As I was getting ready for the Anusara Yoga Teacher Training in Morocco, a very especial course for me for multiple reasons, I invoke the energy of one of my most close and loved archetypes: the Goddess Saraswati, the power, among many other things, of language and communication; also the sacred energy of mantra. And just in these days that Saraswati puja was celebrated, and connected with my 2017 theme Transmutation, I feel like writing about creativity, about inspiration, about art and about all the ways that human beings we use to creatively express to transform our experience.
Saraswati is the Goddess of language, of artistic expression; the Goddess of both teachers and students; the Goddess of refinement. Through all my years as a yogini I have had a very close relationship with her. In fact, this relationship has been there through all my life, since I have been always a nerd, but in my pre-yoga life I did not know that we passionate and eternal students were channeling the energy of this beautiful hindu deity. Things of the destiny, that in spite of Kali, Durga or Laksmi that kept me really busy, she is the one that has the most privileged place in my puja. Between 2003 and 2004 I spent nearly a whole year in India. I really wanted to find a murti (a physical representation of a deity usually made of metal, stone or wood). I wanted it to be big, exquisite and preferible of Shiva Nataraja. Shiva in the form the Lord of the Dance de la Danza is another very significant archetypal energy in my spiritual life through different linages. Furthermore, one of my visits to his temple in Chidambaran, dedicated to the space element or akasha and with such a suggestive name as “Clothed in Consciousness” literally saved my life (here there is another full story that I would write some other day but for now I will go back to the murti). It was there where I found the Nataraja of my dreams but for some strange reason, of those that only have a place in India, it was not possible to send it to Spain from there. I never got to know exactly.
I travelled through India for months and only the last month, in the city of Pushkar in Rajhastan, I found a shop that looked like a trasure cave, filled with precious sculptures, loaded with energy. There it was the most beautiful and harmonious Nataraja I had ever seen. I reserved it right away and I returned one week later, after a magical trip in the desert. When I entered the shop I felt an intense presence, extremely intense, to my right. So intense that I could not but turn to look. There She was. Gorgeous, radiant, full of Shakti. I could not turn my eyes and even my body from that murti. She was Saraswati, of course. I had to take a difficult choice because I did not have enough money for both and it was Her that made the journey to Spain.
After that long journey in India I moved to Barcelona, where I would teach yoga. It was my return to Spain, to my country, after nearly eight years of absence. My first yoga class in Barcelona was February 5th 2005. It was Saraswati puja. From that day I always celebrate it. I also feel Her expressing through me every time I teach.
Back to transmutation, Saraswati evokes the energy of the muse. She is pure inspiration. She is the creative energy of the Universe and all the beautiful ways in which it manifests through us. Saraswati represents all human capacities to create beauty. Radically different from most other Goddesses from the hindu pantheon, that they are usually very connected with Nature, She represents the refinement of language, everything that makes us fully humans, the capacity of abstract thought, the possibility to evoke feelings through poetry, of reaching the heart through music.
Besides refined and generative of beauty through words, sounds, colors, images, this creative energy is profoundly transformative. In a writing course with my dear friend Susanna Harwood-Rubin, we were asked to contemplate which were the rasas (feelings, flavors of existence) from which we more often wrote. I observed that I like to write from experiences of ecstasy and deep connection, but also many time from sadness, from pain and, sometimes even from anger and frustration. Getting inspired in difficult experiences and transforming them into words, finding the connection between what I feel, what I am going through and myths, stories, teachings, becomes an alchemical process through which the feelings transmute and the experiences take on a new sense. The alchemical power of art is there both for the artist and for the ones that enjoy the artwork. For example, Picasso´s Guernica. Through his inspiration and mastery, he was able to transform a horrendous experience in a magnificent piece of art, full of symbols and full of feelings, that makes us live the horrors of war, but reminds us, at the same time, of the human capacity to create beauty from any situation.
This year I feel Saraswati very present. Writing, creating, as a way to transform, new creative projects that bubble inside of me. It is my strong desire to have the steadiness and well doing so they get born. In the meantime I have been loving painting feathers, as if to transform the heaviness of the world into lightness.
Which feelings or experiences awaken your creativity?
Is there any experience in this moment in your life that you would like to transmute through artistic expression?