We find symbols in our daily life and do play a significant role. Symbols are profound expressions of our intellect, emotions, and spirit. These symbols may be seen in so many ways. Just like in yoga, symbols have the significant part of both yoga tradition and yoga practices. You often see these in yoga studios, clothes, accessories, wall and home decorations. But, does it ever cross your mind what do these symbols really mean? Let's dig in and get to know the hidden meanings of every Yoga Symbols that can bring new depth and insight to your yoga practice. Let's start it!
Om is possibly the most familiar symbol in yoga. It holds everything in one simple sound. It does not represent a word but a syllable – a powerful one since it’s the vibration of the cosmic universe. It is often mentioned nor chanted at the beginning and then the end of any yoga classes for meditation, and you can also chant it if you practice alone.
The symbol for Om is written in the ancient language of Sanskrit. And each element of the image has a different meaning which symbolizes the different states of our lives – awake, sleep, and in between.
Hamsa hand or the hand of Fatima/Miriam is well represented by the palm of the hands. And it has two main styles, one is shaped like a regular hand, and the other has two symmetrical thumbs. Hamsa hand is usually used as a symbol to ward off evil spirits, that is why there is an "evil eye" featured in the palm. The evil eye is an omen of bad luck and negative energies. When you used, worn, or displayed it can be in 2 positions. One is facing up and it is believed to give you protection with the fingers pointed up, as if in a "stop" gesture. That is why some yoga studios have this symbol on a wall, ensuring the space is safe for everyone to occupy and feel at peace, protected from malevolent spirits. And, when the fingers are pointed down it brings success and harmony, as it looks like a handed held out towards you. Lastly, Hamsa invites luck, prosperity, good health, and happiness.
Mandala is loosely translated as "circle", from which it got its Sanskrit name. It is designed to offer a visual balance of elements that symbolize harmony and unity. When used in spiritual practice, it is said to help absorb the mind in meditation. This symbol reminds every Yogi to survive, to achieve balance, spirit, mind, and body. Like the universe, it is balanced and united. With its numerous array of designs, patterns, and colors, it also represented in so many aspects of your own life - nature and even the circles of life, friends, and family.
Originates in India somewhere between 1500 - 500 B.C. and is referenced in the most ancient Sanskrit scriptures. A chakra is an energy point in the body, and our bodies have seven of them, represented by the lotus essences. Each chakra is an energy centre which spins like a wheel. As its name defines is a system. In yoga, chakras are the centers of the energetic body or the aura. We have 7 major chakras throughout the body and each has its own meaning, significance, and responsibility for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being.
To know more about chakras: here
Lotus flower symbolizes purity, beauty, and rebirth. In which it is a perfect reflection of new beginnings.