Do you know the meaning behind the most common and simple yoga symbols? Here is a look at 13 of the most popular yoga symbols and what they mean. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi, it is helpful to be familiar with these images and their meanings. Each of these symbols provides guidance and inspiration for your practice. Dive in and learn more about what they represent!
What Are The Yoga Symbols?
Yoga is an ancient practice with a long history and many different traditions mainly within the Buddhist and Hindu culture. One of the things that makes yoga so special is its use of symbols.
These symbols represent different aspects of the yoga practice and can be used as a point of focus during meditation or as a reminder of the principles of yoga.
Some of the most common yoga symbols include the OM symbol and the lotus flower. Each of these symbols has its own unique meaning and can be used in different ways to support your yoga practice.
Yoga symbols and meanings in particular help bring yogis insight and a deeper understanding of the practice of yoga. You might have seen yoga symbols before. They’re often present on clothing or jewelry, as tattoos, in yoga studios, in artwork, or in yoga books.
These symbols are not only often used in conjunction with yoga but also often used alongside meditation.
Why Are The Symbols Of Yoga important?
Yoga is an ancient practice with a long and rich history. As yoga has evolved over the centuries, it has developed a wide variety of symbols and traditions that help to create a unique yoga experience.
While some yoga symbols may seem shrouded in mystery, they often have profound meaning and can be highly beneficial to practitioners. For example, the lotus flower is often used as a symbol of yoga because it represents rebirth and new beginnings.
The sun and moon are also popular symbols in yoga, representing the balance of light and dark that is essential for a healthy life. In addition, yoga symbols can also help to promote positive energy and focus the mind during meditation.
Ultimately, yoga symbols serve as an important reminder of the rich tradition of yoga and the many benefits that it can provide.
How To Use Yoga Symbols in Your Yoga Practice
Yoga symbols are a great way to deepen your yoga practice and connect with the deeper meaning of yoga. There are many yoga symbols, each with its own unique meaning and purpose. By using yoga symbols in your practice, you can tap into a deeper level of understanding and connection with yoga.
Yoga symbols can be used in many different ways. You can meditate on a yoga symbol to help you focus and connect with its energy. You can also use yoga symbols as a tool for visualization, helping you to see and feel the energy of the symbol more clearly.
You can even wear yoga symbols as jewelry or use them as decoration in your home or yoga studio to create a more uplifting and positive space.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to using yoga symbols.
The key is to find a yoga symbol that resonates with you and then find a way to integrate it into your yoga practice. With regular use, you will start to notice the deeper effects that yoga symbols can have on your life.
13 Common & Simple Yoga Symbols
Let us now have a look at the 13 most common and simple yoga symbols that you are most likely to see along your yoga journey.
The Om/Aum Symbol
The om or aum symbol has deep meaning and a rich history. In Sanskrit, the word “om” is a sacred sound that is often used in meditation. It is believed to represent the ultimate reality, and it is often used as a mantra in yoga practices.
The om or aum symbol is made up of three parts: the dot, the crescent moon, and the downward-pointing triangle. Each of these parts has its own meaning.
The dot represents the ego, or individual self. The crescent moon represents the subconscious mind, while the downward-pointing triangle represents the conscious mind. Together, these three parts represent the balance of mind, body, and spirit.
The Om/Aum is generally chanted at the start and/or end of yoga classes. If you have ever experienced this, you may have felt the vibrations from this sound as it echoes through the walls of the yoga space.
Interestingly, a study carried out in 2008 examined the effect of canting OM. It is no surprise why this was chosen as this basic mantra is known in Hinduism as the ‘Pranava mantra,’ the source of all mantras. The researchers found that: “steadiness in the mind is achieved by chanting OM, hence proves the mind is calm and peace to the human subject.”
The Mandala Symbol
The mandala is another popular symbol that represents the universe. It is usually circular in shape, with four quadrants that represent the four elements: water, fire, earth, and air. The center of the mandala represents the fifth element, space.
Mandalas can be drawn or painted, but they can also be found in nature. For example, a flower petal or a snowflake can be seen as a mandala. Mandalas can be used in a yoga or meditation class, as they help to focus the mind and bring about inner peace.
In yoga, the mandala is often used as a tool for visualization and concentration. For instance, when you are trying to visualize your breath, you may imagine a mandala that is expanding and contracting with each inhalation and exhalation.
By focusing on the mandala, you can still your mind and find a place of calm within yourself.
The Lotus Flower
The Lotus Flower is a yoga symbol with a deep meaning. It represents the highest state of consciousness and the path to enlightenment.
