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The Importance of Mantras in Yoga Practice

Importance of Mantras in Yoga Practice

Getting to hear the ‘Om’ sound as soon as you step inside a yoga class can be astonishing for a yoga newbie. But for a yoga veteran, it marks the beginning of a yoga journey. Om is one of the mantras which is chanted at the start of a yoga class because it facilitates a connection between the self and the universe.

Meaning of Mantra:

The mantra is a unique collection of words, where each word has its own power and significance. And, together they work towards centering the brain and creating more space in the body, mind and spirit.

The chanting of mantras has been an intrinsic part of yoga and meditation in India. When you repeat a particular mantra, the vibrations of the sound influences your physiological and psychological being. On a deeper level, the sound of a mantra attunes the vibrations of the mind with the cosmos.

The Mantras to Start With:

  • Om: It is the mantra of the universe. It encompasses the vibrations of the entire cosmos and unites us with everything and everyone in the world. Om is chanted in meditation by a practitioner having a quest for enlightenment and by sadhaks of yoga asanas for focus.
  • Soham: Sohum is a yogic mantra meaning, “to all of creation, the breathing in us all.” As you inhale, focus on the ‘So.’ Contemplate the meaning of this mantra and experience a connection. Upon exhalation, say hum, visualizing that as you breathe out, you leave your body through nostrils and then emerge back into infinity, back into “that is all.”
  • Om Namo Narayana: This is the mantra of Vishnu, and it is chanted to invoke the power of goodness and mercy. Repeating this mantra bestows you with infinite love, prosperity, glory, wisdom and liberation.

Forms of Chanting:

In Patanjali Yoga Sutras, three forms of chanting are disclosed. When a group of people hums sacred sounds (mantra) loudly and together, it is known as Kirtan. The quiet and slow humming of the sounds in mind is Japa. And, reciting the mantra in a melodious and within audible range is chanting.

How to Use Mantra in Meditation?

It’s true that sitting in meditation can be hard and focusing is even harder. This where mantras come into play! As your mind starts to wander during the meditation, employ the focus of a mantra. Choosing a mantra with which you can relate to acts as an affirmation while reciting keeps you focused in the practice. By reciting a mantra that is important to you and your feelings, you can conquer the day with confidence.

How to Use Mantra in Yoga Practice?

Reciting mantras during yoga practice have the same effect as during the meditation, it helps you remain focused in the yoga practices. Chanting mantras during yoga practice acts like an intention, where you recite the outcome you wish to achieve and with the help of the mantra you work on it throughout the practice. Select mantras that relate to your physical abilities. Whenever you feel distracted in the yoga pose recite the mantra to remind yourself of the intention set, and it shall guide you through the posture.

  • Start and end your yoga practices with a mantra. By repeating a mantra during the practice of a yoga posture, you lend greater meaning to your overall yoga practice.
  • Recite the chosen mantra to seal the yoga practice. Try to implement the mantra off the mat and into your personal life. Mantras offer your practice, goal, and dedication to the science of yoga a meaning whose interpretation extends beyond the physical workout.
  • Make use of yoga props to create repetitive sounds.

Importance of Mantras in Yoga Practice:

1. As you chant a mantra while performing yoga postures, the sound assists in the opening of energy channels within the body and helps you connect with the divine.

2. The mantra chanting acts as a powerful tool for focusing the mind on yoga practice. Also, chanting of Om during the practice of yoga postures result in the creation of positive vibrations and devotion towards the practice.

3. It is believed that thoughtful mantras echo our deepest truths. The repetition helps in the release of stored emotions and helps us address the hidden layers of the self. The release is further enhanced by the performance of yoga asanas.

4. The vibrations of the mantra affect your molecular structure. The sound affects your thoughts, feelings, actions and consciousness. The mantra re-arranges your molecular structure and assists in better yoga practices.

5. The mantra enhances concentration. And, heightened awareness of the mind strengthens physical postures and vice-versa.

Step out of a yoga mat with a sense of gratitude, reflection, and good energy by reciting mantras during yoga practice.

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