Mantras To Learn & Memorize
In addition to asanas, pranayama, and meditation, mantras are an important and integral part of a holistic yoga practice.
What Is A Mantra? A mantra is a sacred word, phrase, or sound that is repeated during a meditative practice, with origins in Hinduism. Mantra repetition is a devotional practice. It is considered that the syllables of the mantra contains the seeds of growth, change, transformation, and power. They are a way to focus the mind so that the primary thoughts with the mind is simply the mantra, and other thoughts fall away.
There are a large variety of mantras that can be incorporated into your meditation. For every intention, there is a mantra you can repeat. If you desire peace and calm, health and strength, or clarity of mind, you can find a mantra to chant that addresses those desires. Once learned, the mantra can be repeated out loud or silently. Mantras spoken out loud contain special vibrations and frequencies that are purifying for the space they are chanted in (like temples, or yoga schools).
All mantras from Hinduism are in Sanskrit. Here are some examples:
Om. When chanted, it would sound like "aa-uu-mmm." This single word is considered the sound of the universe. As you repeat this mantra you become fully connected to all things around you. It also provides a sense of energy when your body and mind need a rejuvenation.
Om Shaanti. This simple mantra manifests peace and harmony. Whenever your surroundings feel shaken or uncertain, use this chant to feel more grounded and connected. It is a wonderful mantra to use as a way to begin a positive day. It also has a way of reducing anger and frustration when you are feeling tense and overwhelmed.
So'ham. This mantra means "I am That.” It refers to our essential nature as consciousness. Sah means “that", and Aham means “I” - together they become so’ham. “So” is the sound of the inhalation, “ham” is the sound of the exhalation. You can repeat these sounds with your inhalation and exhalation while meditating, during yoga, or even while walking down the street. It becomes a constant reminder or your essential nature of awareness.
Other Mantras are affirmations or personal sayings. You are not restricted to only Sanskrit sayings. You can develop your own words and phrases to describe the intention you want to fulfill. Whatever the circumstance, you can create your own mantra to help get through the moment. Perhaps you have a presentation to give at work. To calm your nerves, perhaps you use the phrase "I am calm," as a way to stay focused. In the heat of an argument, so as not to say or do anything harmful, maybe you simply count to ten to calm your body and mind. This, too, can be considered a reminder to help you in a stressful moment.
Try some of the Sanskrit yogic mantras or create your own sacred phrase as an enhanced component in your yoga practice. You will find that they will assist you in feeling more focused and aware of yourself in the present moment.