The mural includes 4 deities, 15 asana poses, 21 yantras (mandalas), and one painting of a lotus flower.
The 15 asana silhouettes are painted true to scale, though they vary in form to express the diversity of the shapes and sizes of the yogis that come to this center. There are silhouettes that are feminine and masculine, adults, teenagers, and children.This mural was created on a large concrete wall and is intended to enhance an outdoor urban space, both to make the yoga center's presence more obvious and to attract and inspire yoga practitioners.
Each figure is filled with paintings of galaxies and stars to express unity in all beings as one of the most fundamental principles of yoga. We are not only made of the same cosmic elements, but we are also a part of one universe. The universe within yogis' silhouettes shows that each one of us holds a vast world within as grand as the universe itself. We all possess the dark and bright sides bound together by mystical forces. This is a fundamental concept of Upanishadic Hinduism - that the one is identical with the whole.
I initially planned to paint all objects in gold, so that they would reflect the sun that hits the wall every day. However, I decided that it wasn't a strong enough concept and thought it might clash with the natural setting of the park-like front area.
The concrete wall was washed with bio-friendly soap and water, then the silhouettes were traced and sealed with a concrete sealer. The figures were then filled with black paint which served as a foundation "canvas" for further layers of paint.
The four deities depicted are:
Shiva - the divine masculine, the destroyer, and restorer of the worlds.
Durga - the divine feminine, the symbol protection.
Hanuman - the son of wind god, representing strength and ultimate devotion.
Ganesh - the god of good fortune and the remover of obstacles.
The final touch was to add a scattered mosaic of small mirror tiles to represent stars, to give the mural a three-dimensional quality, and to invite reflected sunlight.
The mandalas show that there are other sides to practicing yoga besides asana. They can be used as a tool for meditation, and are reminders that yoga is essentially a spiritual practice.
The first 6 mandalas are dedicated to different spiritual qualities and deities. The next 15 express the lunar days of the waxing moon cycle. Some sources suggest that this 15 Nitya moon cycle is connected to the number of breaths that human being takes a day (which ranges between 21.600 and 23.040).
The lotus flower completes the mural by reminding yogis of what they can achieve through practice, purity, and healing. There are many more spiritual meanings of the lotus, such as transcendence and compassion for all beings unfolding within the infinite.