Chinnamasta: Goddess of Transformation

When we experience the transitional cycle of life and death by letting go of what was, we make way for what will be. Sometimes this can be difficult – amid potential feelings of depletion, undernourishment – and perhaps not quite ready for the new beginning. How will you spring new life this year?

Chinnamasta, the sixth of the Dasha Mahavidyas (Ten Wisdom Goddesses) is the Goddess of Transformation. She symbolizes the dual nature of life-giving and life-taking at the same time. She is actually not as scary as she may appear to be in her imagery. When we understand her symbolism and energetic qualities, we can see the appeal for transcending death in order for new life to blossom – for true transformation to take place.

From the shadow aspect, we may recognize the tendency we have to disassociate ourselves from our bodies in moments of major transition. How often do we escape from the present moment – from painful emotions that a death or ending may bring? How quickly do we make plans or new resolutions to DO more, rather than simply BE who we authentically are with what is genuinely unfolding for us. We can sometimes cut ourselves off at the head, our minds can become critical – choosing to run from what is actually true for us.

In her greatest form, Chinnamasta invokes transcendence and reunion with universal consciousness – unity with LIFE. With LOVE. With our True Nature. She reminds us of what is simply TRUE, and what is NOT.

Here we offer you a short pranayama practice to experience your own breath as a life-giver and life-taker. This is also a practice to support the cultivation of spaciousness in order to become more discerning with our life choices.

Find a comfortable seat.

Take a few moments to settle into your space.

Settle into your body, your mind and your breath.

Closing your eyes and gently placing your hands over your belly…

Be in full recognition of the sensation of life entering your body as you INHALE and suspend your breath.

Become the VESSEL of LIFE itself.

Now, with ease, allow your breath to escape your being as you EXHALE, again, suspend your breath.

Feel the death of that breath, the VOID that is left, and the space created to call in LIFE once more.

Practice this for 10 rounds, noticing the connection to body, mind and spirit.

The LIFE and DEATH of our BREATH.

Allow yourself to be fully PRESENT with who YOU are in this moment.


Watch for our next post amid this special Shakti Sadhana sneak peek taster series in which we will inquire into the seventh Dasha Mahavidya – Dhumavati. She pinpoints both our forgetfulness and our potential to remember our True Nature: unconditional love and Awareness.



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