M is for Mantra
Mantras are a useful addition to a meditation practice. You can silently, or aloud, repeat a word or
groups of words to help your mind stay focused.
You can repeat the mantras through out your meditation, to re-connect when
your mind wanders, or to begin or end a meditation practice.
Here are some commonly used mantras, their definitions and
ways to incorporate them into your practice.
OM/ AUM: Probably to most recognized mantra in
yoga. It has many translations, but most
often refers to the divine universe, or the union with the universe. It is the sacred sound of the universe. Can be chanted several times to begin and/or
end a yoga or meditation practice.
SAT NAM: This mantra is very common in Kundalini
classes, but is beautiful for all meditation practices. Often translated as “I am truth” or “the
truth is you”, this is excellent for cultivating courage and strength. A wonderful practice to add to physical movements. Begin in mountain pose. Inhale and gently lift your arms overhead,
looking up if comfortable, as you repeat SAT silently in your mind. Exhale and release your arms down by your
sides as you repeat NAM silently. Repeat
several times, building strength in body and mind.
OM SHANTI: As we already know, OM means “universe”. SHANTI is translated as peace. These mantras together mean peace to the
universe, humankind, all beings, the world over. I like to end my yoga and meditation practice with gently chanting OM SHANTI
Mantras can also be personal words or phrases that have
meaning for you. It can be helpful to assign
a word or words to the inhale and to the exhale when using mantras in
meditation. Inhale, PEACE. Exhale, LOVE. Inhale, DEEPENING THE
BREATH. Exhale, SOFTENING THE BREATH. Give it a try and notice the effects on your
mind, body, and breath.
Do you have a personal mantra?