©All mandalas and photographs are original art of Katerina Wen. Copyright reserved.
“The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in man.” – Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections
What is a mandala? In its most quintessential sense, a mandala is simply a cosmic circle. This circle represents the inclusiveness of the outer universe but equally that universe within us, the psychological and archetypal universe. Deep inside we have a “sensor” that experiences the harmonies and energies behind surface appearances
This gallery documents the mandala aspect of Katerina Wen’s Infinite Body Yoga Practice.
Prior to each class, Katerina constructs a unique but transitory form at the center of the room. The structure is circular, looped or at times, elliptical. It is made out of the most humble materials – shell fragments, pebbles, feathers, sand, candles and other natural found objects. The composition, although simple, is unique, changing each time one is made, and never repeated. These structures are composed intuitively and in a meditative state, so what emerges is not fore-planned and therefore potentially sterile. The process of making them requires both contemplation and an inwardly moving state of meditation: sometimes an image or a message will strike down quick and clear within a split second; at other times it will “oscillate”, appearing and disappearing like the shadows of a dream. Yet each construction is invariably fresh and new. Each form emerges from the mind of nature. Katerina’s process entails opening to the thought patterns within the natural realm, allowing them to come through her as she works. Thus, each mandala can be said to be independently alive, always distinct from the previous one, or the one to follow.
These forms, with their flowing symmetries, hint at the hidden laws of sacred geometry and balance.
The purpose of mandala design is two-fold. First, to hold us fast to the center, much like the hub of a wheel. Second, to open up the physical space by evoking more subtle modes of perception.
These cosmic circles offer a portal to engage with our inner space. They beckon one to go beyond the outer, physical aspect of Yoga. Otherwise, the physical aspect of yoga can quickly become a closed container, a trap.
The energy of the mandala permeates the space of the room, subtly altering it by affecting the mind and movement of the practitioners. The mandala imprints a feeling state very different from that of the four walls, floor and ceiling. It opens up a doorway within the mind, guiding it back to nature and the mysteries of the cosmos.
In this way, mandalas, made anew out of the simplest materials, help keep our attention fresh and vitalize the space within the room. As a result, the body becomes more contemplative as it practices. The mandala always reminds us to go inward. Even as we may be stretching outward, our minds loop back towards the center of the design.