Mantras. Affirmations. Positive phrases. Meaningful Sayings. They all can be a powerful addition to your yoga or meditation practice. But where to start? What to say? And does it have to be in Sanskrit?
What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a word or sound repeated internally or externally to aid in concentration during meditation and originated in Hinduism and Buddhism. Today, mantras expand far outside of any religious sect and can be as secular as a person chooses. While many traditional mantras are used all over the word by yoga teachers — like “Om Shanti” — many new and invented mantras are popping up in yoga classes every day.
Why Use a Mantra?
If you have previous experience with meditation, then you’re probably aware of how easy it is for the mind to get caught up in thinking during a meditation. It happens to all of us! Practicing concentrating on a single thing — like our breath — can be incredibly difficult for the modern mind. Thus, “tethering” your mind to a mantra during meditation can help it stay in the present moment and prevent you from boarding every thought train that comes into the station of your mind.
Mantras can also be used in your daily life as a reminder to come back to the present moment. These sayings can serve as a much-needed lifeline when you find yourself in challenging circumstances. They can ground you in the present and help you detach from whatever you’re facing, allowing you to respond to the situation at hand, rather than react.
I Need a Mantra
Mantras come in many forms. What’s important is to find one that works for you. Below are some examples of the mantras our Warriors at Ease teachers share with their students during or at the end of their classes.
“I control my inner peace.” – Alicia
“I breathe in, I calm my body; I breathe out, I smile.” – Renee
“So Ham.” – Joey (I am that or I am the divine)
“Let go is the current.” – Kimberly
“I own my place in the world.” – Alyson
“I am bigger than anything I experience.” – Jennifer
“Welcome and allow.” – Jaene
“Settle. Soften. Breath.” – Beth
“I am light.” – Alexis
Whatever mantra, saying, affirmation or phrase you choose, may it support you in your meditation practice!