The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Ellen (Lajja) Mitchell

I first received Shaktipat informally through the Grace of the lineage that flows through Svaroopa® yoga teachers.  Two protruding disks in my lower back got me into Svaroopa® yoga path.  I had gone to PT, yet my pain issues continued.  The doctor told me I was not a surgical candidate. So my choices were pain meds, yoga, and/or acupuncture.

I chose acupuncture.  But then I noticed a lunchtime yoga class was being offered at work two days a week.  I was hooked after that first Svaroopa® yoga class.  I felt taller and more centered.  I now know that I was more embodied.  I tried to fit one class a week into my work schedule.  Sometimes I had to juggle priorities, as lunchtime is a popular time for meetings.  I did this until I was moved to another building in another town. 

Then I hurt my back again (picking up a crockpot).  So I looked up that Svaroopa® yoga teacher.  Serendipitously, she was teaching classes in same town as my new workplace.  My life has not been the same since.

I continued weekly classes and then took a Svaroopa® meditation course.  I started to meditate daily.  A few months before my first Shaktipat Retreat, my teacher met with those of us who were enrolled.  She invited us to talk about our experiences.  I had nothing to share.  However, as I listened to others, I started to have physical kriyas.  My upper body would rotate round and round.  If I stopped it, the moment I relaxed again, the movement would start up again.

This was the prelude to formally receiving Shaktipat in June 2012, the first time I met Swami Nirmalananda.  I remember standing in a room waiting for her to arrive.  My body was vibrating and warm.  I still have those feelings at times.  Now I know Kundalini was already working to burn up my karma and move me closer to Self-Realization.

Oh, how I have changed since 2012!  I have the same house, family and work.  Yet I move through my life differently.  I am more embodied.  I feel grounded.  I do not react to external situations the same way that I used to.  My thought patterns are different.  My mind is less busy.  My relationships have changed.  I am less judgmental and more accepting.  I realize I do not need to take on other people’s stuff.  I can accept feedback from others openly.  I am more comfortable in my own skin.

Having received Shaktipat from Swamiji, I have illuminating peeks into my own Self.  I have times when I see the world in technicolor and experience unconditional love for everything and everybody.  I can be content even when there is chaos around me.  Swamiji’s Year-Long Programme, website freebies, B&B weekends, satsangs and teachings have been transformative.  Through them, I have a toolbox of practices that make a difference in my life every day.  I can do them anywhere, with no need for props. 

I am grateful to Swamiji for her teachings and practices, including the great gift of Shaktipat!  I am grateful for Guru’s Grace that flows through her and our lineage to me.  Being given so much compels me to give back through seva (selfless service) and financial support to Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram.

Please join me in reflecting on your own experiences of Shaktipat, formal or informal.  What is your story of transformation?  Post your story on the Ashram Facebook page, or on Swamiji’s Facebook page.  Or send your story to And, while you’re at it, please join me in supporting SVA at this time of giving!  You can donate on the Ashram Facebook page or on the SVA webpage.  Or give us a call at 610-644-7555.

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