fear and embrace the opportunity to—as a human collective—rebuild our systems in a way that supports a better world.
If we can retreat within and understand that our reality is being destroyed because it was already destroying us and our earth, then we can replace our fear with surrender, transformation and inspired action.
We are being given a second chance.
Invoke Kali’s power and release fear through pranayama (breath).
This is a simple, yet powerful, pranayama that you can practice to help release fear and fall into the cycle of creation and dissolution, which will ultimately enable you to become more settled during periods of great change.
Stand with the feet slightly wider than the hips.
Inhale powerfully through the nose as you sweep the arms straight out and up as if you were taking your creation and lifting it to its peak.
Then exhale powerfully from the mouth as the arms forcefully come back down and swing backwards as if you were taking that creation and throwing it behind you.
As you swing the arms down and back come into a deep forward fold bending at the knees and letting the head drop.
Inhale and lift the arms to create; exhale and release the arms to “destroy” or let go.