Sing Your Heart Out with a Mantra Practice
Last week I read through our entire blog here at Art Space Yoga. What a wonderful, inspiring resource for our community and for others interested in yoga philosophy. Whitney’s post last week on self-care was particularly wonderful, and inspired me to talk more about mantra practice this week. Mantra practice is one of my favorite forms of meditation. Indeed, according to Jeena Cho and Karen Gifford, authors of the book The Anxious Lawyer, mantra practices are associated with joy and can help us bring more joy into our lives.
In yoga school, we were encouraged to do a 40-day mantra practice to a particular Indian deity (don’t worry, these are just representations of different aspects of the human psyche, not actual gods or idols), for particular results, for example, Ganesh the elephant man for removal of obstacles, Lakshmi for wealth and gratitude, Durga for protection, etc. There are also many other forms of mantra practice. This blog is designed to introduce you to a few of those practices.
Seed Sound Chakra Mantras
One rewarding mantra practice is the seed sound mantra based upon the chakras. According to the ancient Indian medical system, the body has seven major energy centers or chakras (pronounced just as it looks, not with a “sh” sound) running from the base of the spine to the top of the head. The health of each energy center influences our emotions, physical health, and mental clarity. Each is associated with a one-syllable sound, as listed below.
“LAM”- chakra 1 (root)
“VAM”- chakra 2 (sacral/navel)
“RAM”- chakra 3 (solar plexus)
“YAM”- chakra 4 (heart)
“HAM”- chakra 5 (throat)
“OM”- chakra 6 (third eye/brow)
“OM”- chakra 7 (crown)
You can chant these seed sounds in order, or do a bit of research on which chakra you might need to build up a bit and just chant that one seed sound. Repeating the seed sounds can help you reach a deeply meditative state. If