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yoga students engaged in group mantras
Yoga students engaged in group mantras

Mantras: What Are They?

Ever mumble your way through chants in class? Here’s your chance to learn the words—and pick up a new practice. These Sanskrit and Gurmukhi mantras are classics you’ll likely encounter again and again.

Reading mantras in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, can certainly be intimidating. Gurmukhi, a sacred script used in Kundalini Yoga, is more straightforward than Sanskrit but can also sound like a mouthful, at first. Even single-word mantras—like Om—can be pretty powerful. Think of a mantra as a mental instrument that fine-tunes your yoga practice. Cultivating a sonic presence can be liberating in a way, as you experience the numinous nature of the sound. It is said that each chakra has a particular vibration and certain mantras can resonate and harmonize that energy.

Mantras: Why Do Them?

While reciting a mantra before or after you step on the mat can enhance your practice, you don’t have to be in yoga mode to chant. Mantras are a yoga tool you can use to calm your mind anywhere, anytime. Feeling stressed, lonely, anxious, excited? Pick a word, phrase, or invocation and chant it in a way that works for you: loudly, softly, or even internally.

Mantras: 3 Types Of Them

Here are 3 common mantras that may hear in yoga class;

  1. Aum

The Primal Shabda

Om, actually pronounced “Aum,” is an affirmation of the Divine Presence that is the universe and is similar to the Hebrew “Amen.” There are many ways of chanting Aum, but this is an approach that will initiate you as a Shabda Yogi, one who pursues the path of sound toward wholeness and higher states of consciousness.

  1. Lokah Samastha

A Chant for Wholeness

Lokah samastha sukhino bhavanthu.

May this world be established with a sense of well-being and happiness.

  1. Om Namah Shivaaya

Om Namah Shivaaya, Namah Shivaaya, Nama Shiva

I bow to Lord Shiva, the peaceful one who is the embodiment of all that is cause by the universe.

When you take yoga class next time and hear these mantras, this blog can be very helpful. Also, in our Yoga Teacher Training in Victoria and Vancouver, BC, we will go through basic mantras and chants and harmonize the energy with your teacher and students!