Mahadevi: “devi”/goddess, Great Goddess, encompassing all female deities/goddesses
Since the beginning of time women have played many roles. Women are mothers and nurturers—taking care of family, children, the earth, and animals. In prehistoric times women were gatherers – responsible for gathering water and plants while taking care of their children and household. In some societies, women would help fight and were warriors; in other societies women were viewed as goddesses and held in high regard due to the ability to bear children and perceive things in different ways. These goddesses were given gifts of gold, adorned silk robes, jewels, fine tea and linens, anything beautiful one could imagine. As time progressed, women were able to move into the workplace, climb the corporate ladder, all while keeping their household in check. While women can accomplish and do great things, sometimes our lights get dimmed by today’s patriarchal society and the high expectations women set on themselves. By doing so, we remove ourselves from the goddess that is within. We have traded our silk robes and linen gowns for power suits, a baby on our hip, and a paycheck. This progression in society has propelled the importance of the female into the stratosphere. However, this meteoric rise can lead to emptiness as we continually empty our cup to give to others and deal with the variety of stigmas placed on women in society today.
Over the past few years as I have dove deeper into the healing arts and have had the joy of meeting strong, powerful women, I have noticed a trend. A trend of reconnecting today’s modern women to her inner goddess or devi. These women are teaching other women the power their words have, how to take back their own control (control of body, mind spirit), and to reconnect themselves to the beauty that is within. One such woman that is doing this in Knoxville is Jeny Jones.
I have recently crossed paths with Jeny in Harper Addison’s contemporary dance class. From the moment I met Jeny, I admired her gentle and wise spirit. Her dancing was passionate, ethereal, almost other worldly. After class, we would chat and the more I got to know her, the more I saw her passion for helping women find their goddess and encourage them in their life choices. Jeny helps women connect with their inner devi through her practice of Mahadevi Healing Arts. Mahadevi Healing Arts combines all of Jeny’s passions: dance, yoga, hoop dance, and massage.
Growing up in Kansas City, Jeny always had a love affair with movement and dance. It wasn’t till she transferred to a magnet school that she began formal dance training. From that moment, she was hooked and found her outlet. Dance was Jeny’s way of healing. Jeny notes, “Throughout most of my life, I suffered from depression and anxiety, and dance helped to calmed me, and elevate my mood. Mind/Body connection, breath connection, creative expression, and safe, supportive, encouraging community interaction were all components that helped me to cope and to even thrive”. The beauty of dance carried her into her college years where she received a BFA in Dance from Washington State University in St. Louis. Not only did she fall deeper in love with dance during this time, she also found another mode of healing- massage therapy.
Like most dancers (myself included), sometimes we find ourselves in a career altering injury that causes us to seek other modalities of healing and stress relief. The impending doom of an injury is the worst thought for a dancer, but sometimes these injuries unfold new entities that our soul needs. This is what massage was for Jeny. It was a compliment to her dance career and a career path that could help others heal from their wounds, be it internal or external. The world of massage has led her to study many forms including: Shiatsu, Swedish, Injury Rehab for Dancers/Athletes, Infant, Pre/Post Natal, Ayurvedic Massage, and Hot Stone.
In the realm of modern dance, one will naturally stumble upon yoga. She began to study yoga as a teen, and continued to study into her twenties and with her husband when they lived in Colorado. Together, they studied with Joan Harrigan of Knoxville’s own, Patanjali’s Kundalini Yoga Care-coming to Knox regularly for private studies and guidance. Jeny found solace in this spiritual practice that aided in her life long battle with anxiety and depression. In 2013, they decided to move to Knoxville to study Traditional Kundalini Science and Vedanta with Swami Chandrasekharan and because they fell in love with Knoxville during their visits. When Jeny began to combine all three of these passions and healing practices together, she began her business Mahadevi Healing Arts.
Jeny brings Mahadevi to a variety of places in Knoxville. She offers her vast massage techniques to women and mothers at The Wellhouse, “ a parenting and pregnancy resource center”. Since Mahadevi is geared towards women she feels that The Wellhouse is where she belongs. When she isn’t giving a massage, you can also find her leading a Planet Motion Dance World Class (at Wellhouse) that enables mothers and the everyday woman “who really appreciate having the time to take care of themselves, while having fun! “. Jeny also teaches contemporary dance, creative movement for kids, and offers a free flow jam at The Emporium Annex. All of her offerings are for those who need time to rejuvenate, reconnect, “connect with the Divine”, and to provide a positive atmosphere for freedom and healing. For more on Jeny go to her website and “Like” Mahadevi Arts on Facebook. ***Pictures courtesy of Jeny Jones.