Yoga Symbols

There are symbols everywhere we look – we just don’t realize it. Here are just a few you might recognize:

A symbol represents an idea, entity or process.  It’s a simple way to capture something complex, without even saying one word.

There are several symbols associated with yoga.  You may have seen them in your yoga studio, on yoga videos, or in the yoga books you read.  But what do they mean?  Let’s cover just a few in detail:

Om Symbol

This is probably one of the most recognized yoga symbols.  It is associated with the mantra “om”- often used to silence the mind during meditation. Om is Sanskrit for rakùati, which means “one who protects or sustains.”

The symbol om is Vedic for pratīka which represents everything in it’s entirety…the universe, or god.  It’s important to note, this is not meant to be god in a religious sense.  According to Hinduism, om represents Brahman.  Brahman is not a deity, religious entity, manifest being or anthropomorphic. Rather, it is an idea that represents the beginning and the end, the past and the future, the source of all manifest existence, the ultimate reality, and the Truth.

 

The Chakras

Chakra is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning disc or wheel. There are seven different chakras, or energy centers, in our body. Chakras were first mentioned in the Vedas (ancient Hindu texts). Yoga teaches that certain postures help to work through energy blocks in the associated chakras.

The Seven Chakras and their symbols are:

First Chakra: Muldara or Root Chakra

Yoga Symbol Root ChakraLocation: Root of the spine.
Color: Red
Representation: Foundation
Meaning: Grounding, survival and beginnings.
Element: Earth
Yoga posture for opening this chakra: Bridge Pose

Second Chakra: Svadisthana or Sacral Chakra

Yoga Symbol Sacral ChakraLocation: Lower Abdominal
Color: Orange
Representation: Acceptance
Meaning: Change, emotion, sexuality, empathy, pleasure and movement
Element: Water
Yoga posture for opening this chakra: Cobra Pose

Third Chakra: Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra

Manipura ChakraLocation: Upper Abdominal
Color: Yellow
Representation: Transformation
Meaning: Abundance, well-being, will, power
Element: Fire
Yoga posture for opening this chakra: Bow Pose

Fourth Chakra: Anahata or Heart Chakra

Yoga Symbol Heart ChakraLocation: Chest
Color: Green
Representation: Love
Meaning: Balance, love, unity, compassion, healing
Element: Air
Yoga Posture for opening this chakra: Camel Pose

Fifth Chakra: Visuddha or Throat Chakra

Yoga Symbol Throat ChakraLocation: Throat
Color: Blue
Representation: Communication
Meaning: communication, self-expression, individuality
Element: Sound
Yoga posture for opening this chakra: Fish Pose

Sixth Chakra: Ajna or Third Eye Chakra

Yoga Symbol Third-Eye ChakraLocation: Forehead between the brows
Color: Indigo
Representation: Focus
Meaning: Intuition, perception, wisdom, imagination
Element: Light
Yoga posture for opening this chakra: Child’s Pose

Seventh Chakra: Sahasrara or Crown Chakra

Yoga Symbol Crown ChakraLocation: Top of the head
Color: White
Representation: Spirituality
Meaning: Bliss, inner and outer beauty, transcendence
Element: Thought
Yoga posture for opening this chakra: Seated meditation or headstand

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