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How to Celebrate Maha Navaratri

"I bow down to the Goddess who is omnipresent and who has taken the form of Ultimate Power and Splendour. I bow down to you with all my being"

-Devi Shloka

Navaratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi or the Goddess are worshipped. Navaratri is celebrated with the singing of devotional songs, performances, and prayers, offerings, and intentions made to the Divine Mother. During Navaratri you attune to Durga the Embodiment of Pure Love and Light in whose Divine Presence nothing maligned or dark can exist. When you are in Her Presence, within Her Fortress, you are protected by Her Light and Love so that you can focus on your Dharma.

There is never any "right" way of celebrating within yogic practice as there are endless ways to connect to the Divine. It is more about whatever your heart feels led to do to connect and honor the most sacred aspects of existence. Maha Navaratri is celebrated in so many different ways... we dance to reflect the ever-changing cycles of life, we do puja or sacred ritual to awaken the power of the Divine Feminine within, and we chant and sing to joyfully and deeply attune to all that She is.

If you are just getting familiar with ritualistic practice for Navaratri it might be helpful to have some suggestions to help you connect and attune.

Here are some things you can do to celebrate:

-Spend 10 min in the morning and evening and do some mantra practice. You can chant along with recordings or repeat the mantra, "Om Dum Durgayai Namaha" in the mind.

-Create an altar and place a picture of Durga or any object that makes you think of the Divine feminine in the center. Decorate it and light candles in the morning and evening to connect.

-Listen to the 108 names of Durga and offer flower petals at your altar with each name.

-Do yoga and offer your movement as a way to connect with Durga Ma and the energy of Navaratri.

-Meditate while listening to kirtan or music honoring the Divine feminine.

The most important thing is to make your celebration meaningful to you! Wishing you a most wonderful Navaratri. May the Blessings and Energy of the Divine Mother always be with you!

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