What Is Hamsa Yoga?

हंस योग

Hamsa (white swan) + Yoga (union)

Hamsa Yoga Definition

The Sanskrit definition of the Hindu word Hamsa means a white swan. In many cultures, a white swan is a symbol representing a pure and divine spirit. The Hindu representation of Hamsa regarding yoga refers to your life force or soul connection.

Powerful and focused aggregation of your breath, known as prana, may be utilized to foster a deeper relationship with your life force.

Hamsa Yoga is a form of yoga that concentrates on meditation through disciplined breathwork. The syllables of the word Hamsa are broken down and used as a mantra while inhaling and exhaling during the yoga meditation.

a swan flapping its wings on the water

Hamsa Deep Dive:

The Hindu belief is that the powerful nature of Hamsa is centered around the inner swan within us all. This beautiful swan refers to our own life force or inner consciousness. The Hamsa yoga meditation encourages contemplation on the inner thoughts and desires of the true self through focused breathwork. 

In yoga, the term Hamsa yoga is used synonymously with breath. The syllables Ham- and -sa correlate to your ingoing and outgoing breaths as you practice the Hamsa meditation. The uninterrupted rise and fall of your breath equate to the strength of your life force. On average, you will chant the Hamsa mantra about 21,600 times a day

As you focus on the continuous sound of your breath, the meditation encourages you to repeat the message “I am He/She,” “I am He/She,” “I am He/She,” “I am He/She.” The purpose of this exercise is to solidify the teaching that you are one with everything. It strengthens the connection between you and the life force of creation and, ultimately, the transcendental or higher self.

woman sitting cross legged doing a hamsa yoga meditation

Hamsa In Your Life

Incorporating Hamsa yoga breathing into your daily life will serve as a means to epitomize your breath of life and strengthen your connection to divine knowledge. Hamsa in your life will assist you with the transcendence of any limitations within and around you. The practice of Hamsa will transcend your spirit just like the swan, which is able to walk the earth, fly through the air, as well as swim through water.

Meditative breathing through Hamsa yoga begins with sitting in a comfortable position with eyes closed and concentrated focus on your breathing. Concentrate especially on the flow of breath through your nose and down to the belly, where it slightly expands. And the return of breath from the stomach and back through the nose. Your breath should never be forced but relaxed as you maximize the volume of air within the body.

The next stage is to concentrate on the sound of your breath utilizing the Ham- and -sa syllables to keep the mind from wandering. The Hamsa sound closely mirrors the sound of your breathing, causing an inner tranquility.

Continuing this practice will eventually bring you feelings of peace, calm, and centeredness. Hamsa breathing as a yoga meditation is a powerful practice that will bring conscious awareness to your breaths as well as strengthen your connection to your soul or life force.

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To go deep and expand your yogic knowledge, access our free Yoga Terms Encyclopedia, where we host a profound wealth of ancient and timeless yogic wisdom in an accessible modern format.

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John McDonald

John McDonald

John McDonald is a writer and creative. He enjoys spending his time out in nature, staying active, learning about the unknown, and laughing.

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