Who is Goddess Lakshmi?

Do you know the origin story of Goddess Lakshmi? 

Lakshmi was born from the stirring of the primordial milky ocean by the gods and demons.

The name Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksya, which means aim or destination.

Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity of all forms, material and spiritual.

Like most Hindu mythology, Lakshmi’s origin story has many different versions and is always embellished with many surreal, magical or even unbelievable elements. Lakshmi’s story begins with a meeting between Sage Durvasa and Lord Indra. 

Sage Durvasa, with a lot of respect, offers Indra a garland of flowers. Lord Indra takes the flowers and rather than humbly placing them around his own neck, he puts the garland on the forehead of his elephant Airvata. The elephant takes the garland and throws it down on the earth- after all, he is an elephant. He didn’t know better! 

Durvasa gets angry at this disrespectful treatment of his gift and he says to Indra, “you have an inflated ego and in your arrogance, you have disrespected me!” Durvasa curses Lord Indra, stating that his kingdom will be ruined just as he ruined the garland by throwing it onto the ground in his excessive pride.

Durvasa walks away and Indra returns to his home. The changes in Indra’s city start to take place following Durvasa’s curse. The gods & people lose their vigour and energy, all the vegetable products and plants start dying, men stop doing charity, minds become corrupted, and everyone’s desires become uncontrollable.

With the Gods getting weak in Indra’s home town, the demons invade the realm of the Gods and defeat them. Everything became chaotic.

This is the reason that both Gods (light) and Demons (darkness) reside in us and are representative of the good and evil within us.

After being defeated, the Gods went to Lord Vishnu (the preserver of the universe) who suggested they churn the ocean to restore the power back to the Gods. The work of churning this primordial ocean will bring back the elixir of immortal life to the gods.

The churning is symbolized by a literal tug of war between the Gods and Demons in the story.  Being a vast body, it would take all of the gods and all of the demons to churn the ocean. So the gods took a snake and wrapped it around Mount Madura. They then sunk the whole mountain into the milky sea. With the gods at the tail end and the demons at head, they both pulled, uncoiling the snake, causing the mountain to spin and the primeval sea to swirl. 

From this churning many things rise up out of the ocean, including Lakshmi AND the elixir of immortal life.  Goddess Lakshmi rises out of the waves, fully grown, gorgeous and on a lotus flower. Eventually through some tricky slight-of-hand the elixir of immortal life also is returned to the gods and order in the universe is restored. 

One of the lessons in this story is that when we get arrogant or angry, it leads to an inability to perform good work. We will lack mental peace, willpower and have a meaningless life. It also shows us that we sometimes have to work with our adversaries, finding compromise and collaboration in order to restore order for a greater good.

Recently, we had a fun pool party where our yogis channeled their inner lakshmi and celebrated feelings of abundance and prosperity in the midst of yoga teacher training. 

Mantras for properity

Using mantra

You can use Lakshmi mantras or even English affirmations to help cultivate abundance and prosperity in your life. Reminding yourself that the universe has everything you need to succeed and thrive helps cultivate feelings of abundance. Chanting to Lakshmi, saying her name in song and even using English affirmation can help you be affirmed that you deserve wealth and prosperity in all forms. 

In our lives we deserve to feel wealthy with friends, love, prosperous in our professional and personal lives and that there is financial abundance available to us at al times.

Below are some of our favourite mantras to help you cultivate abundance and prosperity, drawing on the image of Lakshmi and the lessons of her story. 






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Yoga Academy International Faculty:

Lauren Rudick

Lauren Rudick

Lead teacher and founder of Yoga Academy International, Lauren is a globally celebrated yoga instructor. She has been teaching yoga for over a decade and comes from a variety of lineages and traditions. Lauren has lead yoga retreats and workshops in over 2-dozen countries and continues to study with world-class instructors whenever possible. She has been featured in Women's health Magazine, YogiTimes, Optymyz and get out there to name a few as well as on countless podcasts and newspaper articles. Lauren has solid roots in Iyengar based Hatha yoga with continued studies in Vinyasa flow, Anusara, Ashtanga, Restorative, Bhakti and Yin Yoga. She is inspired by teachers who tell stories. She has studied under Seane Corn, Chris Chavez, MC Yogi, Susan Cohen, Mercy Ananda, Nancy Goodfellow and many others. Lauren is passionate about sharing yoga from an authentic and soulful point of view. She believes that yoga practice can help uncover the veils that hide us from achieving our full potential.  Lauren is E-RYT 500 registered with Yoga Alliance. 

Will Peters

Will Peters

Making yoga accessible and enjoyable, regardless of who you are and how strong or flexible you are, is his priority. With a passion for all things health and wellbeing, Will’s aim is to inspire anyone and everyone to step on the mat to gain the physical and mental benefits that yoga can provide.Born in the UK, Will is a qualified and registered yoga teacher with over 250 hours of training. Will places an emphasis on alignment and safety. Outside of teaching, Will is an enthusiastic yoga student, constantly pushing his body and mind to new limits. Whether it’s learning to handstand, progressing towards the splits or practicing mindfulness exercises, Will loves to learn new things and grow. This provides continuous evolution to Will’s teaching as he brings new-found energy and knowledge from my personal practice into class.

