Shamanic Yoga is the Yoga of Power par excellance; with tantric vocation, ancient by nature, with poetic voice. It reveals itself through wonderful practices which are aimed at awakening the sleeping energy in every human being: the Kundalini. It speaks through the art of the psychopomp who is able to see into the life and the death simultaneously.
With its very ancient and wild nature, not only it “trains” the body, but it also activates its deepest energies (kundalini), not only it pacifies the mind, but it also awakens its resources and speaks to the heart, which has a vital need to start breathing again the creative beauty of the natural state.
The term “yoga” means a state of union, of overcoming of conflicts and unrest. Practicing yoga leads to the wellbeing of the body and the appeasement of the mind.
The term “shaman” refers to a way of being which participates in the spirit of nature. The shaman is a poet immersed into the creative ecstasy of the beauty of nature, able to provoke “soul-making”.
Shamanism allows to find balance with the Anima Mundi, the eternal female aspect, the invisible side of everything, the vast lunar universe, the underworld. A shaman is a traveller of the underworld, the world that we can visit during our dreams, our shamanic journeys and during the tantric ecstasy.
Shamanic yoga leads to the attainment of a sublime relationship with your sleep and your dreams, and therefore it confers more energy to your daily life. We learn to meditate with the body (the body is intended as a different but not separate reality of the soul).
Like shamanism, shamanic yoga is a worldwide phenomenon. It can be found among the South American shamans of the Andes and among the North American tribes, among the tantric Buddhist of the Himalayas (himalayan yoga), the Islamic sufis (dervish yoga), in India (tantric yoga) and in the Western world (alchemical yoga). It is always a creative process which was born from a deep listening of nature.
Every session of shamanic yoga is unique, as it depends on the master’s inspiration. In this sense, the shamanic yoga mirrors the yoga of the origins. It is the most ancient and complete, and at the same time revolutionary and fulfilling yoga that one can experience. As many other esoteric paths (alchemy, tantrism, sufism, etc.), the shamanic tantric yoga has its roots in a primeval time, characterised by a flawless instinctual knowledge. Barely codified (as it relies on the creativity of the master), it has always been in a state of elaboration (like everything that can be considered “deep knowledge”); and so it is even nowadays, when the practice of this kind of yoga is particularly appropriate to the human beings, as clearly indicated in the ancient Tantric Puranas as well.
The shamanic yoga has recently been introduced and spread in the Western world by Selene Calloni Williams, a scholar and a researcher, writer and author of anthopological documentaries. She has spent her life travelling and living in close contact with yogins, shamans, monks, hermits, sufis, alchemists, great philosophical and spiritual teachers such as Michael Williams, Karan Singh, James Hillman, Raimon Panikkar and the venerable Gatha Thera.
Following the example and the task imposed on her by her teacher Michael Williams, in 1992 she founded the movement of the shamanic yoga in Switzerland, which boasts several pupils who have given birth to associations and centres in which it is possible to practice shamanic yoga. Selene’s book “Iniziazione allo Yoga Sciamanico”, published by Edizioni Mediterranee (Rome, 1999) and reprinted in multiple editions, is the cult book of the Shamanic Yoga.
Selene’s ability to encompass both Eastern and Western teachings is extremely precious: she is indeed able to translate the Eastern message and make it accessible to the psychic reception of the westerner. With her courses, Selene Calloni Williams has shaped hundreds of professionals throughout the world, her books have “opened doors” to thousands of people.
The practices of the shamanic yoga are incredibly suitable in psychotherapic and counselling contexts. They favour a transvaluation which makes someone stronger in the difficulties, because they are transformed into opportunities.
Here are some examples of shamanic yoga:
1) The hunt for the soul
A distinctive aspect of shamanism is the vision of the “loss of the soul”. All shamans consider the soul and the reality a complex image, like a hologram or a fractal – in which one fragment is in the whole and the whole is in the fragment. Due to traumatic events, it is possible that a fragment of the soul gets lost, which equals to losing our soul… Several people experience this loss without realising it. They have a difficult and unsatisfactory life, and they risk to become ill. The trauma that has caused the loss of the soul can be personal, transgenerational or karmic. The personal trauma is related to an event which has happened in this life. The transgenerational trauma is related to a trauma which belongs to the life of one or more of our ancestors, while the karmic one is in the space of the past lives.
The shamanic yoga is a process of integration through which you can retrieve the fragments of your soul, which you may have been lost in this life or your ancestors could have lost in previous or past lives.
2) The Day and Night Yoga
The Day and Night Yoga is a transvaluational training during which the meaning of the experience is totally overturned, up to the point that you are able to let the sense of guilty, the uncertainties and the impossibilities to embrace the aesthetic experience of beauty, beyond what is good and what is bad. It is performed through breathing techniques, psychic gestures, visualisations of symbols and sounds.
3) The Mystical Marriage Yoga and the withdrawal of all projections
This yoga is based on healing and awakening practices which constitute the so-called tradition of the Mother Mantra.
4) The shamanic journey.
The ecstatic trance which is provoked by the rhythmic sound of the drum accompanied by shamanic chanting allows an out of body experience (OBE). This is an aspect of the practices of the shamanic yoga which turns out to be extremely charming and formative.
5) The Fluid sequences and the journey inside our chakras.
Postures,kriya, mudra and pranayama for the opening of the chacras and the awakening of the kundalini. The so-called fluid sequences are postures or asanas combined with pranayama, or practices of the awakening of the vital energy (prana) through breathing control and mudras (psychic gestures). Fluid sequences get their inspiration from the movement of the animals, like the condor sequence, or the puma sequence. They teach us to meditate with the body, to go beyond the sphere of matter, beyond behavioural models and fixed schemes. By meditating with the body, the progresses are quick, smooth and precise like in no other type of yoga.
6) practices of ancient shamanic-tantric lineage, like the yoga of the psychic heat, the day and night yoga, the non-existence yoga, the emptiness yoga. These practices allow the attainment of a bountiful life, both within and without. We are all made of something which is dormant, latent, not experienced: it is the art of being happy, being the master of the events instead of a victim; it is the art of loving and of remembering that we are always unconditionally loved. Reawakening and empowering this art – which is an essential part of the shamanic yoga – is nowadays an essential part of our path, mainly in the light of the overwhelming rhythm of the present world in which we live.