"Yantra is a geometric formation that represent aspects, archetypes of the Universe. Their purpose is to awaken and inspire the viewer to know that all is one and that they are not separate." -MF
Artist, yogini, author, teacher and world traveler Melissa Forbes is the creator of Mandala Paintings, artwork for meditation, awakening and grounding.
Melissa started practicing yoga in 1990, but as she studied the yoga sutras, she found them to be unclear. She then felt drawn to tantric art and it was by studying this spiritual art form that she was led to sacred geometry and the world of visual awakening tools called yantras. This art was something she could easily understand, and it allowed her to grasp the yoga knowledge she sought in a visual language she understood.
As a yoga teacher and artist, Melissa has now combined her two passions and moved beyond just asana practice to create yantra paintings in order to help others deepen and clarify their understanding of yoga. She offers yantra painting as a meditation in itself, a visual tool that activates the right hemisphere of the brain and allows those that have a greater affinity for visual expression to find a connection.
Melissa studied mandala construction and painting in India, where she was influenced by the teachings of Harish Johari. She was also Adjunct Professor of Art at the University of New Haven, CT, is the recipient of several fellowships as well as the prestigious Pollock-Krasner grant, graduate of numerous certificate programs including American Viniyoga Institute E-RYT 500, Heart of Yoga and seen in Yoga Journal twice. "Live Well ~ Power by Design", September 2017 issue by Tasha Eichenseher and December 2016, Gift Guide. Recently completed the Good Work Institute Spring 2019 Fellowship Program. March 2020 Yoga Magazine NL published a workshop about Ganesha and Yantra teaching, “Kleur je eigen yantra”, written by Melissa. This was translated into French and published October 2020 in Yoga Magazine FR, "Coloriez votre propre yantra”, Two mandalas on view Virtual Spencertown Academy Members Show 2020. https://spencertownacademy.org/members-show-2020/
In 2003, Melissa embarked on a journey with renowned Jivamukti sage, U.G. Krishnamurti. During her time traveling with U.G., he inspired Melissa to share her gifts through teaching. Melissa embraced this guidance, which led to the publication of “No Teaching Yoga: The Authentic Guide”, available on Amazon. Her illustrations also appear in seven other publications. Mandala painting is a continuation and full expression of Melissa’s journey on the yantric path.
Through yantra as a true yoga practice, Melissa continues to share her knowledge and gifts in order to help others awaken to their true purpose in life and to foster the connection between all people and things.
For more information about Melissa Forbes and her art.