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Universe of Mandala

If ever you’ve studied spiritual Asian art, you’ve likely encountered a mandala. A mandala, which is Sanskrit for “circle” or “discoid object,” is a geometric design that holds a great deal of symbolism in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Mandalas are believed to represent different aspects of the universe and are used as instruments of meditation and symbols of prayer most notably in China, Japan, and Tibet.In their most basic form, mandalas are circles contained within a square and arranged into sections that are all organized around a single, central point. They’re typically produced on paper or cloth, drawn on a surface with threads, fashioned in bronze, or built in stone. While extraordinary as a standalone work of art, mandalas hold...

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What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body, and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe. What is normally thought of as “yoga” in the West is really Hatha Yoga, one of the many paths of yoga. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment. Hatha Yoga attains the union of mind-body-spirit through a practice of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), mudra (body gestures), and shatkarma (internal cleansing). These physical practices are used to purify the body and cultivate prana (life-force energy). Modern Hatha Yoga does not emphasize many of these esoteric practices and...

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