The word shaktipat in Sanskrit means to receive spiritual awakening or a transmission of shakti through touch, a glance or just by being in the presence of an enlightened being. There are many reputable spiritual teachers who proclaim to have received this transmission of shakti from their own guru. When it comes to teaching and practicing yoga, I can't say that I have received a transmission of spiritual energy by another, but I do know that I have felt a soft opening when around a skilled teacher and have even received hands-on assists that made me think for a moment that I may have had some kind of awakening.
One aspect of teaching yoga that is wrought with controversy is around how teachers skillfully or not so skillfully, teach with hands-on assists. It is an aspect of teaching that requires a lot of critical thinking on the part of the teacher and knowledge around the many facets of confidently teaching with touch. While I'm not saying that every hands-on assist has to have the power of shaktipat, there is a transference of energy that occurs when a yoga teacher uses their hands to guide students into a layer of new awareness in their bodies - a layer that may have been sleepy or dormant. And this new understanding may eventually lead to an uprooting of an old habit or pattern once lodged deep within the subtle body, that may then lead to a sense of spiritual awakening.
Join Lily Dougher Hagerman on January 4 - 6 for Moving off the Mat: Advanced Hands-on Assists and Observation Techniques. This module is part of the 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training and can also count towards continuing education credit through Yoga Alliance.
Early bird pricing ends December 21st!