When I was a young teen we moved from Ohio to Colorado leaving family and friends. My parents loved travel and world adventures. Soon after arriving in Colorado my big hearted father was struggling to harness himself to his talents and fell into a depression that lead to a lifetime of battling alcoholism. My idyllic childhood came to an abrupt halt and I fell into teenage years battling my own struggles with body image, and self esteem. Have you ever felt loss, confusion and the need to reach for a crutch to ease pain? My father's pain became my conviction and dedication to living fully.
As a child I loved moving my body, swimming, hiking, sports and dance. The mind body connection was a powerful healing tool from the beginning. In my twenties I discovered yoga and it became my love and devotion. I adored the rigor of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, its discipline and boundary held me in the embrace of the masculine. It gave me the safety and security of a set sequence of postures and meditative awareness. I was then drawn to Anusara yoga, Tantric Philosophy, and the embrace of the feminine, to Goddess lore and awakening The Kundalini Shakti. I was enthralled and immediately devoted to understanding and experiencing the Goddess energy inside. When we awaken the potent energy from within we transform from the "inside out" by literally raising our vibration. As we raise our vibration our feelings of inadequacy, doubt, fear and inhibition begin to fall away, leaving us free to create all that we desire in life.
The Shri Vidya Goddess Tradition and Rajanaka Yoga greatly influence my work. Consciousness vibrates, undulates and animates through us as powerful potential, a living life force that we harness to bring the best of ourselves into the inevitable healing and ultimately the creative expression of what we are here to offer through a human lifetime. Working with the gods and goddess of yoga through mythic lore, mudra, mantra and posture have become my signature offering, Sacred Flow. Through myth we come to individually live into places we need to heal, grow and accept our darkness and contraction and ultimately embrace our light, our gifts and capacities more fully. Mudra offers us physical hand and body gesture to animate a new pathway of healing and uprightness in ourselves. Mantra allows for a healing vibration to sweep through our subtle body bringing new vital energy into our system to begin to create the shifts needed for living with more joy. Finally posture allows us to animate a new form, one at times that is strong, fierce, and unyielding and at other times soft, sensual and reflective. Ultimately we discover a balance between the energies of the sun and the moon through our practices which balance our nervous system where we are sourced from the inside out.
I am a priestess ( Acharya) of Neelakantha Meditation Practice, offering initiations; formal instruction into the most powerful practice I know. Initiatory mantras hold the potency of lineage, of powerful teachers and universal energy that is over one thousand years old. Awakening kundalini was only something I read about, had little glimpses of prior to initiation and dedicated practice. Now I know this energy is Authentic and available to anyone dedicated to practice with proper guidance. We can live life accessing our greatest gifts, have more energy for life, and become our most sensual, creative expression. I have dedicated my life to the emergence of the feminine, to women in particular ( love serving men as well) and to planetary evolution. Won't you join me?
Jeanie Manchester is the founder of Anjaneya Yoga Shala in Boulder, CO. She is an (E-RYT500 Instructor and Anusara certified). She is the creator of the Shakti Rise Immersion dedicated to “women on the rise” and planetary upliftment. She draws on 30 years of dedicated practice and teaching. Jeanie created Sacred Flow, her signature vinyasa classes rooted in meditation, bhakti chant, storytelling, mantra, mudra, meditation and the art of living a daily practice on and off the mat. Her students love her heart based, friendly style of intuitive mentoring and teaching. She is a dedicated senior student of Neelakantha meditation and the Sri Vidya Goddess tradition of South India. She offers 200/300 HR Teacher Sacred Flow Trainings, and travels the globe offering retreats in wonderous places.
The Dance of the Divine Feminine
In 2009, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that "Western Women would lead the way to healing our planet." While all of humanity longs to wake up, Women have an important role to play in planetary healing at this time. Yoga has always revered the feminine and its mythic lore tells the story of her demise, neglect and disappearance over and over again. The reclamation of the feminine and the integration of both masculine and feminine is at the heart of our yoga practices, philosophy and meditation. We can see this marriage when looking at the deities of yoga and most obvious in Ardhanarishvara as half Shiva (masculine) and half Shakti ( feminine) Androgyny is always present in yoga. The embrace of two opposing patterns leads us into the arousal of Kundalini Shakti, the star energy your made of. This has a profound impact on our ability to heal and grow ourselves into our full expression uninhibited. To tap into the inherent gifts, talents and capacities of a lifetime is at the heart of every human being. To heal ourselves, shift family lineage patterns, work with limiting thoughts and increase creativity will lead to planetary healing. My calling is to help awaken this feminine power in you, and in all beings that have a longing to wake up, heal and make something of their lives.