Have you ever wondered what all the symbols mean in YOGA. Well you are probably not the only one wondering what these all mean and sometimes you will see these symbols tattooed on someones body. I’m going to explain what these symbols mean. So that you have a better understanding of what they are and why we may use them.
Om signifies the universal sound of the cosmos, the first sound of creation, the big bang. It is the sound of the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer. It is the vibration from which all things come into existence and can intensify any intentions or sounds that follow it. As yoga spread to the west, so did this beautiful symbol of universal sound. You have likely seen this symbol thousands of times, from your favorite yoga mat to your local yoga studio.
In many cultures, the hamsa hand is meant to represent the hand of God and serve as protection against evil. This is why you’ll often see an eye at its center, which is meant to watch out for evil coming your way.
Alternatively, the word ‘hamsa’ means five fingers. In some ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts, it has been defined as the symbol of free-flowing life force or prana thus bringing harmony between the chakras and the 5 senses.
Another popular symbol you may have seen floating around yoga studios, yoga mats, is the lotus flower. The lotus as itself stands as a symbol of awakening the human mind to the divine within us, but there are many types of lotus flowers, the pink lotus flower, and the purple lotus flower being the most common.
The pink lotus flower signifies purity and devotion. The purple lotus flower signifies enlightenment and unity with the Brahman (universe). This flower symbol is still seen in some ancient places in India to depict the victory of the mind over the physical
Mandala loosely translates to ‘circle’ in the Sanskrit language. The outer circles represent the universe as a whole and the squares you find on the inside represent earthly levels of reality. Together, they are meant to symbolize our oneness with the universe. With each layer, we see another level of existence. It’s a beautiful representation of how we are a part of a large system that is both complex and beautiful.
The word Buddha means ‘the awakened one’ and refers to Gautam Buddha’s stories, most of which have been immortalized in many texts. He was a prince that left his life in society to begin a deep and introspective journey into finding a way to end suffering. After many years, he came to realize that happiness (aka the lack of suffering) can be achieved through the Eightfold Path. Now, practicing Buddhists use his teaching to reduce suffering in their lives and live happily
A Chakra is a spiritual power within the human body, of which there are seven. Each chakra is housed in a different area of the body and governs a unique spiritual power in your life. Depending on your life experiences, your yoga and meditation practice, and your current dedication to clearing your chakras, blockages can occur in one or several of your chakras. A blockage can manifest in a messy way, which is why Reiki healing and yoga have been such healing practices for people for centuries.
This symbol you often see on malas or the hamsa hand is known for bringing luck and protection from ‘jealous eye’. This belief is still prevalent in many places. The Native American culture calls it the ‘death-dealing’ evil eye and the Indians call it ‘buri nazar’
OK HAND MUDRAS
Mudras are part of Hindu and Buddhist teachings. Practicing mudras help us to experience oneness with the ‘brahman’. Mudras are so important in a yoga practice that there is an entire tangent of yoga called ‘Mudra Yoga’. The Ok hand symbol is one of the most common gestures, called ‘chin mudra’, is meant to produce joy and happiness.
108 MALA BEAD NECKLACE.
This sacred number is repeated throughout nature and is viewed as a bizarrely meaningful number in our existence. The distance between the earth and the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth. The prehistoric monument Stonehenge is 108 feet in diameter. Old Buddhist monks have spoken about seeing the number in their dreams and have passed on the sacred knowledge to future monks – this is why the sacred Buddhist mantra is still chanted 108 times for healing energy imbalances and why malas usually have 108 beads.
I hope this article helps you understand some of the Yoga Symbolisms and why they mean so much to the Yoga Practice.