Awareness is a powerful thing. When we are fully in the present moment and aware of our experience, it’s amazing what we can notice. Practice mindfulness daily by really noticing the details of your surroundings. Especially what you see in nature.
When you look at nature with awareness, you may begin to notice clear geometric shapes and patterns in almost everything. Notice the circular shapes of flowers, the iris of your eyes, the spiral unfurling of fern tendrils, the mandala of sea urchins, the hexagon cells of honeycombs, the complex patterns and shapes in a snowflake. Even things we cannot see have geometric shapes, such as the molecular structure of natural crystals and even the shape of our own DNA molecules.
The awareness and study of geometric shapes and patterns goes back to our most ancient civilisations. Ancient Greek and Persian sages believed that the universe was created based on a geometric plan, that all forms of life were created from geometric codes. For millennia, ancient cultures and modern civilisations have been using geometry in architecture, art, philosophy, science, and of course mathematics to create harmony and beauty, to strengthen structure and composition, to create a foundation for spiritual teaching, to make sense of all creation.
Geometric shapes have become archetypes, with specific symbolic meanings. The study of this symbolism, the energy these shapes create and the relationship of that energy to all things is sometimes referred to as sacred geometry. There is a lot of wisdom and power hidden away in geometry shapes.
Why is sacred geometry important to our yoga and meditation practice?
We can use sacred geometry in our practice as a tool for reflection and meditation, to support our intentions. These geometric symbols can help us to build self-awareness and to look deeper into our inner worlds. And they are also a way to expand outwards and connect to something greater than ourselves.
You might consider these symbols to be codes and way-finders on your personal journey.
Let’s look at the triangle.
The triangle is one of the simplest and most powerful shapes. It’s a perfect symbol of balance and harmony. Pointing upwards, it symbolizes our elevation to a higher consciousness, towards the ultimate goal of enlightenment.
The triangle is the symbol of the third-eye chakra (between your eye brows) which is the seat of intuition, inner wisdom. It’s associated with heightened spiritual growth and the fulfillment of our highest potential.
Triangles have been used for thousands of years to communicate hidden messages and meanings, in religions and even secret societies. So if you often notice triangles appearing in your life, take the hint that it’s a message. It may be a sign that you are being called to fulfill your highest purpose.
Here are 4 ways you can use the triangle to bring these intentions into your practice.
THE YOGA TRINITY: MIND-BODY-BREATH IN PERFECT ONENESS
Each time you practice, remember to ground yourself in the main purpose and benefit of yoga: connection. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to unite, to yoke together, to join, to connect.
The essential purpose of “yoga” is to connect together the breath, body and mind which ultimately allows us to connect our individual consciousness (our experience of “self”) with higher consciousness (universal truth and wisdom).
Mindfulness is an essential aspect of this. As we practice (either on the yoga mat, on the meditation cushion or in our daily life) we begin by observing the breath and its life-giving flow in and out. We then extend this to awareness of our movements and our body as a whole, observing how the breath affects the movements and vice versa, we can let our breath set the pace of the practice, we can coordinate the movement with the flow of the breath.
And as we connect the breath and the body, we can begin to notice the workings of the mind, notice our reactions and habits. We focus the mind on the practice, and when it wanders we invite the mind to come back to the breath and the body.
This is how the integration of mind, body and breath is complete. The breath is the yoke. And this is how we can ultimately connect with the wisdom experience that is higher and greater than ourselves.
Mind, body, breath in perfect oneness.
TRIKONASANA: TRIANGLE POSE
Trikonasana is the perfect pose to create and embrace the triangle symbol and all its power. As you practice this pose, notice all the different triangles your body creates: the triangle of support created by your feet, legs, and the earth, the triangle between your feet, top arm, and the earth, the triangle between your bottom hand, shoulder, and hip.
How to do Trikonasana:
And try these other two triangular shaped poses, Downward Facing Dog and Pyramid pose.
Triangle breathing is an easy and valuable practice, wonderful for reducing stress, feeling balanced and grounded. It’s a good breathing practice to try with kids, they love this type of meditation.
Ideally you would want to be sitting comfortably in meditation with your eyes gently closed. But you can actually do this practice anywhere that you can be still for a few moments. Here’s how:
The word “mudra” is a Sanskrit word that translates as “seal” or “gesture” and in a broader sense refers to the symbolic and ritual gestures that were used in those ancient traditions. A mudra is a powerful gesture that can be done with the whole body but that is most often done using the hands and fingers, placed in a specific position.
Trikona mudra is when you create a triangle by placing your thumbs and forefingers together - place your hands upon the earth and meditate on bringing thought into form - think about what you want to create, with breath, mind, and body in perfect oneness.
How to Bring Mindfulness to Any Yoga Practice
Easy Breathing: An Introduction to Pranayama
Thanks to Ryan Geller for the beautiful banner image, from Unsplash.
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