Definition - What does Hamsa mean?

Hamsa is a Sanskrit term meaning "white swan." In the Hindu tradition, this graceful aquatic bird represents divine Spirit; and, in the practice of yoga, hamsa represents the "life force," or prana, that is summoned by the breath. It is only through awareness of this breath that the kundalini, the body’s "primal forces," can be awakened and sent soaring through the body like a bird in flight.

Yogapedia explains Hamsa

Hamsa is a term that can represent two fundamental aspects of yoga. First, it represents the breath in yoga, the divine energy that the yogi utilizes during the practice. Controlled breathing unites with the primal, physical aspects of yoga to channel energy throughout the body’s energy centers, or chakras. Second, the swan, a creature comfortable on both water and land, is a symbol of unity; therefore, it represents the physical and spiritual unity that is the ultimate goal of the yoga journey.

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