***Over the last couple of months, we have been diving into meditation and mindfulness to connect to our mind, body, and spirit in order to discern our truth, our sankalpa, and find peace with the present as it is, now. Thus far, we have talked about three techniques to begin to engage with both meditation and mindfulness: breath work, a walking meditation, and a body scan. As needed, step back and review those post as they may inform the present technique.
//Mantra: a word or a phrase repeated over and over to aid in staying focused during meditation.
//Meditation: a formal, scientific practice of turning your attention inward, away from external distractions, toward a concentrated focus on a single point of reference, such as the breath. Utilized to increase self-awareness, enhance presence in daily living, promote relaxation, and understand the most basic essence of peace and bliss.
Language is a powerful tool that I am in the process of learning how to wield in my daily living and in my mindfulness practices. It is one gateway between our inner world and our outer world. What we say has a great impact on how we think and act. When I contemplate the correlation between my thoughts, my words, and my actions, I see an open channel with each element flowing through and into the other. We can use language to permeate both our thoughts and our actions. In doing so, we can connect back to and manifest what inspires us and our truth, or sankalpa, in its simplest form.
This month’s mindfulness technique, a mantra, does just that. The purpose of a mantra is to develop a word or a phrase to concentrate on during meditation, our yoga practice, or throughout the day. In a larger sense, it can be a reminder of our ultimate target and what we hope to live into in our life. Below you will find examples of a mantra and how to incorporate it into daily practices.
Examples of a Mantra
- I am love
- I am peace
- Be here, now
- I am whole
- I am all that is
- Let go
- I choose joy
- I am open
- I am free
A mantra can be implemented in 3 different capacities: during a meditation practice, during a yoga practice, or throughout the day. Here is how you can engage with you mantra during each.
- Find your meditative posture, whether that be sitting, standing, or lying down.
- Choose your mantra for the session, it can be the same one each time, or a new one.
- Begin by closing your eyes and becoming aware of your breath. The inhale and the exhale.
- Now, couple your mantra with your breath. As you breathe in, state your mantra in your mind, as you exhale release from your mind and body what you are holding onto that does not fit into your mantra.
- Remain practicing for as long or as short as your like, but I suggest at least 5 minutes, if possible. When you finish return to the breath in and breath out and open your eyes.
During your yoga practice:
- At the start of your yoga practice, choose your mantra, what you hope to manifest during your practice. Before beginning, repeat your mantra three times to yourself.
- Utilize your mantra in addition to your breath to stay present with your practice. Pause throughout your practice to close your eyes and call upon your mantra again and repeat it three times to yourself.
- If you find that your mind wanders away from your body, breath, and your mantra. Gently guide yourself back, and repeat your mantra 3 times to yourself.
- Before entering into final relaxation, call upon your mantra again.
Throughout the day:
- In this capacity the mantra is a powerful reminder of how you want to posture your mind and actions throughout the day.
- At the beginning of the day, decide what your mantra is and what you want to manifest. Take a moment to repeat your word or phrase to yourself several times.
- As you move through your day, and as your mind wanders, stay focused by stating your mantra. When you find breaks in your day, revisit it.
- When you end your day, draw your mind back to your mantra and breathe.