As yoga, meditation, ancient Ayurveda and all types of spiritual practices and bohemian lifestyles are becoming more widespread, it is highly likely that you are more likely to encounter some of the ancient spiritual yoga symbols. We refer to them as yoga symbols because if you are practicing the yogi lifestyle you are likely to come into contact with them. But it should be noted that these symbols are spiritual and are not restricted to yoga alone.
Some of the symbols include a mala, Om or Aum, Lotus, Hamsa Hand, The Tree of Life, The Mandala, the Chakras, Ganesh or Ganesha and Buddha. What do they mean? Where do they originate, and why are they important in modern yoga practice?
2The Aum or Om
The sacred Aum or Om symbol represents the vibration, sound and consciousness of the universe. It is where all sounds and vibrations originate and is often chanted at the beginning and end of yoga practice and is widely used during meditation. Aum itself is ancient and originates in Indian religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
To elaborate further, it is thought the creation of the universe began with a vibration, the vibration became a sound – the sound was Om. The Om sign symbolises the different states of our lives – awake, asleep, and in between.
The A is for our wakeful state.The conscious state and our experiences through the five senses. This is the most common state of all human experiences.
The U lies between A and M, and U and is our dream state – neither conscious nor subconscious.
The M represents deep sleep – our hidden consciousness. These are things that are not yet revealed to us and are not yet manifested.
In the Aum symbol we also have Maya or illusion. This part lies between ourselves and our states and that of enlightenment. Maya is what keeps us from transcending to the ultimate state of enlightenment.
The Transcendental State is the final state represented in the Aum. It is the ultimate and enlightened self. It represents deep consciousness, purity and clarity. It is the rarest of all states that we as humans experience. It is represented by the silence after Aum.