Today I read an interview featuring Erykah Badu in Mantra Magazine. Erykah’s comments about her newfound love of yoga and mantras inspired me. Here’s what she said:
“I love yoga. I started taking yoga at a gym and I met the most wonderful instructor who teaches you in Sanskrit as well as in English. She repeats everything in Sanskrit. There’s something about the vibration of this language that really resonates with me and helps me to focus more on the breathing and not so much on the stretching.”
Her words made me think about some of my favorite mantras and how they have helped me strengthen my meditation, Reiki healing, and yoga practices. Click here to listen to Krishna Das chant OmNamah Shivaya which means “I bow to my inner self.” This sacred mantra helps me to surrender my ego to my highest self. It helps me live in the present moment. It opens my heart to Creator’s wisdom and blessings for my life.
Do you have any favorite mantras? How do they impact you?
Mantras have been a part of my yoga practice for the past 10 years. Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means mind protection. It is a sacred word, sound or chant repeated during meditation to promote inner peace and facilitate transformation of your consciousness. Last week, I started Deva Premal & Miten’s 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey to continue the work I have been doing to strengthen my meditation practice. The 21-Day Mantra Journey started on May 14 and offers a free, daily guided session. Click here to learn more.
Do you use mantras in your meditation and yoga practice?
One of the juiciest parts of my yoga practice is my mantra chanting. Mantra is a sacred word, phrase or sound that is repeated during meditation to deepen your spiritual and/or yoga practice, and transform your spiritual consciousness.
The first mantra I learned and began using was “Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha.” I was introduced to it during a lay leadership training led by Reverend Beverly Biddle at Unity of Washington, D.C. in 2002. During the training, I learned the mantra can help remove obstacles from your life and resolve problems and difficulties. I also learned it was associated with Ganesh, the Hindu elephant deity who removed obstacles. Click here to watch Deva Premal chant the mantra.
This morning I woke up feeling very anxious about a series of changes I am experiencing. These changes are transforming the landscape of what my current life looks like. They are pushing me out of the cocoon of a ten-year comfort zone. Sometimes they scare me. They show me my fears. They make me revisit old wounds. I don’t like them, but they don’t care. They are happening and will continue to happen. How do I want to respond? That’s the question I asked myself over and over again before I got out of bed and headed to the yoga mat. As I came into child’s pose, I asked Creator for guidance and help. The music of Jai Uttal kept me company. It seeped into my throat and before long I found myself chanting Sita Ram over and over again. The chanting helped ease some of my anxious feelings. Feeling more grounded, I began doing a series of 10 sun salutations. At the end, I sat down on my mat and did several rounds of alternate nostril breathing before chanting Sita Ram with my mala beads 108 times.
When my morning practice was over, I headed back to my bedroom to grab my Wreck This Journal book. Me and the book walked into the kitchen and sat down at a table filled with magic markers, scissors, gluesticks, and magazine clippings. I noticed a quote by Dante and decided to paste it on the cover of the book: “Follow your own path and let people talk.” I wondered what is my path in the midst of change? Four wisdom phrases emerged:
1) Keep your heart open.
2) Surrender and do not resist.
3) Embrace and enjoy the destruction and release of your old life as an opportunity to actively witness and participate in the transformation process.
4) Give thanks and be grateful for all changes even the ones that make you panic, scare you into old wounds, and cause you to feel doubts and fears.
Enjoy your week!
Peace, Surrender, Change, Release, Transformation, and Creativity,