Introducing Xenia the elephant! This subtle yet spirited addition to our Somerville Yoga studio draws on the power that the elephant represents in the practice of yoga. The elephant is respected by almost every culture on earth and Xenia is a proud symbol of its robustness and determination. We brought Xenia into our studio to serve as a reminder to strive for a balance of mental, spiritual and corporeal strength. She helps us bring the desire for positive change to life and prepares us to embark on a journey to enhance all aspects of our lives. Beyond the obvious strength and endurance that the elephant embodies, it is also associated with good luck, wisdom and intelligence.
As a powerful animal, the elephant symbolizes the importance of compassion, patience and kindness in our everyday lives. Additionally, because the elephant is a matriarchal animal, Xenia proudly stands for the empowerment of women in combination with feminine nurturing, again representing a balance. Xenia’s name comes from a Greek concept which centers around hospitality. Literally translating to “guest-friendship” or “ritualized friendship”, Xenia reminds us to spread love to all and to remain open-minded. Historically, hospitality towards strangers was understood as a moral obligation and Xenia helps us remember just how important it is to strive to be generous and understanding towards others, even when our own lives get chaotic.
While Xenia reminds us to be kind to others, she also reminds us that it is just as important to be kind to ourselves and embrace self-compassion, helping us remember that it’s not selfish to put our own well-being first. In Indian culture, the elephant represents our personal journeys to enlightenment, emphasizing a clear and disciplined mind. On this journey, it wants you to have faith that you can rise over anything and overcome everything but asks that you keep your playfulness and happy nature intact. Xenia depicts the most unique and exotic features of the elephant, including its large ears which emphasize the benefits of listening and thinking before speaking and its small eyes which signify the power of focusing on spiritual rather than physical vision. Her long, upward-pointing trunk depicts power and serves as a constant reminder that with perseverance comes prosperity. In the natural world, an upward-pointing trunk is used to greet friends and express delight – exactly the type of warmth and joy that Xenia brings to our Somerville studio.
Next time you practice, consider asking Xenia to accompany you. Let her guide you and help you reach a state of clarity, power and openness. Then, ask her to accompany you on all of your journeys and begin to feel strong and grounded as you embody all that this divine animal represents. For more information on our Somerville Yoga studio, call (908) 725-0143 or contact the studio by email today!
Creator of Xenia ~ Danielle Kassick
Author of blog ~ Christina Christodoulou