Sacred Geometry

by David Life |
October, 2012
Sacred Geometry Jivamukti Yoga
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.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali IV.33

Imagine infinite space in front of you, as if peering through walls, buildings, trees and mountains-beyond planets, solar systems and galaxies, imagine infinite space. Now, imagine infinite space extending behind you. Next, imagine the same infinite space above and below your body. Experience your body/mind isolated in infinite space. How can we communicate with infinite space that is beyond space and time from our little floating form of space/time?

Sacred Geometry in Adho Mukha ShvanasanaThat little floating form is the child of the space that surrounds it. The matrix of form is the result of universal forces. Proponents of sacred geometry point to the formation of geometric templates during the first few hours of life in both human and animal forms. They claim that the progression of life through cell division is a geometric one. From the union of sperm and egg into a zygote-the first cell of the human body-life progresses through a series of Platonic solids. The first cell is a sphere. It is the dimensionless point in geometry, or the asana Child Pose. One cell becomes two. Those two points create the dimension length and make a line in geometry, or the asana Tadasana. Two become four, and the third dimension of depth is created, or the asana Adho Mukha Shvanasana, which is a similar construction to the ancient pyramids. Linking eight spheres together produces a cube. At sixteen cells, a sphere is formed, and at 512 cells, a torus (a doughnut shape). The fourth dimension – time – comes into play in vinyasa krama, pranayama and other practices.

By reversing the process and aligning with these matrices, we can experience Cosmic Consciousness. The great sages recognized that the patterns we see in nature are the result of the forces of creation. Yogis recognized these patterns and organized them into a complex system that aligns the physical body in time and space, with the Cosmic forces acting beyond time and space. Recognizing sacred geometry in the patterns, forms, relationships and connections of nature can connect us to the mysteries of the Universe. The Fibonacci spiral can be found in many natural forms, such as a nautilus shell cut in half, tornadoes or hurricanes. More recently, the term “fractal” has been used to identify the repetition of a self-similar form within an organism such that the part is a reflection of the whole.

The Pythagoreans sought to uncover the mathematical and geometrical basis for life (and notably were vegetarians). Although Pythagoras was credited with the famous Pythagorean theorem in the 5th century BC, the Egyptians showed knowledge of the importance of this principle of geometry as early as 2000 BC. Yoga practices employ this imperishable wisdom tradition of sacred geometry as a method of God Realization.

Teaching Tips

Sound is Shape

  • Watch YouTube video of of sand vibrating to sounds and making geometric patterns in sand. When we chant sacred sounds we create murti or sacred shape. All sound including mantras creates specific geometric shapes in space. These shapes affect us.
  • Chanting simple sounds repeatedly can create the effect of a sound environment of a specific shape. Students can compare the effect of random or cacophonous sound, compared to monotone or tuned sound, or sycophantic sound. Sounding within asana can support or hinder the asana. Various kinds of music could be investigated and identified as to whether it supports the shape of an asana or hinders it.
  • Matter is sound slowed down, so you can see it.” S.G.
  • Watch YouTube videos on crop circles.
  • Students could be arranged in various geometric forms; a circle for example, or a more complex mandala shaped by joining hands and feet laying on the floor. Students can do simple partnering where they make shapes with each other out of asanas. Vrksasana in a circle, or Nataraja with partner are two examples.
  • Apply the principles of basic geometry to the asanas and help students to visualize with illustrations of circles, squares, triangles, tangents, etc., and find these shapes in the asanas. Perhaps the class could change facing direction several times creating challenging reorientation.
  • Use the architecture as geometrical props that give references for parallelism, verticality, level, and angularity. This means use the floor, wall, corners, etc. to prop the student into correct alignment with these universal reference points. Use a plumb line to illustrate misalignment. Talk about how misalignment really means not aligning with cosmic geometry. Call attention to the affect that certain architectural geometries create certain emotional, psychological, and energetic responses.
  • I think that the visualization in the beginning is very potent . That is the visualization that you are suspended in infinite space and the shape that you are going to make has the ability to communicate with that infinity. Often we emphasize to feel the earth under your feet and connect to it. I am not changing that… rather, you should feel the earth under your feet sort of like a skateboard, or a surfboard.
  • Other geometrical meditations include the use of yantra. Shri Yantra gazing has a very good effect on the practitioner.