The lotus flower blooms in murky water, emerging from the mud as a beautiful and pure flower. This symbolizes that even in the darkest of times, we have the potential to rise above our challenges and bloom into our best selves.
There are different colors of lotus flowers and each has its unique and special meaning.
- The white lotus represents purity and enlightenment
- The purple lotus represents mysticism
- The red lotus represents love
- The yellow lotus represents wisdom
- The blue lotus represents peace
What Are The 3 Meanings of Lotus?
Lotus flowers hold a variety of meanings in different cultures and traditions.
- In yoga, the lotus symbolizes spiritual growth and enlightenment, as the flower rises from muddy waters to bloom beautifully on the surface.
- In Hinduism, Brahma, the creator god, is often depicted sitting or standing on a lotus flower. This represents his divine nature and power, as well as his ability to rise above earthly desires and emotions.
- In Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes purity and detachment from worldly attachments. A fully open lotus represents full enlightenment, while a partially open or closed lotus represents the potential for enlightenment.
No matter what its meaning may be, the lotus remains a beautiful symbol of hope and transformation in various spiritual traditions.
The Hamsa / Evil Eye Symbol
The Hamsa symbol is an ancient yoga symbol that represents the power of the divine Feminine. The word “hamsa” means “five” in Sanskrit, and the symbol is typically depicted as a hand with five fingers.
The Hamsa symbol is believed to protect against negative energy and to bring good luck. It is often used as a decorative motif in yoga studios and homes.
The Evil Eye is another yoga symbol with a long history. It is a curse that is believed to be caused by envy or jealousy. The Evil Eye is thought to cause misfortune, illness, and even death.
To protect against the Evil Eye, people often wear amulets or talismans. The most popular amulets are typically made of blue glass or ceramic.
Both the Hamsa and the Evil Eye are powerful symbols with deep meaning. If you are looking for protection and guidance, consider incorporating these symbols into your yoga practice.
The Buddha is one of the most important yoga symbols. He represents the wisdom of yoga and the ability to see things as they truly are.
The Buddha is often depicted sitting in lotus position, with his eyes closed in meditation. The symbolic meanings of this represent his detachment from the material world and his focus on inner wisdom. The Buddha is also sometimes shown holding a begging bowl, which symbolizes his compassion for all beings.
The Buddha teaches that yoga is a path to enlightenment and that through yoga we can learn to see the world as it really is. By following the Buddha’s teachings, we can become wise and compassionate yoga practitioners who are able to live in harmony with the world around us.
The Seven Chakra Symbols
The seven chakras represent the seven energy centers in the human body. All the chakras have their own unique symbol, and these symbols can be used in yoga and meditation to help balance the chakras.
And so next time you go to your local yoga studio, notice if thorough your yoga asana you are helping to awaken one or several of your seven chakras.
First Chakra – The Root Chakra
The first chakra, known as the root chakra, is located at the base of the spine and is represented by a red lotus flower. This chakra is associated with the element of earth, and is said to represent our foundation and connection to the physical world. grounding and stability.
When this root chakra is in balance, we feel safe, secure, and grounded. We may also experience a sense of abundance and well-being. However, when it is out of balance, we may feel fearful, anxious, or isolated.
Second Chakra – The Sacral Chakra
The second chakra, known as the sacral chakra, is located just below the navel, and is represented by an orange sun. This chakra is associated with creativity and sexuality, and it is said to promote pleasure and passion.
When the sacral chakra is balanced, we feel confident and able to express ourselves freely.
Third Chakra – The Solar Plexus Chakra
The third chakra, known as the solar plexus chakra, is located in the solar plexus, and is represented by a yellow triangle.
This chakra is located in our gut area and controls our power, personal will and determination. When this chakra is balanced, we feel confident and in control of our lives.
The third chakra is associated with personal power, willpower, and mental strength. When this chakra is balanced, we feel confident and in control of our lives.
Fourth Chakra – The Heart Chakra
The fourth chakra, known as the heart chakra, is located in the heart. It’s represented by a green circle, which symbolizes growth and healing. This chakra is all about love, compassion, and forgiveness.
When the heart chakra is balanced, we feel open and connected to others. But when it’s out of balance, we can feel disconnected, judgmental, and even resentful.
Fifth Chakra – The Throat Chakra
The fifth chakra, known as the throat chakra, is located in the throat. It is represented by a blue crescent moon.
The throat chakra is associated with communication and self-expression. When it is balanced, we feel confident and able to express ourselves clearly.
With the throat chakra balanced we may feel creatively inspired and have a strong connection to our intuition.
