Yantra yoga, a Tibetan Buddhist practice, has 108 poses that stretch and strengthen the body accompanied by yantras, meditation tools that center the mind. While mantras represent the mind or spirit of a deity, yantras are visual, external expressions to the deity. Yantra yoga uses these expressions to build awareness and achieve balance.
Roll the yoga mat on a flat surface and sit with your spine straight and legs stretched in front of you.
Cross your legs, placing your lower left leg and foot on top of your right thigh and your lower right leg and foot on top of the left thigh. If this position is uncomfortable or causes hamstring tightness, cross your legs without putting the feet and lower legs on top of the thighs.
Breathe in and out deeply three times. As you exhale for the third time, shake your arms and wrists in a rapid up-and-down motion for three more breaths.
Balance on your tailbone, and lift both your legs off the ground with your hands. Shake your ankles rapidly for three breaths, then release the legs while continuing to shake the wrists and ankles.
Lift your arms over your head and extend your legs in front of you. Bend and the hips and stretch as you reach for your toes and flex the feet.
Lift your torso away from your thighs as you inhale. Bend your knees until the feet touch the groin. Extend the legs, bend from the hips and stretch as you reach for your toes. Go through this sequence three times before moving to the next series of postures.
While posing, focus on a powerful yantra to balance the mind. One of the most simple yet powerful yantras is a black point on a white background. The point symbolizes the origin, unity and manifestation of a deity. Meditate on the point to increase your concentration and reach self-realization.
Items you will need
- Yoga mat
- If you need a little help visualizing your yantras, make one yourself. Draw the geometric shape, then place a point in the middle. The triangle yantra is for water and feminine energy when pointing up. When pointing down, the yantra is a symbol of masculine energy and fire. The square yantra signifies Earth, which is sustaining and grounding. The circle symbolizes dormant energy and rhythm, and the hourglass shape is a symbol of positive or negative destruction.
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