Śiva is also known as Gaṅgādhara. Gaṅgādhara literally means the carrier of Gaṅga (River Ganges). Śiva is said to carry the Ganges in his locks. There is a mythological story describing the descent of the river Ganges from the heavens to earth. The origin of the Ganges is said to be the heavens, where it is known as Ākāśa-gaṅgā. Ākāśa-gaṅgā is personified in the mythology as a goddess. King Bhagīratha prayed to the goddess to descend from the heavens and bless the people of the earth with her prosperity. The prayer was granted. Ākāśa-gaṅgā was willing to come down to earth. The goddess however, warned Bhagīratha that the flow of water from the heavens will be so torrential that the earth would not be able to bear its force. The only person able to receive such torrential flow being Lord Śiva. So Bhagīratha again went to penance and prayer and implored Śiva to bear the flow of descent of the waters. Śiva acceded. He received the waters of the Ākāśa-gaṅgā in his locks where they were imprisoned. Śiva retired to the jungle for meditation. But the Gaṅgā did not flow on the earth. The king again implored Śiva , this time to release the waters of the holy Gaṅgā from his locks for the people of the world. As the story goes the Lord granted this prayer as well. The present Gaṅga is said to be the water flowing out of Śiva’s locks.
Strange as the story may sound it has a deep inner significance. Gaṅga stands for the ultimate Truth, the ultimate Reality, the knowledge of Divinity in being human.
THE SYMBOLS OF HINDU GODS AND RITUALS BY A. PARTHASARATHY.
What I will and won’t do when locking hair
How and why anyone chooses to lock their hair is a personal choice, if one chooses to come to me to have their hair locked, then I have strict preferences as to how I will to do this. To begin with, I won’t get involved with any extending methods of locking, be it synthetic or natural hair. However, should one of your locks break away, as long as the lock is your hair, I am happy to re-attach it. Please understand, that locking hair is a spiritual process, extending methods, using synthetic or natural hair, interferes with the exchange of energy.
The locking of hair is a journey of self inquiry, you come to learn about the unhealthy ego and going through the messy stages of maturing locks most definitely balances that out.
I am not locking dreadlocks, I am locking Jata, therefore they will have an individuality, they wont be aesthetically perfect. As the Jata mature, they generally thicken up but if the root of a lock becomes too thin, I can weave two together, if they are thick to start with, then one cannot change that and they generally just keep getting thicker. If you have lots of thin locks, gives you a variety of ways to style them, if they are too thick, then you are limited to how you can wear them.
I use only a crochet method of locking, I do not use any waxes or any chemicals, everything is natural.
Whilst I am locking, I hope you will share with me some of your life’s adventures, the energy from you will connect with my hands and I will pass these experiences into your locked hair. Your Jata become your timeline. Please rest assured our time together is confidential.
I will share with you a Pranayama technique (breath control), which will help you to relax, especially when some of the areas of your head are sensitive and uncomfortable.
It is important that I look after my hands to prevent over use injuries; locking someone else’s hair is not easy and is knackering on the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and back. For this reason I limit my services to two full days a week (Friday and Sunday) a maximum of 8 hours a sitting, and one half day a week (Tuesday pm) a maximum of 4 hours. Should hair be longer than the shoulders, then two sessions will need to be booked. Looking after myself, has to be a priority. My life is yoga and that means a commitment to Ahimsa (non-harming). An important principle to my services, is that I bring sincerity to the task, I am not in a rush, what I do, I wish to do well.
I will encourage you to get up ever so often, to walk about, get some fresh air, receive love from my side kick dog, Trixie-Bells. If we are doing an 8 hour locking session, I will provide refreshments, all food is vegan.
I will teach you how to look after the postural muscles in the back of your neck. Locking hair gets heavy, they will cause your head to tilt back, shortening the back of your neck. This will cause postural injuries, which can be extremely uncomfortable and induce things like headaches. I will teach you how to notice that you are tilting your head and how to avoid the imbalances with stretching exercises, which you must do on a daily basis.
I will promote lock maintenance, showing you how to help stop locks from matting together and their hygiene.
Hourly rate of £25
The Spirituality of JataDreads
From my commitment to practice and devoted study of yoga, my spirituality has deepened. I honour the philosophy behind the mythological god Lord Shiva, he is the first yogi and the first guru, he is ‘that which is not’ he is the nothingness, in that, existence and the fundamental quality of the cosmos is vast nothingness. From this womb everything is born and is the oblivion into which everything is sucked back, everything comes from Shiva and goes back to Shiva.
Shiva coils his locked, matted hair above his head, in the shape of a triangle, the belief is that the locked hair keeps in prana, the universal life energy. It is also known that the highest bodily part of the highest god – Shiva is called ‘jatta’.
Another myth associated with the naming of Jata Locks goes something like this; Shiva’s father-in-law was performing a great sacrifice to the gods, he invited everyone, including Shiva’s wife, Parvati, but to the exclusion of Shiva. Shiva was reluctant to let Parvati go but he eventually consented. Parvati’s father was disrespectful to Parvati and when Shiva found out, he was outraged, Shiva untied his matted, locked hair and threw his locks to the ground violently. From the locks emerged two powerful beings and so Shiva sent them to destroy his father-in-law’s sacrifice. Born from the highest bodily part of Shiva, from one of the two powerful beings, emerged the race of the Jat People.
The Jat People were appreciated and respected for their firm determination and regarded as the prime rulers of the earth, they are the descendants of gods and warriors and they symbolise sacrifice, bravery and industry.
My JataDreads symbolise my life, liken to that of ‘wearing one’s life on one’s sleeve’. Those who lock their hair have personal reasons for doing so and yet for all of us, it’s an external demonstration, a statement of where one chooses to place oneself in this world.