Sixth Chakra – The Third Eye Chakra
The sixth chakra, known as the third eye chakra, is located in the brow or third eye region. It’s represented by an intricate and beautiful symbol.
This chakra is all about perception, intuition, and wisdom. When it’s balanced, we’re able to see clearly and make wise decisions. We have a strong connection to our intuition and inner knowing.
If the third eye chakra is out of balance, we may experience confusion, frustration, and stress. We may have difficulty seeing things clearly. We may doubt ourselves and our decisions.
Seventh Chakra – The Crown Chakra
The seventh chakra, known as the crown chakra, is located at the crown of the head, is represented by a violet color. The energy of this chakra helps us to connect with our higher wisdom and understanding.
When the crown chakra is balanced, we feel a sense of connection with something greater than ourselves.
A mala is a string of beads that is used as a tool for yoga, meditation, and prayer.
Malas are usually made from 108 beads, which symbolize the 108 yoga symbols. Mala beads can also be used to represent your intention for your practice as they may offer different symbolic meanings.
For example, you may choose to use a mala bead that represents courage if you are working on overcoming your fears. Or you may use a mala bead that represents compassion if you are working on being more kind to yourself.
By using mala beads, you can infuse your yoga practice with meaning and intention.
Ganesh is one of the most popular yoga symbols. He is a hindu god, the son of Shiva and Parvati, and he is revered by Hindus as the lord of good luck. He is often depicted with an elephant’s head, and he is considered to be a remover of spiritual and physical obstacles.
Ganesh is also associated with wisdom, learning, and new beginnings. As such, he is a popular choice for yoga symbols. He is often used as a reminder that we should approach life with humility and openness, and that we should be ready to face challenges with courage and determination.
Ganesh figures can be found in many yoga studios and home practice spaces, mainly at the entrance. They serve as a reminder that we can overcome any obstacle if we approach it with wisdom and compassion.
The Number 108
The number 108 is another of the most common yoga symbols as it has significant meaning in a variety of cultures and traditions. In yoga, for example, there are 108 yoga symbols, and 108 sun salutations are often performed as a way to honor these symbols.
In Buddhism, there are 108 beads on a mala bracelet, which is used for counting mantras during meditation.
The more we look, the more we may notice how the number 108 appears over and over again. According to the Himalayan Yoga Insitute, there are many reasons why 108 is a sacred number. Below I will summarise a few:
- The average distance from the Moon from the Earth is 108 moons.
- The average distance of the Sun from the Earth is 108 suns.
- The Sun’s diameter is 108 Earths.
- There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has a masculine and feminine form and so 54×2=108.
- The number of beads on a yoga mala is 108.
- 108 is even found in the Fibonacci Sequence.
For more information on the meaning of 108 and its connection to the yogic tradition, check out my article: 108 Sun Salutations: Your Ultimate Guide
Whether you’re new to your spiritual practice or simply looking for a lucky number to call your own, the number 108 is definitely worth keeping in mind.
The word “namaste” is derived from Sanskrit, and it means “I bow to you.” It is often used as a greeting or a farewell, and it is a sign of respect.
The gesture used in many cultures is traditionally made with the hands pressed together in front of the chest, but it can also be done with the hands held above the head.
Namaste is often used as a yoga symbol, as it represents the union of the body, mind, and spirit. It is also a reminder that we are all connected. When we greet each other with namaste, we are acknowledging that we are part of something larger than ourselves. We are acknowledging the divine within each other.
Namaste is commonly used at the start or the end of a yoga class as a way of greeting the students in this special manner.
The yoga teacher places his/her hands in the Namaste gesture and voices it to the class. The class then returns the gesture and repeats the word back to the teacher.
This little ritual is a form of gratitude and respect from the teacher to his/her students in the class, but also to his/her teachers. This, in turn, helps connect the students present in the class with the yoga lineage the teacher is a part of. Through this, it is easy to see that a word that may signify hello and goodbye can also mean so much more.
By placing our hands in front of the heart, we are honoring our heart chakra, and the Divine spark within each of us. By bowing our head and touching our fingertips to the third eye, or the brow chakra, we are also allowing our minds to meet.
For more information check out my article: What Does Namaste Mean In Yoga? An Epic Guide.
The Gyan Mudra Symbol
The Gyan Mudra is one of the most popular yoga symbols. The mudra is traditionally performed by sitting in a comfortable position and placing the hands in the lap with the palms facing up.
The pointer finger and thumb touch to form a circle, while the other three fingers remain extended.
