the goddess bhuvaneshwari

June 20, 2021 |


The Goddess Bhuvaneshwari:  The Space in Which Worlds Are Held; The Space in Which You Are Held


Imagine a process of moving consciously; the way you would if you were practicing, or dancing. 

Think of the relationship between your movement and the breath. Each inhale starts a split second before the movement does. Each exhale finishes a split second after, so the movement is held within the breath. 

Isn’t there something beautiful about this? About the feeling of being suspended in space? About the feeling of being held in a transformational space? 


What if we added to this the understanding that the experience itself is an expression of the divine feminine in her form as the goddess Bhuvaneshwari?


Of Bhuvaneshwari, the Devi Bhagavata Purana says:

‘The universe rests in Bhuvaneswari, arises from within her, dissolves back into her and, for as long as it exists, is identified with her”

We could also say this another way; that Bhuvaneshwari is, “the great expanse within which all things are held, and out of which all things are born”.

Space holding is a powerful thing. It can also feel like an abstract thing because space, in all its expansiveness, seems intangible. Not like earth, which we can touch easily. Not like air, which we can feel as the breeze on our skin. And yet, we are filled with space, surrounded by space, and held in the spaciousness of awareness itself. 

Bhuvaneshwari is the goddess of infinite space, and infinite possibility; the kind of space that is pregnant with potential. 


Like most goddesses, Bhuvaneshwari’s energy expresses in myriad ways. We can explore those ways, simply by exploring her name.


For example, we can see that she is ‘Ishvari’ – the feminine form of Ishvara, which is ‘the field in which all things can be known about all things’. 

We see that she is ‘Bhuvana’; that she is creation, both manifest and unmanifest. 

And, we see that she is ‘Bhu’; earth. 

When she is manifest, she is the universe itself. In her unmanifest form she is no space, no thing, no this.

Bhuvaneshwari is the ground of our being. She is a cosmic mother energy. The universe is her womb and inside of her womb she nurtures life in all of its forms. 

In meditation, she is the experience of deep space. Of course, there is a part of that that feels detached, but there is also a part of this that allows us to feel deeply held. This is captured by two Sanskrit words we often see in relation to Bhuvaneshwari: ‘shunya’, which means ‘emptiness’ or ‘the void’, and ‘purna’, which means ‘fullness’. Perhaps it seems paradoxical to describe her in these ways, but the shoe does seem to fit perfectly.

Even before we reach meditation, though, we can touch her during practice. In asana for example, we can notice that the pose and the space around it are both held in awareness. Everything we see, hear, feel, smell, taste and think is held in that awareness. 


In fact, all of creation is held in that awareness; an awareness that holds you, even as it moves through you. 


How this manifests in our personal lives, is that Bhuvaneshwari is the experience of being held by another. Not physically, of course, but by their presence. The space they create is non-judgmental, accepting and compassionate, which is why, in that space, change and insight spontaneously arise. 

This is the kind of space we endeavour to hold in our upcoming 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training as we explore the faces of the divine feminine. Starting September 2021, my co-teacher Natalie Backman and I will be teaching an intimate group of modern yogis how to embody the divine feminine and enjoy a softer, more fluid approach to life. If you’re ready to join this sacred journey to discovering how to teach authentically from the heart, click here to find out more about the opportunity.

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