Mantras: The Basics & Examples
Using mantras are a great way to deepen your yoga practice, or just to use in your daily life! You may already have mantras that you use or like but didn't realize were mantras.
Typically a mantra is an affirmation; a phrase or sentence that's meaningful to you in a particular situation. When you repeat your mantra to yourself in various situations, it helps to change the way that you think, feel and act. It's a way to break habits, relieve stress, and hold concentration.
Mantras give your mind an anchor.
If you're practicing yoga, they allow you to keep your mind present instead of worrying about how you look to others or complaining to yourself about how hot it is in the room.
When meditating, mantras allow you to keep the positive energy moving and keep your mind focused on your healing.
When in traffic or in a stressful situation, using mantras help to keep you calm instead of reactive to events outside of your control.
I also use mantras when I write my morning pages. I use my pages to get all my thoughts, feelings, worries, emotions etc onto the page. And when I find a pattern of negative thinking, I try to find a mantra to use to get out of any negative thought spirals. I then write out my mantra 5-10 times on the page (yes - just like students writing lines on a blackboard!) and it helps to change my way of thinking and leaves me with a positive outlook on the situation.
Finding the right mantra can take some time, and it's possible to have multiple mantras that speak to you based on a given situation. I'd suggest looking up inspirational quotes or affirmations online and start a list of things that speak to you.
Here are a few examples of some mantras that speak to me:
I am confident in all that I do. I am successful and release my creative energy into this reality, effortlessly.
This is my go-to when I find myself excessively worrying about a situation. And tends to happen a lot... I write this mantra to myself nearly every day in my journal. I found it originally online as an affirmation to heal the third chakra (the right to act) and have used it ever since.
I am made up of the same matter as the stars. I am the stars.
This is another mantra that boosts me up when I'm feeling overwhelmed. This was inspired from an inspirational video called The Most Astounding Fact by Neil deGrasse Tyson that you can watch here.
Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Hold.
This mantra brings me back to my breath. Sometimes I take out the holds if I'm feeling a little too worked up. I may also add in an emotion to inhale or exhale. But usually this is a good one to remind me to relax. Very useful in yoga, as I'll pair an action with the breath. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, strengthen.
Leave a comment - was this a new concept to you? Do you have some mantras you've found helpful that you'd like to share?