Liv Townsend

Liv townsend

Despite being ‘self-taught’ in the early days, Liv took her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in London in 2016, an additional 200hr Rocket & Vinyasa Training in 2020 and completed her 500hr training with Jason Crandell in 2021. Liv takes a lot of inspiration for the mechanics and science of movement from other disciplines such as martial arts, gymnastics, calisthenics and resistance training. Her favourite teaching style is a combination of Vinyasa and Hatha yoga which a friend of mine so perfectly suggested it be called VinHatha! There’s not a great deal of chaturanga-updog-downdogs, but instead we challenge the body in more unique ways, manipulating our body weight to find both length and strength in the entire body.

Teresa Edmilao

Teresa Edmilao

Teresa has been practicing massage therapy since 2006. She has a 3000hr diploma in Massage Therapy from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in Vancouver, BC. Teresa has a passion for helping people connect with their bodies. She lives by example, inspiring people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Teresa spent 7 years practicing massage therapy in Canada to people from all walks of life; students, athletes, desk workers, labourers, youth, elderly, dancers, and accident victims. Teresa is also a fire dancer and hula hoop dancer. She has experienced numerous injuries has personally been through the rehabilitation process many times. It was these experiences that have lead her to delve deeply into the study and application of anatomy and movement. Teresa offers anatomy classes at Yoga Academy International. Her teachings are thorough, meticulous but fun, drawing on every day life experience to help yogis understand their bodies better. 

Nancy Goodfellow

Nancy Goodfellow

Yoga director and co-owner of Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica, Nancy is extremely well known for her inspiring and creative daily classes, workshops,and retreats, with students both locally and internationally. Her twenty years of committed practice, thousands of hours of trainings, and continual curiosity towards life’s most mysterious aspects are all part of why she has so many devoted students. She began her Yogic studies in the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition under the guidance of her first teachers, Dominic Corigliano, Tim  Miller and Pattabhi Jois. Nancy has completed over 500 hours of Yoga Alliance teacher trainings and began teaching in 1998. Nancy dedicated many years of study to the Anusara method with its amazing principles of alignment, Tantric philosophy and Bhakti filled practice. She completed over 500 hours of certified Anusara teachings and traditional non-dualistic Tantra studies.

Perrine Marais

Lauren Rudick

Known in Quebec for her empowering and effective teaching, Perrine has completed over 1400hours of trainings. After her 200hr certification in Costa Rica, she wanted to deepen her knowledge and practice from a more traditional approach. So Perrine travelled to India where she accumulated overr 1000 hours of Hatha yoga training at the Patanjali International Yoga Foundation. Before joining the Yoga Academy International team, Perrine joined her teachers and lead 5 trainings in India. Constantly yearning to expand her education, Perrine has taken 2 yin yoga teacher trainings, a Sup Yoga teacher training, Thai Yoga Massage and Myofacial release. In teaching she hopes to share her love of yoga with others as a way to secure their confidence with exploration and movement of the functional body but also tap in to the deep energetic intelligence within. She is registered with yoga alliance as E-RYT 500.

Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason

Chef Charlotte Mason hails from Boston where she used work in high end restaurant kitchens and then later opened up her own catering company. Burnt out and needing a break, Charlotte went on a surf vacation to Nicaragua and 3 weeks later moved cross continents and has been there ever since. Charlotte's love of sourcing locally, creating exceptional plant-based dishes and combining flavours makes her food loved by everyone. Charlotte is passionate about health and wellness and is also a certified yoga instructor. Giving back not only with flavours, Charlotte frequently teaches yoga classes in Spanish for local women and helps empower local women to follow their dreams and speak their minds. In joining Yoga Academy International, Charlotte has added so much to the experience by creating comfort and family feelings found only when gathering around a table to share delicious meals together. When not on Yoga Academy International's trainings, Charlotte creates gourmet pop up dinners around Nicaragua and chefs at yoga retreats around the world.  

Sanne Hofman

Sanne Hofman

Sanne is a ray of sunshine! Before joining the Yoga Academy International team, Sanne was a neuropsychologist in Holland. On her path, she felt that her chosen field was not quite the right fit. So Sanne set off on a journey through Central America to get to know herself better. Along the way she met her partner Toby in Panama. Together they worked and traveled through Central America eventually finding their way to Maderas Beach, Nicaragua. They loved the spot so much that they decided to move there and eventually got jobs managing a boutique hotel. Wanting to expand her offerings at the hotel, Sanne took Yoga Academy International's 200hr teacher training in 2018. She then furthered her studies in the Chakra-Vinyasa Training and went back to Europe to take Thai Yoga Massage training. Sanne is compassionate, loving and kind. She is an example of how to live yoga ethics while still being true to who you are. Sanne offers YAI students endless encouragement and love as well as unwavering support on their journeys. She can always be counted on for a listening ear, a compassionate friend, a glowing smile or a warm hug when you need it most. 

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