A few weeks ago, I managed to drag myself to a yoga class on one of those days where exhaustion seems insurmountable and you seriously consider staying home and laying on the sofa instead. I had contemplated skipping class because I was so tired and stressed from daily life. Fortunately, I made the choice to get to the studio and onto my mat.
After her dharma talk, Michelle began chanting one of my favorite mantras. Almost immediately, my mood shifted and I felt more energetic. My toes began tapping, my shoulders got lighter, and my heart expanded. As we moved through the various shapes of the asana, my energy levels increased and I began to feel more connected. As we chanted the closing Om, a sense of overwhelming peace was present in my body. Briefly I wondered about this tremendous shift in my being. Then it clicked for me: this practice is the creation of sacred geometry in action. When we tap into sacred geometry with the movements of the body, we literally realign. I am sacred geometry!
When we feel stressed, tired, or ill, we are out of alignment with the natural order of the universe. By attuning our body to universal consciousness through the breath, mantra (sound), and yantra (form) we can realign with our natural state. When I realized this, a new appreciation for sacred geometry arose within myself.
Sacred geometry is the universal patterns existing in the design of everything in our reality. It’s in everything from architecture to art, geometry, mathematical ratios, and harmonics. It’s found throughout music, light, and cosmology. Sacred geometry confirms that there is a wholeness in a creation: a unity in design, pattern, ratio, and energy. Most readily these patterns are found in nature. We see them in hurricanes, spider webs, pinecones, pineapple fruits, seashells, and even our DNA. Beyond beautiful, the patterns of sacred geometry are nature’s design system for efficient and purposeful means of growth, energy flow stabilization, information sharing, and organization. Scientists have discovered that the growth patterns such as the Fibonnaci sequence allow plants to use the least amount of energy needed for growth and are so reliable that deviations from it are often used as indicators of genetic damage.
Ancient sages recognized that the patterns we see in nature are the result of the forces of creation. They organized these patterns into a complex system known as Yoga. Our yoga practice aligns the physical body in time and space, with the Cosmic forces acting beyond time and space. By aligning our body with these matrices, we can connect to universal consciousness.
During asana practice our bodies assume sacred geometric forms of straight lines, circles, squares, and triangles, all signifying an aspiration of convergence from duality to a unified field of consciousness. These patterns resemble sacred geometric forms known as yantras. A yantra is shape representing divinities, which exert their influence by means of higher vibrations. Like a magnet, yantras draw consciousness from the outer world to the inner world. The effect of moving our body into these yantras is a sense of peace and interconnectedness not present in other forms of exercise. Exercise, as the name suggests, projects energy in an outward motion, whereas yoga focuses on drawing energy in. For this reason, yoga can be thought of as more of an “innercise” than exercise.
The Pythagoreans taught that the five geometric shapes known as the Platonic solids were the core patterns behind physical creation. Modern day scientists confirmed this teaching by examining 3-D models of the elements of the periodic table. They found that each has a crystalline structure at an atomic level made up of these Platonic shapes. Plato, for whom the shapes are named, discovered that each of these shapes corresponded with the five classical elements, earth, wind, fire, water, and ether.
Developers of ancient healing modalities, like Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, learned that systematically applying these elements through five-sense therapy can restore harmony and balance to the physical and subtle body. For example, the healing treatment Halotherapy uses salt crystals to restore balance to both the respiratory and energetic systems of body. Salt is made up of the elements Sodium and Chloride and has the crystalline structure of a cube. The cube is related to energy of the earth. Earth energy assists in grounding, clearing, increasing focus, relieving tension, and reducing stress.
I witnessed the healing benefits of Halotherapy on a personal level while trying to find a way to alleviate my daughter’s persistent respiratory ailments.
Like many New Orleanians, she suffers from frequent allergies issues year round. Living down here in the damp swamps, her immune system was battling oak tree pollen in the spring, grass in the summer, ragweed in the fall, and mold pretty much all the time. This led to frequent doctor visits and many missed days of school. The year I discovered Halotherapy she had missed nearly 5 weeks of school due to respiratory issues. While I valued our pediatrician’s care, I was frustrated by her repeated suggestions to give her Claritin & Flonase every day. I knew that these simply masked the symptoms of an imbalance she was experiencing rather than clear the root problem.
