Swastikasana is a seated posture loaded with energy.
Each foot is ideally put into each “knee pit” as you root down through your sitz bones and sit with a tall spine. While seated, it’s great to practice meditation or pranayama (breathing techniques). Another aspect of this pose is, while breathing, squeezing your feet into your thighs and your knees together. This creates more sensation and drawing of energy in and up the spine.
I was surprised when I experienced the pose and heard the name, and learned about the origins of the practice, original meaning and intent. The word swastika is actually derived from the Sanskrit word svastika, which means “well-being” or “good fortune,” an auspicious object.
When I practice pranayama in this pose, I feel connected to its original intent: I feel peaceful, well, and the auspiciousness of energy as it rises throughout my body. It remains a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Odinism. It is commonly seen on temples and houses throughout India and Indonesia.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website notes that, prior to Nazi Germany, the swastika was widely used in Europe as a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness.
That said, the swastika does mainly remain a symbol of violence and hatred as well.
We do not need to rehabilitate this symbol, however, this experience continues to remind me of the practice of duality, multiple truths, and honoring the culture of India and the history of this practice that has given us so much.
Author: Justine Miller
Editor: Caroline Beaton