As a practitioner of yoga and meditation, mantras are important to me. I listen to mantras as I practice yoga, which I feel puts me in a certain state of mind to really focus on my practice and further my journey.
Mantras are defined as “a word, saying or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.” Mantras are so much more than this definition. Mantras can be used at any point during the day…but, how do we find a mantra that resonates with us?
It is a misconception by some that a mantra has to be spiritual or religious in nature. A mantra can be as simple as repeating OM (union of the mind, body and spirit; divine universality) or it can be a positive affirmation such as, “I am enough.” Focusing on your mantra, if even for just as few minutes a day, will start to become part of your thought processes that lead to positive changes in our lives. Patanjali (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) states in Sutra I-14, “Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnest.” This can be hard for our society of immediate gratification to accept. When Patanjali says, “a long time,” he is not giving a time frame, but stating that we must stick with our practice “in all earnest.” We must not give up if after a couple of days we do not feel significantly different somehow. Instead, we must stick with our mantra and show dedication to it, which shows dedication to our self-care.
My favorite mantra is Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, which translates to “salutations to the remover of obstacles.” This is a mantra dedicated to Ganesha, who is the remover of obstacles and the giver of wisdom. I mentioned this mantra in one of my past posts and included a link to a beautiful version by Edo & Jo.
It is important to remember not to get caught up in trying to find a Sanskrit mantra or one dedicated to a particular god. What is important is that the mantra you select means something to you. This may mean you select multiple mantras, which is also lovely. I urge you to try this practice and see how it lands within you.