This mudra represents knowledge and wisdom, and it is often used during meditation and yoga practices. The Gyan Mudra can also be performed with the palms facing down. This variation is said to represent the release of negativity and stress.
Whether you are new on your spiritual journey or an experienced practitioner, the Gyan Mudra is a helpful tool for promoting relaxation and centering yourself before your practice.
The Dharma Wheel
The Dharma Wheel is one of the most important yoga symbols. It represents the path to enlightenment, and the eight spokes represent the Eightfold Path. The wheel is also a symbol of karma, as it represents the cycle of birth and death of the human soul.
The Dharma Wheel is a reminder that yoga is about more than just physical exercise; it is a spiritual journey about reaching a state of spiritual harmony. By following the Eightfold Path, we can break free from the cycle of karma and achieve nirvana.
So next time you see a Dharma Wheel, take a moment to reflect on its meaning and how it can help you on your own journey to enlightenment.
The Crescent Moon
The crescent moon is one of the most widely recognized yoga symbols. It is often seen in mandalas and used as a mudra, or hand gesture, in yoga practices.
The crescent moon represents the waxing and waning phases of the moon, as well as the cyclical nature of life. It is a reminder that everything is connected and that change is inevitable. The crescent moon is also a symbol of fertility and creativity. It can be used as a reminder to trust the natural rhythms of your body and to tune into your own inner wisdom.
When you see the crescent moon, take a moment to connect with its energy and let it inspire you to live your life with intention and purpose.
Learning the meaning behind popular yoga symbols can provide guidance and inspiration for your practice. Whether you are just starting out or have been practicing for years, it is helpful to be familiar with these 10 yoga images and their meanings. I hope this article inspires you to learn more about other yoga symbols.
What does yoga hand symbol mean?
Have you ever seen someone at yoga class making a mudra with their hands and wondered what it meant? Well, the yoga hand symbol, or mudra, is a gesture where the fingers and thumbs are placed in specific positions.
Each mudra has its own unique meaning and can be used for various purposes. Some are believed to have healing properties, while others represent different deities or invoke certain energies. It is common to incorporate mudras into yoga practice, as they can enhance physical postures and provide mental focus during meditation.
So next time you see someone making a yoga hand symbol, know that it represents more than just aesthetics; it serves as an intentional tool for yoga practitioners to deepen their practice on both physical and spiritual levels. Namaste!
What does 🕉 emoji mean?
The 🕉 emoji, also commonly known as the ‘om’ or ‘ohm’ symbol, represents the sound believed to be the source of all existence in Hinduism. It is often used in yoga and meditation practices as a mantra and spiritual symbol.
Additionally, it is also a common decorative motif in Indian culture, appearing on everything from jewelry to architecture. So the next time you see 🕉 on your friend’s Instagram post, you’ll know they’re feeling extra zen!
However, it’s important to note that the emoji can also simply be used playfully, without any intended spiritual connotation. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: 🕉 represents peace and unity.
What is the yoga flower?
Have you ever seen a yoga symbol that looks like a flower with eight petals? This is known as the yoga flower, or yoga chakra. Each petal represents one of the eight limbs of yoga, including things like self-discipline and meditation.
These eight limbs work together to bring balance and harmony to the practitioner’s mind, body, and spirit.
The center of the yoga flower represents the ninth limb: blissful absorption in the divine existence.
To truly achieve this state, all eight limbs must be incorporated into one’s yoga practice. So when you see a yoga flower symbol, remember that it symbolizes not just individual poses or physical workouts, but a full journey toward enlightenment and unity with the universe.
What is the mindfulness symbol?
The mindfulness symbol, often seen in yoga studios or on meditation materials, is a specific type of mandala called a Sri Yantra.
Created from nine overlapping triangles, it represents the union of feminine and masculine energies. Each triangle points either upward or downward, representing the flow of energy between the physical and spiritual realms. The center of the symbol contains four gates, representing the four states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and pure consciousness.
This symbol serves as a visual reminder to live in the present moment and tap into our inner power and potential. With regular mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga, we can connect with our true selves and live with purpose and intention.
What is a symbol for namaste?
The symbol for namaste is a mudra, or hand gesture, known as Anjali Mudra, which involves pressing palms together with fingers pointing upwards towards the sky.
The word “namaste” itself is derived from Sanskrit, loosely translating to “place my soul in your soul.” Thus, when someone brings their hands together in the Anjali Mudra and says “namaste,” they are bowing to the divine spark within another person.
It is a gesture of humility and recognition of our shared humanity, making it both a beautiful symbol and reminder of the significance of namaste.