The henna artistry of Henna4You does take a turn towards pop culture these days – you want a Wonder Woman tattoo, we’ve got you covered! Our traditional designs stem from East Asian inspirations, the birth place of henna after all. Also from this culture comes the mindful meditation of mandalas and mantras. The benefits of practicing mandala artistry and meditative mantras include relaxation, improved focus, and general wellness that comes with taking time for yourself, which in our busy North American culture is extremely satisfying!
Whereas traditional henna designs are typically in honour of a life event or ritualistic in nature, at their heart, mandalas are a representation of the artist’s energy. Would you like to give it a try? Anyone can do it! The mandala begins with a small circle in the very centre of the page. Next, draw an outer circle to represent infinite possibility as well as to provide a container for your art and emotion. Divide that circle into equal slices through the centre using a ruler and your basic geometry skills. You will use these lines to make mirror images of the repetitive shapes within your mandala. Never mind about perfection, close counts. Now you’re ready for your emotion to pour from your heart to the page.
As you fill in the dynamic rings of the mandala with swirls and points, you begin a purposeful meditation. Focus is placed on deep breathing and on the art. If you are the artist you can concentrate your feelings about a nagging problem in your personal or work life, choose to revel in the residual feelings of a joyful memory, or simply release the world around you and take a time out by putting all of your thoughts into the design. Put your phone on silent and turn it upside down!
At this point mantras and mandalas share your headspace. Also rooted in East Asian culture, a mantra is a short statement to focus or meditate on to help with concentration. The mantra is repeated over and over and over again either out loud or within the mind. Mantras can be used to help you meditate, to gain clarity, and to relax. For example if it’s Friday afternoon on a long weekend and you have trouble concentrating on work your mantra might be, “Work hard, play hard.” As you repeat the mantra while at your desk, take a minute or two to concentrate on breathing and allow your mind and body to focus on the mantra. Very shortly you may just find the will to end the work day on a productive note after all.
When you use mantras and mandalas together to calm the mind, soothe the soul, and help with meditation. In need of inspiration? Use song lyrics, poetry, quotes from books and, of course, Pinterest! As your hand moves across the page and your mandala takes shape, breathe in and out slowly, deeply, and concentrate on your mantra. Say it slowly, let the words linger, and continue to draw, sketch, and colour. Let your cares fall away and your mind wander. Relax your jaw and shoulders, anywhere that you carry tension, and feel free to think deep thoughts or live entirely in the moment. Enjoy your art, let the colours saturate your mood, and take delight in putting yourself on the page while taking time to take care of you.