On a particular challenging spring night, unable to fall asleep because of the constant coughing coming from my daughter as she slept, I began researching holistic treatments for allergies and came across Halotherapy. I was intrigued and made an appointment for the next day at the nearest center that offered this treatment. I was skeptical, but to my surprise, 30 minutes in the Salt Room offered a relief to Stella that over-the-counter medication had not. We visited two more times that week & by the end of the week, her symptoms had completely subsided.
As I began to dive deeper into the science behind Halotherapy, I learned that the treatment was causing shifts on an subatomic level. All matter (the human body, air, water, etc) is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms which are made up of three types of particles: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge), and neutrons (no charge). Electrons orbit their molecules like planets revolve around a star. Occasionally an electron flies off and when it does, it leaves behind a positively charged ion whose sole purpose becomes to fill the void left by its little lost electron. In other words: it wants to steal a replacement electron from another molecule. Our atmosphere is over-saturated with positive ions, mostly due to the amount of electronics in our environments. Positive ions have a negative effect on the body. They sap our energy, increase stress, and lower our body’s immune system. The heated salt particles released by the Halogenerator release negative ions into the air and help counteract the effects of our over exposure to positive ions.
Furthermore, the crystalline structure of salt makes it super absorbent. You’ve probably witnessed this while cooking with salt. Just slice some eggplant and place table salt on it and watch the moisture come to the surface. When you inhale dry salt, it absorbs the excess mucous in the system and since pure sodium chloride is water soluble, it passes through our waste system. Additionally, the sodium chloride molecule is structured in such a way that it actually rubs against the cilia along the respiratory tract and loosens the dust, pollen, and toxins that we breathe in each day. Dry salt is also anti-inflammatory, which means that it opens and expands areas in the respiratory system. Another characteristic is that salt is anti-bacterial, which allows it to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading.
These combined properties of salt provided a natural and effective solution for my when my daughters allergies would flare up but I knew as with all healthy practices consistency was the key to its effectiveness. Traveling an hour to get treatment every time wasn’t sustainable so I began the process of figuring out how to bring Halotherapy to New Orleans, and with the help of my Swan River Family was able to open the first Halotherapy room in New Orleans.
Sacred geometry gives the blueprint for the subtle framework, acting as map of both soul and body. The study of this subject will allow you to accelerate the return journey to oneness. Through the study of archetypal forms and retracing the Creator’s steps, you will learn to move and play freely within the grand construct. This liberation is goal of our yoga practice.
As you move throughout your practice on the mat, explore how different shapes elicit different emotional, psychological, and energetic responses. As you adjust your body to the alignment cues of the teacher notice how this affects those responses. Systematic alignment cues within the poses are not only for the anatomical and physiological balance of the body, but also for realigning the individual’s molecular structure in and around the body. By focusing on alignment, you are using asana to tune the auric field of the body and create connection to universal consciousness
Off the mat, witness and connect with the patterns of sacred geometry in nature all around you. These patterns confirm coherence with the order of the universe, with the elements, and with precise patterns of life. Nadine Artemis writes in her book Renegade Beauty, “When we resonate with the coherence of the cosmos, we dissolve the illusion of separateness and connect to the source of all things. Connecting to this infinite intelligenence attunes us to our inherent perfection and our inherent worthiness, and we discern that we receive resources from Source as we allow the beauty of nature to continually revive our being.”
Written by Jessica Walther
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali IV.33
kshana-pratiyogi parinama-aparanta nirgrahyah kramah
The succession of changes (the uninterrupted sequence of moments) is only recognized as distinct moments when one has transcended those moments and is at the other end.
“Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“Every particle in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Whilst performing asanas the yogi’s body assumes many forms resembling a variety of creatures. His mind is trained not to despise any creature for he knows that throughout the whole gamut of creations from the lowliest insect to the most perfect sage, there breathes the same Universal spirit.” BKS Iyengar
“Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze.
“But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed.
“It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one wanders about in a dark labyrinth.”
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642)
Explore the different geometric shapes in the asanas and the responses they elicit
Explore how different sounds and music can complement or hinder your yoga practice
Use the architecture of the room or have students practice at the wall to help support alignment asanas