Yoga practitioners in the West often dismiss the Hindu practices of deity worship and invocation, believing them to be religious superstition or something outside of yoga practice. Angelic Invocation Advanced Yoga Training (300 hour), which we expect to roll out this year, is perhaps unique in that we will devote more than 15 hours to this aspect of yoga.
Yes, deity invocation is a spiritual cultivation practice that is part of traditional yoga. It is yet another form of prayer and meditation.
We call it angelic invocation because that word imparts the true meaning of the practice rather than implying a belief in gods and goddesses. Angelic invocation is part of the broad category of bhakti or devotional yoga. It helps emerge aspects of our own personalities that are divine in nature so that we can begin to realize our own divinity.
In other words, angels or deities are inner states of our own consciousness that help us to grow spiritually. We can go deep into meditation and make contact with these states of consciousness because they are a latent part of us. In our training, the students will be introduced to and exposed to a number of angels and deities with instructions for invocation. Students may select an angel, god, or goddess to work with in their meditation and then report to the class their experiences. Among the angels and deities we plan to work with: Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswati, Krishna, Hanuman, Kālī, Durga, Parvati, Sîta, Brahmani, Radha, Rukhamini, Archangels Chamuel, Gabrielle, Michael, and Raphael, Earth Mother, Elemental Angels (Sylphs, Gnomes Undines, Salamanders) and more.
The benefits are varied from this kind of meditation, depending upon what qualities the practitioner seeks to develop. Each of the deities represent a different set of inner qualities.