Intuition. Everyone has it. We can follow it or ignore it, cultivate it or repress it. It is our innermost GPS and one of our greatest allies when it comes to making choices in our lives.
Think of a time when you’ve been at a crossroads. You can measure the choices with your rational mind and be very practical in assessing the situation but all too often there is an underlying feeling that cannot be ignored. This feeling is beyond the logical mind and may be difficult to explain. It is a knowing beyond reasoning or proof. In my own life, I experience this as an inner nudge or tug on my soul – something calling me forth in a new way and it requires tremendous courage to follow it.
25 years ago, I had a tough choice to make: follow my logical mind to medical school or follow my intuition to India. My rational mind was pushing me to do the seemingly “right thing” and yet my instinctual voice was begging me to leave this path and dive into yoga. I remember one of my most trusted teachers saying to me: “We think the shortest path is from A to B, but the truth is that the shortest path is when you follow your heart.”
In the yoga tradition, there is the Goddess Saraswati who embodies the essence of intuition, creativity and wisdom. Her name means “the flowing one”. She is the flash of insight, the instinctual knowing, and the knowing deeper than words. She is the connection with the cycles of the moon and the feminine rhythm that reveals wisdom from within. Saraswati is the free-flowing creative energy that lives within every single one of us.
A key teaching of Saraswati is to listen within and trust your intuition. We all have strong feelings and it’s a challenge to trust our innermost knowing when it doesn’t make sense to our logical mind. Saraswati teaches us how to distinguish between the inner voice of Self and the unconscious fears and trickeries of a delusional mind. The powerhouse combination is intuition with discernment and we can cultivate this consciously with the practices of yoga.
Here’s a short sequence to inspire your intuition:
– Sit facing a candle at your 3rd eye level approximately 12 inches away from you. Let your eyes soften and gaze gently to the flame. Bring your awareness to the breath and rest within.
– Place your hands on your knees. Inhale, rock to the front of your sitting bones and extend your spine forward with an open heart. Exhale, rock to the back of your sitting bones to flex your spine and look into your heart. Repeat 10 times with long deep Ujjayi breathing. Come back to neutral and return your gaze to the candle.
– Saraswati rides a swan, called hamsa, in Sanksrit. Hamsa is a mantra within the sound of the breath to help you clear your mind and listen within. Softly listen for HAM on inhalation and SA on exhalation. Hamsa means “I AM THAT”.
– Feel the increasing state of relaxation and clarity as you gaze at the candle while inwardly chanting Ham and Sa. When you feel ready, close your eyes and continue chanting the mantra inside the breath for at least 10 minutes.
– Ask your inner GPS to help you with any situation that concerns you. Ask your intuitive knowing to rise up within you and reveal to you the most resonant path for your soul to flourish.
– When you feel completed, lie down in Savasana to receive and assimilate the effects of your practice.
Call on Saraswati whenever you need to remember your highest truth from within, when you are standing at a crossroads in life, and when your rational mind is overly active in your decision-making. Ask for a balance of receptivity and courage to follow your highest path.
Trust your intuition and follow the inner YES of your life.
By Sianna Sherman: Yoga Teacher. Community Activator. Storyteller.
Join me at UdayaLive, Yoga and Music Festival and tap into your intution with many others on the path of self discovery, expression, health and harmony!