Yoga innovator, Jocelyn Kay Levy, is joined by kirtan wallah, Nina Rao, to share Mothers’ perspectives on spiritual practice, offering personal stories and advice from Siddhi Ma.
Jocelyn Kay Levy, the founder of the world-renowned Wee Yogis Organization, is a dedicated yogi, musician and social innovator with over 15 years of experience teaching transformational workshops and performing original music. Jocelyn is committed to creating fun, thoughtful and effective learning environments where music, movement and healing unite the mind, body and soul, creating a connection that decreases stress, builds confidence, and maintains a connection to childlike wonder.
Nina Rao learned traditional chants from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The mantras quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das, playing the role of his assistant, manager, and bandmate. She has since released two kirtan albums of her own: Antarayaami – Knower of All Hearts and Anubhav. For more information, please visit NinaRaoChant.com, and for more podcasts, please visit the Nina Rao BHNN Library
Mothers’ Perspective on Practice
Through the lens of the yoga and mindfulness practices and life skills she brings to children through her Wee Yogis Organization, Jocelyn Kay Levy invites Nina Rao to share from a mother’s perspective, what it is like bringing a daughter into the world, and then raising her within the context of spirituality. Nina describes how even in the womb, her child was being steeped in prayer, practice, blessing, and bhav (devotional essence).
“I really felt [my daughter] was going to receive the blessings of the Guru, of the Divine Ones, if I did my practice. In the same way we choose what we’re going to eat, how we’re going to sleep, we care for our bodies when we have our babies inside. Same way, if I was feeding myself spiritually, she would also be nourished.” – Nina Rao
For a Mother’s guide through attachment and into the process of surrender, check out Ep. 127 of the Metta Hour
Siddhi Ma, India, & Puja (6:00)
Speaking of her deep calling to bring her daughter to be blessed by Siddhi Ma at the first possible chance, Nina describes traveling to India with her child, and the powerfully moving experience of walking into the darshan room to be with Siddhi Ma. Depicting the timeless moment, Nina brings us into the room with Siddhi Ma, sharing important Motherly instructions about keeping her child within the essence of their daily practice and puja (worship/ceremony) from a young age.
“Siddhi Ma gave me some very specific instructions for [my daughter] regarding her upbringing, but one of the most important ones, was she said: When you do your puja, keep her in your lap. Let her start feeling the effects of the puja and hearing it from the very beginning.” – Nina Rao
Travel to auditory India for an in-depth dive into Nina’s experiences sitting with Siddhi Ma, tune into Ep. 258 of Mindrolling
Anxiety & Practice: Mother’s Day with Ram Dass (25:00)
Trading motherly advice on naturally allowing children to choose their own path in life and spirituality, while remaining open to teach them through your being, Jocelyn and Nina dig into the importance of practice to find refuge from anxiety and negative emotions. Sharing a story of eating mango pancakes with Ram Dass on Mother’s Day, Jocelyn exemplifies how finding inner-softness through practice will instinctively become a learned trait when recognized by our children.
“We want our children to be a particular way, to follow a particular path, but the only path that exists for them is their own. What Siddhi Ma said to me was: Nina, she already knows everything. All you have to do is raise her, feed her, show her love, give her good education, and raise her to be a capable adult.” – Nina Rao
For more Nina, open yourself to the Divine Feminine by listening to the Untold Story of Sita, on Ep. 75 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
Source images via Jocelyn Kay Levy, NinaRao & @parin840056 on Twenty20