Mantras are so much more than repeated sounds and vibrations. They’re like mini meditations that transport your mind into a deeper meditative state and reconnect you to the divine energy all around. Using mantras in yoga can help you set an intention for that session, such as “I am strong” or “I am confident.” While connecting to the body through yoga, connect to your mind through mantras. You can create your own, or use one of the following ancient Sanskrit mantras to get started:
Om is one of the most widely recognized mantras which are often used during both meditation and yoga practice, it is the sound of the universe. The vibration it makes in your body when you chant it brings you closer to the vibrational pattern resonating all around you. It is a rooting, connecting, aligning sound that deeply influences the meditative state of your mind.
Om Namah Shivaya
This is a prayer to Shiva, generally known as the God of destruction but also the God of new beginnings. The closest English translation is, “I bow to the inner Self.” It invokes recognition of the divine nature within you and acknowledges the spiritual power you were born with. In essence, it is a way of appreciating yourself.
Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah
A prayer to Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, will help you overcome any perceived roadblocks in your life. It reminds you that these roadblocks only exist in your mind, and through your mind, you can get rid of them. Chant this during a difficult pose in yoga to help you stay strong and move past ideas of, “I can’t” or, “It’s too hard.”
( Look your best as you chant your mantra. If you like the look above, you can get it here.)
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Too often, we see ourselves as separate from other humans and react negatively to the actions of both strangers and friends. This mantra translates loosely to, “May this world be established with a sense of well-being and happiness.” It forces us to put aside ideas of differences and wish for all living beings to have a good life, just as we wish it for ourselves. Take time to appreciate your fellow humans – after all, we’re all just doing the best we can!
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Om
Let’s face it, even yogis get stressed sometimes. Anxiety eludes no one, but we don’t have to remain in a state of agitation. To invoke peace, chant this a few times and let the universal energy wash over you and calm your mind. Couple this with daily yoga and you’ll be cultivating deep inner peace that you can carry with you at all times.
This is a very strong, healing mantra that removes personal suffering and activates the chakras. It purifies the thoughts in your mind, which in turn purifies your body. Hari Om also awakens prana, which is the natural energy within the body. All around, it is a great mantra to combine with yoga as it brings the body back to a state of perfection.
Once you’ve mastered these, try to move on to longer and more complicated mantras with even deeper power and meaning. Namaste (that’s a mantra too)!