Mantras are words or syllables that are repeated to create a particular effect like whether it’s an awareness and a tool to stay present or a tool to create a shift. I have a deep love for mantras and find them to be one of the most powerful tools. Music and rhythm is my jam, so mantras have a vibration that speaks to me. That may sound a bit cosmic, but stay with me…everything has a unique vibration. From the subtle hum of a bird and whisper of a tree to the more pronounced buzz of electricity in a light bulb, there is a sound or vibration attached. Same is true for qualities and feelings – there is different vibrational quality of joy than complacency. Right? Does that make sense?
So when we use mantras – which literally translates as “man” = mind and “tra” = transport – they are tools that can shift the mind. I do feel like the word mantra is a bit glamorized these days when really “intention” may be a better word choice. Mantras have been studied for their sound and efficacy; intentions are more like unique phrases that resonate with you. I use intention and mantra throughout my day because if there’s one thing that science has told us about mindfulness, it’s that mindset matters.
Mantras are like planting the seeds to optimize the produce of your intention. Each mantra resonates with each person differently, so the ones I’ve provided in different categories are a guide. Feel free to use something that works for you. There are several practices for repeating mantras, but for simplicity sake, I encourage you to choose one that resonates with you and repeat as necessary. I repeat my mantra at the beginning of my morning meditation, but I’ve also found it helpful to write my mantra in my planner at the start of the week or day to return to it as often as needed. It’s the best reminder. I also use mantras while running and you’ll see some of those ones listed for any of you runners or workout enthusiasts out there.
One more thing, I use the My Affirmations app to create my own mantras. This free app can be tailored to give you your intentions at specific or random times throughout the day. The affirmation is attached to a picture you choose and you can record/play your voice repeating the mantra. I find this to be particularly helpful instead of only reading it. It’s much more personalized and intentional. I have no affiliation to this app, but I’ve just found it to be incredibly helpful and thought someone else could benefit from it too! PS: this is the only app notification I personally use on my phone because I believe we usually need less distractions in our lives.
3 Sanskrit Mantras
Gam (gaam) or if you’re more familiar with mantras: Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha – Ganesha mantra to remove obstacles. This one is my personal favorite that I repeat when feeling particularly irritated/challenged (traffic, people, workout, etc)
Shanti (shan-tee) – restore peace and harmony (enough said)
So Hum – translates as: “I am that” in which that is the universe. I like to think of it as “I am.” On your inhale, inhale repeating so. On your exhale, exhale repeating hum. This is great for connection when you feel all out of sorts/anxious/worked up/restless
3 Wellness Mantras/Intentions
My body knows how to nourish.
I am enough.
Do the thing. Be present.
3 Running or Workout Mantras/Intentions
This hill isn’t going anywhere and neither am I.
Smooth and Steady.
Find happy pace.
When I work with students and clients on a one-on-one basis, one the first homework assignments I give is to establish a mantra/intention (or three!) to call on. So, I’m curious, do you use intentions and mantra? What are some of your favorites? I’d love, love, love to hear them. Share below and know that we all learn from each other.
Hugs and Gratitude,