The Power of Mantra
If you have never tried chanting a mantra before, you might feel pretty daft trying it for the first time. But if you can get over that feeling and go with it, you may well find that your mantra becomes a life-long companion to you.
Mantra yoga is probably as old as yoga itself, and since we’re still doing it all these years later there must be something in it!
A mantra is not just a bunch of words or sounds; it is used as an instrument to liberate your mind by cutting out the internal chatter of the mind. The idea is that with the help of a mantra, one can eventually sever the chains that drag you down into negative thought. Mantra yoga can be a complex practice and a great deal to take in. I will keep it simple for the purposes of this post!
All Eastern philosophy uses mantras; a lot of people can be put off because they don’t understand the language or don’t believe it can have any real benefit beyond exercising their vocal chords!
But ask anyone how they feel when they sing? If you open your lungs and really sing, you feel energised, happy and open hearted. If you get really into your song, so that you’re 100% focused on it, you cannot be distracted by thoughts of what’s for dinner tonight, or how to pay the gas bill! The same can be true with a mantra.
Recently I’ve begun to include more mantra in my daily practice. I can honestly say that I feel much stronger, with my heart wide open. I also feel much more rooted to the ground – which is unusual for me, being primarily Vata dosha.
So, how do you make a start with a mantra? You can download a mantra from iTunes, put it on repeat, and just sing along! A great mantra to start with is the Gayatri Mantra – this is one of the oldest known mantras, dating back to ancient scripture called the Rig Veda. This mantra basically asks for illumination, clarity and wisdom. Sing from your heart; imagine the mantra is actually coming from your heart. If possible, do it with your eyes closed. Here is a good version to try: the words are written underneath the video so that you can sing along!
Om bhur bhuvaha svaha
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yonah prachodayat
Praise to the source of all things.
It is due to you that we attain true happiness on the planes of earth, astral, causal.
It is due to your transcendent nature that you are worthy of being worshipped and adored.
Ignite us with your all pervading light.
You will feel a bit daft to start with, but if you stick with it, I really believe you will see a difference. Try it for 15-20 minutes daily for three weeks, and see how you feel! I would love to hear your feedback on this!