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Mantra's were my in to Meditation with a mother who was keen to keep me sleeping. when I would awake she would ask me to do 108 mantra repetitions and if I was still awake then I could join her down stairs.  Needless to say I would get engrossed, feel calmer and go to bed! Here is a group of us sining a mantra I learnt on the yoga teacher training I did in Rishikesh, India the birthplace of yoga.  

See below for a sound description of Mantra, and also some ancient mantras I came across.

A "Mantra" (/ˈmæntrə, ˈmɑːn-, ˈmʌn-/ (Sanskrit: मंत्र) is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. A mantra may or may not have syntactic structure or literal meaning.

The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic Sanskrit by Hindus in India, and are at least 3000 years old. Mantras now exist in various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Similar hymns, chants, compositions and concepts are found in Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Christianity, and elsewhere.

1) Mantra: OM

Translation: The sound of the universe. It's the first, original vibration, representing the birth, death and re-birth process.

Modern adaptation: Chanting the sound OM brings us into harmonic resonance with the universe – this is a scientific fact! OM is said to vibrate at 432 Hertz, which is the natural musical pitch of the Universe, as opposed to 440 Hertz, which is the frequency of most modern music. 

Decreasing your frequency to coincide with that of the Universe stills the fluctuations of the mind, allowing you to practice yoga through sound. OM is an idyllic way to begin and end a yoga or mediation practice, and also comes in handy when you just need to chill out.

2) Mantra: Om Namah Shivaya

Translation: I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.

Modern adaptation: In the book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is given this mantra by her Guru, which she lovingly refers to as the “Amazing Grace of Sanskrit.” Her interpretation is, “I honor the divinity within myself.” This is a great mantra to help build self-confidence, reminding us that we are all made up of divine energy and should treat ourselves accordingly.

3) Mantra: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all 

Modern adaptation: Most commonly associated with the Jivamukti Yoga School, this mantra is a powerful way to dedicate yourself to living a life of non-harming and being of service to the greater good. This mantra encourages cooperation, compassion and living in harmony with the environment, animals and our fellow human beings.

To read more about these mantras and for the full article click here

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