“Looking behind I am filled with gratitude
I am filled with vision
I am filled with strength
And looking within
I discover peace”
“I will have a good day, because it is my choice.”
In our westernized, modern-day spiritual practices the word “mantra” has become as mainstream as “intention.”
But the two are actually quite different. The word mantra can be broken down into two parts: “man,” which means mind, and “tra,” which means transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind—a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.
Like a seed planted with the intention of blossoming into a beautiful perennial, a mantra can be thought of as a seed for energizing an intention.
Mantra in Yoga: Setting an Intention
In many yoga studios in the West, class begins with the instructor sharing a theme for the session. He or she may invite the students to set an intention for their practice, and may offer suggestions for mantras to use during class.
Mantras like, “I am strong,” “I am focused,” or “I let go and surrender” can help the practitioner maintain a connection to the state they wish to cultivate during their time on the mat.
This mantra is used in silent repetition during movement to help keep the mind focused. It’s been said that in yoga, Asanas are postures of the body and mantras are postures of the mind.
Mantras, when used in this fashion, are more like affirmations and help to keep you connected to a particular state of mind.
Getting to the ancient root of it all, mantra, at its core, is the basis of all religious traditions, scriptures, and prayers. According to Pandit Vamadeva Shastri (Dr. David Frawley), when carefully chosen and used silently, mantras are said to have the ability to help alter your subconscious impulses, habits, and afflictions.
Mantras, when spoken or chanted, direct the healing power of Prana (life force energy) and, in traditional Vedic practices, can be used to energize and access spiritual states of consciousness.
Mantra as a spiritual practice should be done on a regular basis for several months for its desired effects to take place.
At the end of the day, the mantra is meant to bring you back to simplicity.
We live in such a complex world that it’s easy to get lost in all the details.
Mantras can help you circle back to the simplistic approach to life and focus on those things that inspire you and truly make you happy.
Ready to start meditating?
It’s as easy as downloading the Chopra App, where you can access hundreds of personalized guided meditations from the convenience of your phone. (external link)