Most yoga teachers ask their disciples to set an intention as the first step in a yoga class. An intention may act as a focal point throughout a yoga practice. In case you get distracted, intention can bring you back to your yoga mat.
Looking back on my childhood yoga classes in India, when our yoga teacher asked us to take SANKALP for the proceeding yoga class in the school field, we used to turn blank. Our tender ages and brains were all set to follow what our teacher said without bothering much about the significance of a SANKALP (Sanskrit for intention). We opened our mouths to repeat after what our loving Acharya Ji (our teacher) chanted softly “OM SAHNAVAVATU, SAHNAU BHUNAKTU”.
There was an amalgamation of sound, discrete yet unified. Now each of us knew that he or she is not alone in the ground for the grueling journey with Acharya Ji. That sonic experience used to make us more energetic and present in the field.
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So what are intentions?
Intentions are short yet powerful statements resonating with your physical or mental status. A befitting tool to increase your manifestation power, focus, and mental clarity. In yoga, setting an intention is synonymous with taking an oath to cultivate some values like honesty, gratitude, compassion, truthfulness, etc. in your life or working towards getting into a daunting yoga posture like camel pose on your mat.
What are mantras and how can we use them in our yoga practice?
In simple words, Mantras are commonly used by yogis to magnify yogic energies and set intentions for their yoga practice. These mantras could be chakra affirmations, which anyone can learn and remember because they are mostly one-liners in common man language. On the other hand, Sanskrit mantras may take some time to get used to. But with little devotion and consistency, you’re good to go exactly the way you do in your daily yoga workout.
To be precise “Mantras are yoga tools you can use to calm your mind whenever you’re feeling stressed, lonely, anxious, or excited”. These mantras mirror life-philosophy in-depth and invoke a positive shift of mind.
Mantras, yoga, meditation and seven chakras
Chakras, the energy centers of our bodies are the core defining factors of our personalities. Each chakra, situated along the spinal column vibrates with the frequency of a certain color. Any misbalance in this chakra system can manifest as a misbalance in one’s life too. Yoga, Meditation, and Mantras are the best tools to sync and harmonize your chakra system. For the reason that each chakra has a particular vibration and certain mantras can resonate and harmonize that energy, inculcating mantras in a yoga flow can be ultra-rewarding.
How to chant mantras to set an intention for your yoga practice
- Choose your mantra and breathe deeply to ground yourself as a precursor of chanting your mantra.
- You can set your intention either standing or sitting at just the beginning of the practice.
- You can keep repeating the mantra throughout the practice or whenever you feel you need to recenter.
- Just remember to breathe deeply while imagining your mantra or affirmation touching every cell, tissue, and organ in your body.
- You may whisper gently, chant it out loud, or repeat it silently.
- Whatever the method you choose, do it sincerely.
Benefits of chanting mantras in your yoga practice
There is scientific evidence that incorporating mantras in your yoga practice can help you in many ways.
- Maintaining focus and mental clarity
- Defining the life purpose
- Increasing confidence, creativity, and connectivity to the higher self
- Creating inner peace and developing compassion
Here are some of the most powerful Sanskrit mantras to set the intention for your yoga practice.
When we’re jolting into setting intentions for yoga, we must familiarize ourselves with the yogic philosophies. You may not chant yoga audibly during your class, yet its essence will reside along with not just in a class but throughout your life.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj means the union of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Though many think of yoga as only a physical exercise where they get the pleasure to twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex ways, these are only the most superficial aspects of this profound science unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul. The science of Yoga imbibes the complete essence of the Vedic way of life. Yoga has a complete message for humanity. It is a message for the human body, mind, and soul.
AUM or Om is said to be the first sound heard at the creation of the universe. Chanting of Om energizes all the body chakras, from the root chakra at the base of your spine to the crown of your head. Starting your yoga practice from the Om and concluding with chanting of OM helps you experience the completeness of the life cycle.
3. Om Gam Ganapataye Namah: I salute Ganesha
The most auspicious mantra when you want to start anything afresh. It is firmly believed that chanting this mantra first thing when you begin anything important is the key to success. It has the power to break all obstacles and make you free from all your troubles and purify your body, mind, and soul.
4. Ananda Hum: I am bliss
This mantra awakens the state of fulfillment that is your true self. Ananda is the inherent bliss, joy, and fulfillment of existence. When I elate my heart, I awake and radiate bliss. This energy uplifts and expands me. By opening my heart, I can feel enjoyment deeply.
5. Kritajna Hum: I am gratitude
This mantra cultivates an awareness that naturally looks at the world with gratitude. It is a fully present state of consciousness. My true self is always grateful. I am connected with everything else in the universe.
6. Samprati Hum: The present moment is my true self
This mantra reminds us that our true self is ever-present awareness. Simply being awake in the now is the natural state of gratitude. This presence of grace is your essential nature.
I don’t need more to be complete; I am whole right now.
7. Prani Dhana: My individuality expands to universality
This mantra guides awareness in the natural process of letting go and expanding into the unlimited self. Prani Dhana means to surrender,” “devote” or “be supported by”.
In yoga, Ishvara pranidhana can be exercised through practicing Asanas along with a mantra, mudra, meditation, and/or through the yogi’s actions of daily living.
