A circle is a widely used symbol in a variety of environments. We use wedding rings to symbolise an eternity spent with a partner. A circle of friends means we always have someone to turn to. Circling back implies returning to a familiar point. Keeping someone in the loop shows inclusivity.
A line has similar qualities, if not so immediately obvious. If a line symbolises a barrier, we are reminded of pushing boundaries in order to achieve our full potential. Keeping in line implies a sense of discipline. Story lines shows us journeys.
There are many ways to interpret our logo, which consists of a circle hovering above a line. But why have these simple shapes been used again and again throughout many walks of life? And why are they so important in yoga? Here are just a few of their many meanings:
Mathematical philosophers said nothing can exist without a centre – they drew a dot on a page, drew a circle around it, and named it the monad, the most stable figure. It has been called The First, The Essence, The Foundation, Unity. Pythagoras — yes, that triangle guy from GCSE maths — referred to it as the god and the good. This partly and simply explains why circles are commonly used to represent unending time – there is always something more to be created from the original. Yoga is referred to as a ‘practice’ even if you’ve been familiar with it for decades. This is because learning what your mind and body can do, and pushing it a little further each time you come to your mat, means there is always more to be gained from yoga. You become better connected to your ujjayi breath, feel stability in Eagle, Tree, or Crow, or reach a millimetre further forward in Pigeon. Just as a circle is continuous, with no true beginning or end and is full of possibility so is your own personal yoga practice. If your mat is the seed, your flow is the branches.
Mandalas are intricate interpretations of circles – the name itself means ‘circle’ in Sanskrit. Mandalas represent the wholeness found in circular forms. Although these are more detailed than our Blessed Yoga circle, the theory is the same. Historically, Tibetan Buddhists use Mandala circles as a tool in meditation, seeing the centre of the Mandala as a point of awakening and a person’s journey toward knowledge, wisdom, and enlightenment. Mandalas take many variations but are essentially diagrams of the cosmos, a way to see the universe both as a large force and one’s individual potential within it. The idea of a journey toward a wholesome and awakened mind is part of what we seek through yoga. Our practice provides time to focus on an intention, become aware of our breath and body, and progress toward a healthier body and mind.
Mudras are the hand shapes used during meditation to channel energy, flow, and focus. There are many variations, but most involve placing your finger-tips to your thumb to create a circle. The Gyan Mudra — also referred to as the Dhyan, Vaayu-vardhak, Jnana, and Chin Mudra — is a popular variation and happens to look very similar to our logo. A Gyan Mudra is created by placing the tip of your index finger on the tip of the thumb on the same hand, and straightening your remaining fingers. You do this with both hands and then place your hands, palm up, on your knees. If you look at this shape you can see the circle on top, and a straight-line underneath. The thumb symbolises the cosmos and the finger individual consciousness, so the Mudra is a way of expressing a desire for oneness between the two: a sense of connectivity between ourselves nature, the earth, and the universe.
The line, for us is simple. It is our mat, our earth, our sturdy place. When you practise you feel the earth push under you – reaching up into Mountain we ground through our feet, in Downward Dog we push through our hands, during Savasana the earth supports our tired bodies. The line sits underneath everything our circle represents. Without our mats, the unity, awareness, and stability we strive toward would be made a little less easy.
Other key elements of our name are important too…
The fiery red colour represents discipline, transformation, and inspiration.
The double ‘s’ in the name mirrors water, symbolising flow, fluidity, and connectivity in yoga practice.
The font, with the edges on the top of the ‘b’ and ‘d’ reference inner reflection, balance, and achieving a centre in yourself. The typography is built on a circular compass to maintain a feeling of unity. The curve of the ‘l’ shows softness and ease of flexibility.
The s p a c e between letters shows air, the space for movement, expansion, adding breath, and keeping an open mind.
The circle above the ‘d’, as well as holding the meanings as a circle, represents natural spiritual elements of yoga – the sun and moon in the sky above us, a halo, eternity, and community.
Blessed isn’t just a brand for yoga, but one that communicates through lifestyle, well-being, and body confidence. Blessed is a community.