Does it feel true now or is it a good reminder?
This is what I ask my students after they pull a card from the Elemental Mantras & Mandalas set. (The card in this photo may appear larger – it’s a prototype) Time and time again I am struck by the sincere consideration students give this question before sharing their truth. This, itself, is yoga.
As was the process of birthing this project. It was pure joy working with artist extraordinaire Ruth Meagher, a Grounded Trainer, whose company Core Yoga for Youth serves children in and around Montclair, NJ. Ruth reveals, Creating art is at my core, it brings me joy to make art and share it with others. My hope for these mandala cards is that they brighten your day, encourage you to discover who you truly are, and spark your limitless creativity.
She hand drew 55 color coded mandalas, 11 for each of the 5 elements (Space, Earth, Water, Fire, Air) and 11 additional black and white ones for you to color. She also created the illustrated guide to drawing your own mandala. Mandala means circle. The center circle of a mandala reminds us to always stay connected to our own center. They are a symbol of our inner and outer world. They represent cosmic order and harmony found in nature and help us to create that balance within ourselves. Focusing on or coloring a mandala is a form of visual art meditation. Each gorgeous mandala reflects a virtue of a particular element. Students have loved tracing the mandalas with their finger to tune in or relax before resting pose, focusing on it during balancing poses and feeling the energy in the colors.
On the other side of the card, the virtue is written along with an I Am statement to affirm that since all 5 elements exist within our own constitution, so do these virtues. The mantra I Am holds an enormous amount of power to influence your life. A positive mantra creates positive energy, positive feelings and positive actions. Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and chatter in your head; it believes what it hears. These I Am mantras operate under the law of attraction. When you repeat the mantra, it awakens that quality within yourself. These cards validate the virtues of your true nature and help you remember what you are made of so you can live your best life.
Additionally, the virtue is further defined to clarify meaning and its relevance to every day life. The kids have said these are great for building vocabulary and I couldn’t agree more. In writing these cards, I tried to use language that would make sense on different levels, depending on the life experience of the reader. So far, so good as people age 6 to 60+ have enjoyed using them.
These heart sourced, gut confirmed, double checked by intellect words are expressions of language as an art. The reader makes the interpretation and in this way, the cards become even more meaningful with each interaction. One way to use your set is to pull a card each day. By paying attention to how you are living the virtue, you’ll cultivate and balance the associated element within yourself. Use the mantra as a centering thought and inspiration for purposeful action throughout the day.
In class, students have thoughtfully matched element cards to a particular Grounded poses. They remembered a time when they embodied that quality in their own life and linked the mantra to their breath while practicing the pose. Imagine being in Camel pose, breathing in I Am and breathing out Light-Hearted – a virtue of Air.
They’ve created elemental sequences and mini flows where breath, movement and mantra kept them connected and in their own zone simultaneously. I’ve had some of the most fun and profound classes of my career using these cards! They really do serve to bring out the best in everyone.