8. Karuna Hum: I am compassion
This mantra works on the heart chakra level to invite love and compassion. When I have no judgment, I see everyone with kindness. Compassion is the knowing that because you are human and I am human that we are really more alike than we could ever be different.
9. Aham Brahmasmi: I am divine
This mantra affirms that the true nature of your self is the wholeness of the universe. Your Being resonates as the truth of cosmic existence. It reflects the ultimate goal of yoga – union with the higher self since yoga itself means Yuj “union”.
10. Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah: Let peace and happiness prevail everywhere
This mantra is to spread a message of peace and wellness as an integral element of yogic life and is a part of the following mantra.
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
Om, May All be Happy,
May All be Free from Illness.
May All See what is Auspicious,
May no one Suffer.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
11. Om Saha Navavatu: Let we move and grow together to shine
This mantra is great for personal bonding with your teacher and fellow students. Read the complete mantra with meaning –
Om Saha Naav[au]-Avatu |
Saha Nau Bhunaktu |
Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai |
Tejasvi Naav[au]-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
Om, Together may we two Move (in our class, the Teacher and the Student),
Together may we two Relish,
Together may we perform with Vigour,
May what has been Studied by us be filled with the Brilliance ;
May it not give rise to Hostility,
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
12. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti: Complete state of peacefulness
When you chant, “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,” it’s an invocation of peace. In Buddhist and Hindu traditions you chant Shanti three times to represent peace in body, speech, and mind.
13. Dhanya Vad: I feel gratitude, thank you
It invokes an attitude of appreciation for life and opens you to the infinite blessings around you. When I’m grateful, I find grace. By looking for the blessings in my life, I open up a space of light in every experience.
14. Namaste: I bow to the divine in you
Namaste directly translates to “the divine in me bows to the divine in you.” We hear it as we exit yoga class. And yes, Namaste is more than just saying “hello or goodbye”.
15. Twam Eva Mata: We are your children
This mantra reveals the truth that our connection with the world is an interactive spiritual relationship.
“I feel my individual connection to the universal existence as an intimate relationship, like a child to its mother.”
16. Om Shara Vana Ya: My awareness is aligned with the power of the universe
This mantra attunes to your intentions with the intentions of the cosmos. This is my life, and “this” “is” “life”. I don’t need to fight this. I let life carry me instead. Right here and now, my whole life is expansive.
17. Om Hreem: Vibrations to still your mind
This mantra opens awareness of the eternal present that exists in every changing moment. It reveals the unchanging, unbounded quality of consciousness within every experience.
18. Om Purnam Adah – The universe around us is as complete
This mantra affirms that nature is inherently full, abundant, and complete.
The infinite consciousness we experience as the universe around us is as complete and whole as our inner universe because they are the same consciousness.
19. Aham Prema: I am love
This mantra reveals your true nature as pure love. Prema means love, the flowing energy that connects us all.
When we see the world with the eyes of love, our hearts are filled with gratitude and grace.
20. Om Kleem Shreem: Appreciation and gratitude for the abundance in life
This mantra affirms that you deserve the fulfillment of all your deepest desires.
Shreem is the mantra associated with nature’s beauty, love, and abundance. Kleem is the sound that attracts those qualities to you.
21. Ananta Swa Bhava: infinite and unbounded
This mantra awakens your knowledge of the infinite potentiality of your higher self.
Ananta means “that which is infinite and unending.” Ananta Swa Bhava means “I know my own state of Being as infinite and unbounded.”
22. Vratam Ahum: I am the consciousness
This mantra means “I am the consciousness that accepts life with wisdom and grace.”
This is a state of choiceless awareness that affirms and embraces life just as it is, at this moment.
23. Sanatana Hum – I am unending
Sanatana Hum means “my self is eternal.” This mantra reveals the truth of your consciousness as an unending presence – pure Being.
24. Atman Prakasha: Light of the soul
This mantra affirms that the true nature of your self is the wholeness of the universe. It illuminates your being as the truth of cosmic existence.
25. Aroot Perum Jothi: omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent
This mantra invokes the divine light of grace to fill your life.
With this mantra, the light of grace enters from the crown chakra and transforms every cell in your body, every thought, and every feeling.
26. Twam Eva Sarvam: you are everyone to me
This mantra means “my true self is the essence and source of all that is good and valuable.”
This mantra connects your spiritual heart to the universe as something personal and intimate.
27. Eem Hreem Kleem: I radiate confidence and strength.
I am at ease with my ignorance. I can wait with purpose. I listen for messages that I’m on the right path and meet each situation with hope.
28. Om Durgaya Namah: I am fearless.
Who I am has nothing to do with fear and possess all the creative potential. Anything is possible from this place, and I am prepared for whatever is on its way.
29. Sheevo Hum: I am pure potentiality
I harness the creative potential of the whole universe. I align with it and I become pure potentiality. Hope is my very source of strength.
30. Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung: I am Infinite
Sun, Moon, Earth, and Universe. I am that all.
Wrapping Up – intention for your yoga practice
Mantras are used to set an intention for your yoga practice because they are so versatile and co-exist with yoga traditions. “A mantra is a much more complex concept than a mere chant. It unites sound, body, and mind in a profoundly metaphysical experience.”
Also, mantras help you to clear your energy conduits so you can thrive, not just survive hence allow you to have unique life experience on or off your yoga mat providing a positive physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual space.