If you have been practicing yoga anywhere in the world today, it’s very likely that you know what a Mantra is. If your yoga instructor hasn’t led you in some chants in your yoga class, then maybe he or she has played them in the background as you’ve entered the room or lain in relaxation pose (savasana).
Long or short repetitive chants sung in the Sanskrit language, the mantras are used as tools for meditation to cultivate a sense of connection to Prana, the life force. They also tend to calm us and relieve stress. Sometimes they’re very short (for example, So Hum) or sometimes they’re quite long as they relate the story of a particular god or goddess and invoke their healing qualities (such as the popular Gayatri Mantra which invokes the power of the Sun). But they’re always meant to invoke a particular vibration in the body and to manifest healing through the power of that vibration, as well.
Lesser known are Yantras which are visual representation of these mantras. They are tools for capturing the vibration or energy of a particular mantra, along with the intention that it is emitting.
In the yoga belief system it’s known that the the uni-verse (literally ‘one song’) is created out of an infinite and continual vibration (represented by ‘aum’ and the concepts of prana and shakti).
The yantras and mantras are simply subsets of this vibration, each with a particular intention and ability to affect us in very profound ways if we are devoted to practicing them.
The visual depiction of the yantras is a practice that goes back hundreds of years, with evidence of yantric designs found in the Indus civilization of India. The various designs within the yantras are all symbols meant to express certain qualities. For example, in the image you see above, this is a ‘heart yantra’ with the Sanskrit symbol for ‘yam’ at its center. Yam is the seed mantra for the heart chakra. The image with the downward facing triangles at the center is the Bhairavyai Yantra, representing the fierce aspect of the feminine nature. The four gates, the lotus petals, the 6 pointed star, the bindhu at the center and the colors all have meaning as well. The creation of the yantras is an act of concentration and meditation and the yantra itself, once complete, becomes a tool for meditation or the practice of dharana and the cultivation of the quality which it represents.
Join me in Andalucía, Spain this November 2016 to learn how to draw these yantras! You will be using pencil and paper to create an image that speaks to you and which you can take home with you to hang on your wall for continued inspiration!
Please visit my website to see examples of other yantras I’ve created. We will also be practicing hatha yoga every day, including meditation and pranayama, and spending time in nature in the beautiful mountains of Southern Spain.
I started drawing and painting yantras several years ago as a creative outlet and to make meaningful gifts for my family and friends. The images are peaceful to make and fun to watch come to life as I add the designs and colors. Since then, I’ve learned more about the amazing concepts of Sacred Geometry and the unbelievably beautiful geometric designs which are found throughout nature and most cultures. And I’ve learned about Cymatics, the science of how sounds manifests visually.
It’s fascinating to me to see how the world is created out of these mathematical, visual and auditory elements!
I also invite you to explore more about these concepts online. There is A LOT of information available and you won’t believe what you see in some of these videos!
Videos that show sound vibrations manifested as geometric designs:
The Early Bird Deadline for this Retreat is July 30th for a 10% discount so reserve your spot today! We will be staying in beautiful apartments near the Grazalema Mountains. There will also be a swimming pool on site and a massage therapist.
For more information about this retreat and to reserve your spot, please visit this link.
For more information about me, Astrid Jirka, your yoga instructor on this retreat, please visit this link.
or email me with any questions at: astridjirka-at-gmail.com
Namaste and I hope to see you in Grazalema in the mountains of Southern Spain!