Stand with your legs together, knees softly bent. Hold Yoga poses stick figures the ball with both hands, keeping your shoulders blades wide and down. Your chest and Yoga poses stick figures back should feel strong and lifted. Make sure your abs are scooped and lifted. Squeeze the ball firmly with the heels of your hands, keeping our fingers soft. Lifting from your mid-back, extend the ball overhead. Keep your shoulders down and steady. Return the ball back to your thighs, maintaining a straight back.
The emergence of powerful female deities and hatha-yoga
The influential Kulas belonged to the aboriginal non-Aryan culture where the worship of Mother Earth in the form of a huge range of female deities – often called yaksis, dakinis and yoginis – was very common. First a short introduction to some of these Tantric goddesses, who played a major role among the Kulas and many other Tantric communities like the Kramas.
Many yaksis – local goddesses – were connected with good fortune and many cults sacrificed meat and blood to them. Such sacrifices became central to many Tantric practices. Then there were the dakinis, female Tantric demons worshipped by Tantric cults in physical environments formed like mandalas. Finally there were the yoginis – symbolising female magical powers – who became central not only to many Tantric temples but also to many Tantric practices. In Tantric meditation they became objects on which to focus in order to gain ultimate knowledge. Often – for instance among the Kulas – the yoginis were represented as mandalas or chakras visualised as part of the divine human body (Brighenti 2001).
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