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The Most Common Yoga Symbols

Yoga symbols add meaning to your understanding and practice of yoga. Whether you are a beginner or a long-time practitioner of yoga, it would help if you know the meanings of these symbols.

Here are just four of the common yoga symbols and their meanings.


The symbol resembles the number 30 with a hat on top. Om is the chant you normally hear at the start or at the end of some yoga classes.

The chant is composed of the sounds of three letters, A-U-M.

The Om symbol traces its roots in Hinduism. The symbol is said to represent the one-ness of all creation – earth, heavens, and the underworld.

Other practitioners say that the Om symbol is a representation of the three Hindu gods – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Some scholars say that the actual shape of the Om symbol represents the syllables of the word – the number 3 is the Sanskrit letter for “aahh”, the small letter s is the “oooh”, and finally, the half moon on top is the “mmm” sound.

Om is known as one of the most powerful mantras.

Lotus Flower

The symbol resembles, and actually is a water lily, also known as the lotus flower. There is a lot of meaning and history behind.

The lotus flower blooms on the surface of water while its roots are nestled deep in the mud. The lotus flower is a symbol of light and emergence from the darkness.

In Buddhism, the lotus blossom image is a representation of the heart opening. Buddhists compare the blooming of the lotus petals to the unfolding of the divine within you.

This symbol is a perfect representation of new beginnings, enlightenment, and purity.

Closed petals represents the heart with its limitless potential for enlightenment, just waiting to unfold.

Yoga Mandala

The word mandala is loosely translated as “circle”. It is a representation of the universe.

The mandala symbol is designed to offer a visual balance of elements that symbolize unity and harmony.

In spiritual practice, this symbol is known to help absorb the mind during meditation.

The mandala can actually come in a variety of design, colors, and patterns.

Looking closely at the accompanying image, this symbol represents the different aspects of your own life – the concentric circles in the patterns of nature, including the circles of life, family, and friends.


The Sanskrit word, Buddha, means “the awakened one”. It is a representation of the life of Siddhartha, the Indian prince who gave up his throne, wealth, and lavish lifestyle to search for the true meaning and real happiness in life.

For years, he studied different religious prophets, then he ventured to a 6-year journey to spread what he believed to bring people to reach real peace and fulfilment. His teaching is now known as the Dharma.

Buddha is represented in variety of forms, including those symbolizing protection, medicine, teaching, and serenity or meditation.

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