“Yantra/Mandala are geometric centering devices representing aspects of the Universe and provide a focal point into the absolute. Yantra means, “an apparatus” in Sanskrit, and is a diagram of light, or visual mantra, composed of geometric shapes. A living symbol, yantra is the dwelling place for a deity, or planet. This creative, dynamic form of meditation has been used for centuries as an awakening tool of latent potentials.”

​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 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 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.  The Dig, Millerton, NY Aug.-October 2021, 16 Oils 16" x 16", series is called "Integration". The book, "No Teaching Yoga" published by Gather Insight written during the creation of the paintings.

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 her website. Her art also appear in seven other publications. Mandala painting is a continuation and full expression of Melissa’s journey.

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.

Mandalas by Melissa forbes

For more information about Melissa Forbes and her art.