Yoga is that one time when we can compel our brains to listen to us. We do not just have control over our brains, but we maintain a close connection between our body and soul.
Yoga is a system where our three important physical and psychological components come in alignment. Along with that, it gets us closer to our universe and the divine energies it is made of.
A balance between the body and the mind is created that helps in achieving all things good for ourselves. It keeps the musty and negative thoughts at a bay and exposes us to only the positive things our body and mind craves for.
Yoga is a pathway for new horizons for us. It is a door to endless possibilities. It teaches us how to seize the day to its full maximum potential. It introduces us to new dimensions, somewhere where our aptitude and talents lie.
It motivates us to become a better, wiser, and smarter version of ourselves. It gives us a new perspective towards our life. It makes us wary of our existence. It propels us to find that eureka moment where we truly understand and comprehend our motive behind sent to this planet and the role we play as a human.
The beauty of yoga is in the fact that it can be performed and practiced by anybody. It is universally accepting of everyone. Everyone is welcome to metamorphose themselves into a better version of themselves through yoga. More than an activity or exercise for the mind and the body, it is a necessity of life. It is a way of life.
Yoga teaches us discipline. It teaches us how to be compassionate. Yoga is associated with peace and calm. It is the science of living a well-balanced, healthy, and prosperous life. It imparts responsiveness and consideration. It stimulates us intellectually, socially, mentally, and physically.
Just like any other activity, we do in our lives, yoga can also get monotonous after a certain point. However, the best attribute about yoga is that it offers a variety of asanas, poses, ways to meditate and there are a couple of different kinds of yoga out there.
Mandala yoga is a great example of an intensive kind of yoga that offers numerous benefits. Translating to “circle” or “fulfillment” in Sanskrit, Mandala yoga is performed by utilizing a simple yoga mat in 360 different ways.
Mandala most essentially means a geometric design, representing various symbols and aspects of the universe. There is not a specific design when it comes to yoga and can be constructed in a couple of ways. However, each figure represents four essential components of the universe, which are Water, Air, Earth, and Fire. each element has its corresponding chakras.
Water- Sacral Chakra
Air- Anahata Chakra
Fire- Manipura Chakra
Mandala yoga is the marriage of these for aspects of the universe. It is an amalgamation of these elements that becomes a way of establishing a connection between the practitioner and the universe.
In Hindu tantric practices, Mandala is known as Yantra. In Buddhism, Mandala act as a great inspiration for sand paintings.
Effective Mandala Yoga Flows
In Mandala yoga, the yoga mat is utilized by moving across the four corners of it, at an angle of 360 degrees. Our bodies are supposed to form circular motions and the asanas are usually slower in pace.
Each asana is coupled with a calm breathing exercise and targets one specific part of the body, per move. A yin session is practiced at the start and end of the session to prepare the body and initiate a marriage between the four elements. Since the movements are slow and composed, a lot of attention is paid to the movement of the body, the inhaling, and exhaling and the effect it has on each and every muscle in the body.
Mandala yoga is probably the best form of yoga to connect us and bring us closer to the universe. It creates a balanced force between our body and mind and the four essential components provided by the universe. It is a dynamic flow of the body, which takes time to develop.
One session of Mandala yoga is not enough to establish a deep connection between us and the universe. The practitioner is expected to put in their absolute best, learn about the art, practice regularly, and experience the effects of it, slowly and steadily.
To perform an effective session of Mandala yoga, a yoga schedule should be prepared. Mandala yoga can be performed from the luxury and comfort of one’s house. Many professional classes are also held around the world, for the same. It is important to fit yoga into the schedule in such a manner where it prepares us to face the challenges the day has to throw at us.
A large space is recommended for free and unhindered movement of the body. Practitioners can enhance their experience by using essential oils, lighting incense sticks, candles or lamps, and creating a calm, silent, and aesthetic ambiance.
Comfortable, breathable, and stretchy clothes should be worn so that ample of room for free movement of the body is provided. All these small factors are conducive to pull off an efficacious and fruitful session where all the benefits of mandala yoga are acquired by the body and the soul.
Practitioners should ensure that their place of performing yoga is free from any sort of distraction. No mobile phones and other gadgets and gizmos should be kept in close proximity. The whole of the session should be designated for self-improvement and self-awareness.
People who prefer to perform yoga at home and are new to art can refer to various online modules and videos on mandala yoga. However, a beginner should be well-prepared and aware about the art. They should understand the importance of it, the role it will play in improving their lives, and perform it diligently, every day, so as to reap all its benefits.
Importance of Chakras in Mandala Yoga
As mentioned above, Mandala is chiefly the amalgamation of the four components of the universe, air, water, fire, and earth. Each component is represented by one of the seven chakras.
Chakra is an essential topic of discussion in various practices of yoga, including mandala yoga.
- Sacral Chakra- Water
This chakra helps in driving the creative steak we all have in ourselves. It also regulates the sexual energy that resided within a person. It is responsible for controlling our emotions and how we connect or empath with others and their emotions. An unblocked sacral chakra allows the person to have more control over their actions, their feelings, and their lives in whole. It is also known as Svadhisthana. Sacral Chakra is what makes us capable to form a firm establishment with others around us and explore new relationships. This is the second primary chakra and can be located in the lower abdomen.
- Anahata Chakra- Air
The fourth primary chakra, Anahata Chakra or the heart chakra is located at the center of the chest. This chakra induces us to open our hearts to new prospects of love from others. It allows us to open to others. It teaches us the importance of empathy, affection, kindness, compassion, and unity, not just with others, but also with ourselves. Anahata translates to unstruck sound. Anahata acts as the bridge between the upper chakras and the lower chakras. It is a door to unconditional and profound love, which may otherwise be difficult to express. It controls the love we have for ourselves and for others and teaches us to love ourselves first, before loving others.
- Muladhara- Earth
The basis of our existence, the foundation for all, the Muladhara Chakra, also knows as the root chakra is the first and foremost chakra. It is found at the base of the spine. It is the opening of this chakra that leads to Kundalini awakening, something that transforms the body into a new, inconceivable dimension. This chakra teaches us how to be grounded. It makes us competent enough to face different challenges and stand on our feet, strong and tall. Our journey to spiritual development is started through the opening of this chakra. It invigorates a sense of trust and belief in ourselves, which we lack otherwise.
- Manipura Chakra- Fire
The third primary chakra, the Manipura Chakra is found in the upper abdomen area. It paves the way for making us feel confident. It enables us to have more control over our lives, our emotions, our way of reacting to different circumstances by being 100% true to ourselves. It governs self-esteem into ourselves and is a mode of installing personal power. It strengthens us and makes us efficient enough to express our selves. This frees us from the overwhelming feelings and emotions that have a habit of taking over our true selves.
For a transformative experience through a spiritual path of guidance, self-improvement, and eventually self-actualization, Mandala yoga must be inculcated into our daily routines. It frees us from our dilemmas and issues, activates the positive energies that reside within us, enhances our personal powers, and gives us a new, optimistic, and hopeful outlook at life.