SHAKTI (as a concept) is the feminal principal of divine energy. SHAKTI’s origins lie in Hinduism where she is also referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother.’ She is creativity. She is fierce passion. She is power. She is action. She is responsible for creation, and she is the agent for all change. SHAKTI moves things forward. (she/her) (1)
Our mission at Shakti Power Yoga Athens is to bring SHAKTI to life:
“Shakti Athens creates community through authentic connection. We are joyfully committed to showing up with power yoga that inspires a vibrant and empowered life.” (written by our fall 2018 Shakti team)
Creation. Power. An agent of change. Ready to move things forward.
Our intention is to empower you (give you the tangible tools, access to resources, equitable opportunities, and an inclusive space to show up, so that you can step into your rightful power as a human being and become your own best teacher), our community, to harness and manifest SHAKTI from within.
This intention is embedded into the core of who we are. It’s why we exist, and it’s how we operate. I think the best way to show you what I mean is to offer you access into our studio team handbook…
This excerpt from the first page of our teacher handbook puts it in clearer terms:
“We believe in compassion, connection, and courage. Our goal is for each individual to leave sweaty and feeling seen (aka loved). That responsibility lies within our team of teachers, assistants, desk staff, and managers. We generate compassion through awareness and our own personal commitments to grow. We (Shakti Athens) support you (as a teacher) and encourage you to be courageous-- step out of your comfort zone to share yourself powerfully with your students. This creates connection, and connection is the only path to community.
And to clarify it even more, here are our team commitments:
All teachers are committed to personal growth on and off the mat. Our way of being is YES!-- to presence, possibility, and power.
Shakti team members are committed to asking big, small, easy, and tough questions to inspire understanding and connection. This means dropping what you "know" and being open to receiving. Our team members ask questions and minimize assumptions.
We grow by sharing and listening as a contribution to the collective whole. ‘I am committed to listening when I have the opportunity to listen, and to sharing when I have the opportunity to share- even if it's uncomfortable!’
We commit to inspiring our students to be in active listening and contribution to the whole of the class through meditation, inquiry, and asana.
At Shakti we are a team, a community, a family. We treat one another as such-- with respect, honesty, and authenticity. We treat our students like our family, too. We hold ourselves to a high standard of love and leadership.
Shakti is a special place because of our commitment to (consistently) Show Up, (let it get a little messy) Sweat, and (trust that we will always) Shine!”
As a teacher I commit to showing up for the Shakti Power Yoga teacher and student community and stand for the following:
At Shakti we teach power yoga and specific offerings that compliment our sweaty Shakti practice.
We believe in balance-- the yin and the yang-- and that it is important to be challenged and work hard when it’s time to be challenged and work hard and that it is equally as important to rest and restore when it is time to rest and restore.
Each class at Shakti is more than a physical practice. Students feel inspired to be up to something bigger than themselves and leave feeling empowered and connected. This can only happen when the teacher provides the guidance and environment for their success and growth.
Shakti teachers are actively committed to questioning bias, blind spots, and unconscious discrimination through inquiry within and outside of the Shakti team. Shakti teachers commit to acting in allyship for POCs and marginalized communities. We are committed to showing up and stepping into discomfort in order to open the closed doors that house internal bias and discrimination and create space and opportunities for underrepresented folks.
It’s important for you to see what our intentions are. It’s equally important that you know that we know that intentions are not enough.
Robert Augustus Masters, PhD (he/him) puts it like this:
“Authentic spirituality is not some little flicker or buzz of knowingness… but a vast fire of liberation... providing both heat and light for what must be done. Most of the time when we’re immersed in spiritual bypassing, we like the light but not the heat, doing whatever we can to distance ourselves from the flames. But if we really want the light, we cannot afford to flee the heat. ‘What gives light must endure burning.’ And being with the fire’s heat doesn’t just mean sitting with the difficult stuff in meditation, but also going into it, trekking to its core, facing and entering and getting intimate with whatever is there, however scary or traumatic or sad or raw.” (2)