Marut energy + a magical capture
I drew on The Radiance Sutras, by Lorin Roche, PhD, for a class that I taught recently. I'm calling the class Marut. A beautiful friend of mine was visiting the island that week and came to the class. She wrote me the next day and asked me if I could please share my class notes with her. So here they are, for anyone interested in marut energy and the practice I cultivated around it…
According to the text, marut energy deals with lightning, thunderbolts, roaring like lions; the flashing ones, shining ones, storm gods; children of the ocean, armed with golden weapons; wind, air, breath. To tap into marut is to view the breath as wild and magical, like lightning. The text suggests to let go of your civilized self and to welcome your wildness – including your storms. It says that you are a part of nature, part of the earth, a dynamic and self-sustaining little system within the larger ecosphere… The practice here is to simply enjoy the show as this magic of the storms flows with you… Welcome the flash of sensations, emotions, thoughts, and breath.
Photo by Daniel Pullen, amazing photographer living on Hatteras Island. Link to his Instagram here.
When reading all of this and discussing it, a metaphor came to light regarding how we view our psyche or the parts of our conscious mind, either from the perspective of the discerning, higher Self as a witness to our thoughts or from the perspective of the psyche, the ego, the parts of us within our consciousness that are really caught up in the moment and are often wildly playing out our human experience.
The metaphor is this: We have mental storms, and it is up to us whether we feel it directly overhead, experiencing it and all its stormy qualities right on top of us, oooor we can zoom out and view it from afar and enjoy the show. I’ve stood outside so many times and witnessed a storm that was miles away and looked upon it full of life and electricity, watching in awe of its beauty and energy, with a safe distance between me and it.
So, one of the motivations for the class was to play around with the idea that we can cultivate the discerning self and zoom our view out when we are experiencing a mental storm overhead. I linked this up with marut energy from the text so that we could welcome our wildness and learn to accept and enjoy the show. The class was conditioning for creating that distance and the vantage point of your higher self.
As for asanas and pranayama, I wanted to incorporate wild thing and lion’s breath, for sure. (Remember the roaring like lions and embracing your wildness?) In honor of children of the ocean, armed with golden weapons, we formed our bodies in archer-like, bowing shapes, on our knees and also standing. We did the same with recreating lightning shapes, too. Got the core fired up. Moved with our breath. And practiced releasing the jaw and sticking the tongue out far, in preparation for some real marut-inspired roaring.
Think thread the needle, emphasis on listening to the earth.
Tiger pose, with a crunching action, where elbow meets knee meets lion’s breath.
Think lots of chair pose and flow between asanas linked up with the inhalations and exha's.
I believe what my friend really wants is a reminder of inhaling the arms up overhead, kissing the palms together and drawing them down through the center-line on the out-breath. And when the palms reach the navel center, hinging forward into a fold and exhaling all the way. Using a block so the earth can meet you, the in-breath floats the right leg into standing splits and an exhale steps it back in stance into ‘warrior feet.’ An inhale lifts you up into Warrior 1 and an exhale expands you into Warrior 2. The in-breath extends the arms and legs while the feet pivot into ‘goddess feet,’ first parallel and then heels drawn in. And exhale harnesses the storm goddess (and a lion’s breath) and an in-breath releases the limbs to extending again. Pivot into Warrior 2 once more, exhaling, and then inhale into a high crescent lunge, up on the ball of the back foot. An exhale folds you forward back into standing splits, using the block, and an inhale open the hips, allowing them to stack briefly. An exhale lowers the foot to the earth, an inhale lifts the torso to a halfway lift, and the out-breath sits you back into your electric chair – whoa, that just came out. It’s an exhale into chair pose, resembling a lightning bolt. Inhale rise, exhale close the pose. Repeat on the other side. Repeat as much and often as you’d like. Repeat and chant a mantra. Repeat and show others. Repeat and know that by repeating, you are adding to the beauty of the world.
Photo by Melissa Adamson
“I am awake to the electricity of life.
The power of my breath renews me moment by moment.
Nature is wild and serene, and so am I.”