Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ask Parvati 9: The Yoga of Easter

Ask Parvati 9
The Yoga of Easter

Dear Parvati,

As a practicing yogini who is versed in Eastern and Western traditions, what is your take on Easter?

Thank you for your question. It feels very resonant for me that this year’s Easter weekend takes place over the same weekend as Earth Day. (May Earth Day be every day!) It is also special for me that Easter is always so close to Passover, the Last Supper being a Seder meal. Though your question is about Easter, my answer does not focus on a specific religion, because I feel that the essence of Easter is not contained within a religion, but is at the heart of many mystical traditions.

The name “Easter” is derived from Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Originally, Eastre was a celebration of the rebirth of nature that happens every spring. Rabbits and eggs are symbols of fertility that have made their way from pagan times into popular culture.

For Christians, Easter is a high holiday that celebrates the risen Christ. What I have come, through my practice, to understand about the meaning of the risen Christ is that we are not limited to physical form, the illusion of the solidity of matter, but exist within the realm of the infinite.

The notion of being infinite beings can seem abstract and is a far stretch from the seductive sugar we are offered in chocolate bunnies and creme eggs. As one who practices meditation, I feel a kinship with the idea that we are infinite beings having a finite experience. There is a space between each breath that touches the divine, giving pause to the push-pull cycle of the mind’s tendency to divide and categorize.

Though my practice, I have felt that one aspect of the Easter message is that Christ was showing us how the death of the ego leads to the birth of the eternal self. The experience of the infinite, our timeless self, is available to us in each moment, and we access the moment when we let go of the human habit to overlay a story upon that which is. When we are willing to pause, expansion begins. In that expansion, there is no control, but a joyful, undivided sense of service to what is. In that space, consciousness arises. And that gives birth to the eternal Self.

When we learn to bring our attention into the moment, we begin to experience Easter, a fluid, expansive, non-attached rhythm of life-death-rebirth that embodies the eternal. I offer here some passing words that arose through my meditation this Easter Sunday.

Wishing you eternal joy.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.


Easter Breathing




Feel the lungs fill with air.)


The mind focus
along the breath




“Where are the edges
to grab



The air expands to fill these lungs.
The lungs expand to greet Life.
Life slides between thoughts.
Life opens.



There is no mind…
a field dancing
with electric possibility.
I Am.



            No breath…
Omni directional energy.

In this moment the infinite is born.
In this moment All Is.
There is no “I” but a shimmer
the Divine Dream.


This moment is


  1. Wonderful blog, Parvati and your words have touched me very deeply. "...we are infinite beings having a finite experience. There is a space between each breath that touches the divine... In that expansion, there is no control, but a joyful, undivided sense of service to what is." I know that place, but get lost so easily.

  2. This is beautiful, Parvati. I have found that my relationship to Christ and Christianity has changed greatly since I came to yoga (and especially to my guru Amma). Instead of glimmers of love and beauty peeking through a fearful, disconnected framework superimposed by well-meaning people, I see the grace and divinity more readily. I do still grieve for the fearful, guilty dogma that has surrounded the risen Christ. But it is conversations like this one, and the one you had with Lisa and Louisa in Nunavut, that I see it is still possible (and essential) to live a life directed towards true Christ consciousness, unfettered by dogma.