Updated: Sep 11, 2020
The Lotus flower, Nelumbo nucifera, is known by many names, including the Sacred Water Lily and the Indian Lotus. The Lotus flower is native to Australia and southern Asia, but today it is most commonly cultivated in water gardens around the world. Many colors can be displayed by the Lotus flower, including white, pink, red, blue, purple, and yellow. The pink lotus flower is the national flower for both India and Vietnam. Interestingly, the majority of the lotus flower plant is edible (including the flower, leaves, seeds, and root), and it is sometimes used in Asian cuisine.
The Lotus flower has an interesting habitat and daily life cycle. Lotus flowers grow in shallow, murky water. Its roots grow in the mud under the water. A long stem reaches from the roots, towards the surface of the water, where it attaches to the flower. At night, the lotus flower closes its petals inward and sinks into the muddy water below. In the morning, the lotus flower emerges from the muddy water, without any muddy reside on the petals (due to a waxy coating on the petals), and opens itself outward to reveal the beauty within. This cycle repeats itself day in and day out.
The Lotus flower is considered sacred in my cultures and civilizations. In Egyptian mythology, the Lotus flower is associated with the sun because it flowers during the day and closes at night, similar to the sun rising and setting each day. In Hinduism, the lotus flower is theorized to exist within each human spirit, whereby each human possesses the ability to renew him/herself each day. Just as the lotus flower emerges beautifully clean and renewed each day after sinking into the muddy darkness at night, so to can a human spirit rise up from the darkness of challenges to bloom into its most beautiful form. The lotus flower is also considered sacred in the Buddhist philosophy, as the life cycle of the lotus flower symbolizes the process of becoming enlightened and opening up to new ways of thinking and being.
Lotus Yogis by Jackie chose the lotus flower as its name and symbol in order to represent the human condition and the innate beauty found in each person. As humans, we all have days where we feel “stuck in the mud,” but we also have days where we feel like are blooming to our fullest potential. And this process of emerging and sinking is repeated again and again when living the human experience, just like the lotus flower repeats its cycle of opening and closing every day. The lotus flower also symbolizes the fact that we all have the potential to arise from “muddy” situations with our innate beauty still shining, just like the lotus flower does every morning. Yoga teaches us how to connect to the lotus flower within ourselves. The lotus flower is a representation of the beautiful, shining light found within all of us. Sometimes we just have to move past the mud and murkiness to allow that light to shine brightly.
~Namaste, Jackie Allen, M.S., M.Ed., CCC-SLP, RYT-200, RCYT