Join us in a conversation with James Lake MD. Dr. Lake has served as a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Stanford, and is currently a visiting assistant professor...
Mantra, Mudra, Yantra in Yoga
In many ways, the practice of yoga is an enactment of powerful symbols using your own body. “Symbols” however is not exactly the right word as the use of mantra, mudra and yantra serve more as guiding yoga techniques bringing us back to our original connection and into deeper states of being.
A mantra is a sacred Sanskrit symbol, such as OM, or a combination of symbols most often associated with specific deity energies (such as Siva, Kali, Lakshmi, Krsna, Saraswati, Ram). It is the vibration of this utterance that aligns us with that energy, thus many yoga practitioners receive a mantra initiation and repeat that mantra as part of their yoga practice.
A mudra is a sacred shape, most often recreated with precise hand gestures. A common mudra used in many meditation is the thumb and pointer finger together forming a circle. Yoga postures themselves can be considered body mudras.
A yantra is a sacred geometric painting also specific to certain deity energies. The Sri Yantra pictured here is a splendid example of the intricate patterns that form a yantra used in rituals and meditation yoga practices.