Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Dakini Mean?

Dakini was originally the name of a Tantric priestess of ancient India who transported the souls of the dead into the sky. As such, a dakini is sometimes called a “sky dancer.” A dakini can also refer to an accomplished yogini, or the female personification of enlightenment and energy.

In yoga, the practitioner can unlock the energy of the dakini by meditating and practicing asanas that open the muladhara (root) chakra. The dakini also shows up in a practice called Dakini yoga, which is a daily Buddhist meditation practice for those who have achieved the highest yoga Tantra empowerment of Vajrayogini (a dakini known as the female Buddha).


Yogapedia Explains Dakini

When Tantra originated in India, the dakini was a wrathful deity who challenged yogis to dispel their fears. After Tantric Buddhism migrated to Tibet, the image softened to one of a gentler and more accommodating entity who nurtured yogis, but could resort to harsh means when seduction failed. Today, the term usually refers to superior yoga practitioners and the release of energy blockages to open the mind.

The dakini is the female ruler of the muladhara chakra. She can unlock energy and potential in the individual. She is a creator and preserver who can help an individual feel at home in the body and in the world. By using yoga asanas that target the root chakra, the practitioner can tap into the energy of the dakini. Asanas that help open this chakra include:

  • Seated poses such as sukhasana (easy pose) and balasana (child's pose).
  • Standing poses such as trikonasana (triangle pose), tadasana (mountain pose) and utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose).
  • Squatting poses such as malasana (garland pose).
  • Reclining poses such as savasana (corpse pose).

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