Mark Golding’s Yoga journey started upon a meditation cushion, whereupon he could hardly sit, cross legged, for less than a minute. He says “I could not bend to touch my toes, and this was highlighted by a 90 year old Yogi ‘Stan’ whose flexibility startled me into my awakening. 25 years later I can sit in comfort for several hours in meditation, and can touch my toes, quite easily” “My Yoga journey continues, as I learn to integrate my body and mind,and align with my intention, and thus each action of body, speech and mind are now my practice. Including my rest.
He record as a sequence of mandalas, now counting over 1000, and amongst those 1000 mandalas, He has drawn around 1,000,000 circles. He is known as “A man of a million circles”.
The Sacred Geometry of Yoga is a series of 12 mandalas developed to empower the yoga practitioners to gain further insight into the practice. Below is our interview with him:
1. How did your yoga journey start?
I started my Yoga journey on my meditation cushion. I trained for 13 years in Buddhist meditation and philosophy, and wished to integrate my meditation practice into physical activity. I initially practiced in the Iyengar method, and developed my practice into the Ashtanga School. These two systems developed my practice by building a strategy of initial subtle alignment, into strength, and into flexibility. I have practiced for around 20 years…
2. What is the philosophy behind sacred geometry of yoga?
The philosophy is based upon my experience in Shavasana (corpse pose). I consider my life to be a preparation for death, and a letting go of the physical body at the time of death, and the series of mandalas are intended to guide the Yogi, from Asana to Pranayama, and from Sutra to Tantra.
In Shavasana, following an Ashtanga series, I experienced a similitude of my death, which frightened me at first, but this fear was soon replaced by a deep commitment to prepare for my death, and to endeavour to share this experience with others, and thus I integrated my life practices into this series of 12 mandalas.
3. What were your learnings from your teacher?
The three aspects that have become the very foundation of my life are: Love, Wisdom & Compassion. I endeavour to base every action, of body, speech and mind to predicated upon these intentions. They are the drivers of my life, and as I integrate my Yoga practice, art and meditations into a single thread, I do this in honour and gratitude to my teacher.
4. What inspired you to focus on this aspect of yoga?
I felt that aside from the traditional mandalas and representations of the chakras, there was no real contemporary expression of the subtle inner body, and that Yoga practitioners might struggle to gain understanding from the traditional imagery, and thus I determined to make modern representations that were immediate and visceral, communicating an immediacy of the potentials.
I am fortunate to have been able to practice sitting meditation for 20 years, and yoga for many more, and I wished to share my inner understandings in order to inspire others to develop their spiritual potential.
5. You mentioned the mandalas are to empower yoga teachers, so would you only recommend for yoga teachers to try? Or anyone can try to meditate on these mandalas to evolve?
These are for anyone. Everyone who has only ever contemplated a yoga practice – these are the steps for all yoga practitioners, beginners to advanced, teachers and students. Any individual can gain an understanding of their practice and process from engaging with these mandalas.
6. You mentioned this in your answer previously, however, just to clarify, are these designed to help the yoga teacher gain further insight into the practice and transform into the practice they teach others?
Yes, there is no contradiction here. I felt that to offer this work to the wider yoga community, first I should reach out to the teachers, and should it pass their ‘test’ it not only validates the work I have created, but will serve the teachers whose students wish to travel further along the path of Yoga, to potentially enter and complete the Spiritual Path and attain Enlightenment.
7. How has your work been received so far?
I have been overwhelmed by the response from the wider yoga community. I have shown the collection of mandalas, in progress and in person, to Simon Low, John Scott, Philip Xerri, Gary Carter, Scott Johnson – all great and experienced teachers, and they have praised the work.
I have been offered the opportunity to create a book of the series, and also prints for yoga studios, and have been asked to teach workshops, both to groups and individuals.
8. Do you teach people about your work?
I have taught open workshops at festivals, I have had private clients at our forest retreat, and I have taught in local yoga studios… The path is widening and opening before me.
9. Have there been any transformational experiences that students/users have gone through?
That is not easy or simple for me to answer.
I would say yes, and seeing students realise they have the actual potential to attain Enlightenment, through following the spiritual path is a beautiful thing.
10. Lastly, do you have any messages or guidance for people who would like to practice the sacred geometry of yoga?
Ideally, practice the series in sequence, pausing with each mandala for a day, considering the contemplations, before moving to the next of the series. This is a progressive journey, which will deepen with familiarity, each time the series of 12 is completed. I am happy to answer all questions concerning any aspect of either the mandalas or contemplations.
Writer’s experience –
The mandalas have done wonders, they are an excellent system for me to re-tune myself to keep myself on a balance path. Some mandalas have not triggered a response and I believe to be a reminder for myself that there is a blockage in that area that needs to be meditated upon.
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