Yoga has been a part of the ancient Indian culture for thousands of years. This ancient art has evolved into many styles like Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Kundalini yoga. Out of all these the Mandala yoga stands out. But, why is it so? Let us find out.
First, let us take a sneak peek at what the word Mandala is about.
History of Mandalas
Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism was born in what is now the present-day Nepal. Gautama left his kingdom and family after becoming aware of human suffering. He attained enlightenment through meditation and many other yogic practices. Later, Buddha taught his philosophy across different parts of India. He had a devout following and established the first community of Buddhist monks.
Buddhist monks travelled the famous Silk Road. This was an ancient trade route to connect the East and West. It helped them promote Buddhism and its philosophies to other lands. The monks carried with them Mandalas which helped them during practice.
Later these Mandalas made their way to Tibet, China, and Japan by 4th century. Mandalas became a part of Hinduism and other religious practices.
Do you know about the different types of Mandalas? The information below will provide you the answer.
Types of Mandalas
Mandalas are a part of many cultures. These hold great spiritual and artistic significance. Given below are three types of Mandala:
But, do you know about the yoga practice associated with the Mandalas? Yes! There is also the Mandala yoga style.
What is Mandala Yoga?
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the word Mandala refers to ancient spiritual symbols representing wholeness. In yoga, this term refers to a visual tool used during meditation to help you focus and establish a sacred place.
The Mandala yoga draws upon this wholeness and shape to create a dynamic sequence. You move around the yoga mat in a circular pattern same as the Mandala itself. But doing this yoga style requires a lot of focus and stamina from your end.
For starters, this is a yogic practice that helps you form a firm intention. Mandala yoga style also lets you connect all the four elements – Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. Each of these elements have a corresponding Chakra and group of muscles. Let us check out what these are.
The air element includes the quads and backbends. It activates the Anahata Chakra. This element provides you with social identiy, self-love, and space in our hearts.
Fire element includes accessing the glutes and IT bands through twists. This activates the Manipura Chakra. It is related to your will power and ego identity. The Mandala yoga can help you balance this element.
Water element is related to the groin and hips. This element activates the Svadhisthana Chakra. It is a source of movement, connection and related to your reproductive system.
Earth element is related to your hamstrings and forward folds. This activates the Muladhara Chakra. It helps you remain grounded and safe.
Many first time practitioners of Mandala yoga ask – What a Mandala yoga class is about?
What to Expect at a Mandala Yoga Class?
During a Mandala yoga class you practice spiral patterns of nature. Nature does not have any straight line or perfection at its core. In other words, you explore circular body movements and move on all corners of the mat in 360 degrees.
The class is a bit slower than Vinyasa flow yoga style. You have to focus on breathing and body movement while working on a particular body part. The slow body movements connect with deep breathing in a conscious manner.
Mandala yoga class starts and ends with a short Yin yoga session. This helps you prepare and close the area of the body you work on during the session. This yoga style is a bit challenging for beginners.
But with modifications the yoga teacher will be able to help you practice Mandala yoga with ease. For the best results you should practice this yoga style daily.
To learn this yoga style make sure you enroll in a Yoga Alliance certified yoga school. It is here you would get the opportunity to learn and practice everything about Mandala yoga style.
Do you want to learn a yoga style that stands out from the traditional yoga practice? Join a certified yoga school to learn Mandala yoga from experienced yoga teachers.