Posts

The Calming Power of Mantra

What is Mantra?

Depressed, Anxious these days, well we are too, when we don’t practice our manta and meditation. There’s an ancient history of chanting mantras for everything from health to prosperity, and mainly to calm our nervous system. The Calming Power of Mantra offers insight into chanting can shed some light on the advantages of this practice for those that are currently experiencing any kind of anxiety. A mantra is a sacred sound, syllable, intention or symbol, like “I Am Peace,” or “Om Tare Tutare Ture Svaha.”  It might be from one word, sound or sequence of words or phases, and evokes some connection to the source of healing, inner wisdom or a divine ancestor or Goddess. Depending on the science of the Yoga lineage, mantras are like medicine, given to address a particular issue or challenge, with the hopes to offer spiritual insight, evolution and to self actualize. green tara mantra

How to Practice Mantra Meditation

Proponents of  Yoga and mantra imply that the process operates by generating vibrations when a mantra is chanted by the yogini or yogi. First, find a relaxing place, sit up straight, cross legged on a cushion or a straight backed chair. Take your mala beads in your left hand. Close your eyes and let all activity settle. It is stated that while chanting, the tongue and meridian points connect on the roof of the mouth which rests the mind. Begin mantra practice by pulling one bead in connection to one mantra, starting from tegh guru bead clockwise, sliding it slightly like a abacus. Whe you get to the end, skip over the guru bead, as a sign of respect for higher wisdom, and then continue. Among the interesting, magical things about mantra chanting is that it works on our subtle or energetic body, although the chanter does not realize why. A lot of people report after they try chanting for the time discovering a change in their energy level and calmness in no time. This is the case when we do not know just what they’re saying, if Sanskrit or Tibetan is not our native language! It is possible to think of a mantra as a focal object of concentration for one’s meditation and malas are invaluable tools to stay strong in these challenging times.

candles incense

Blessed Space Blessed Mind

Just as you may meditate by looking at a candle and lighting some incense, repeating a mantra is a way to focus and calming the mind. Our minds are often busy, and yet we can only really focus on one thing at a time. Filling our mental space with a blessed mantra can push out ideas, worries and concerns which are causing anxiety. (Please remember to keep the TV and you Cell phone… off!)  Mantras also help develop awareness as their goal is to bring their focus back to their mantra whenever your mind wanders. Learning the right pronunciation of mantras could make them even more effective. If you chant out loud, but semi-audibly, you also create a physical vibration that’s said to have a number of spiritual advantages, connecting us to our natural inner stillness, as well as the “source.”

man meditating

Listening to Inner Wisdom

It’s a very individual practice, and only you will know if you’re chanting in a way that is healing and effective for you. Once we’ve leaned to listen and trust ourselves, answers to questions like how to start, how to position yourself and how long to chant will come to you with time. Some mantras are traditionally chanted a certain number about times or at specific times of their day, in a special place like outdoors or a meditation room, but again, this is something you’ll decide based on one’s own experience with mantra. Any mantra which has a calming effect is a good option if you suffer from stress, anxiety or sadness. If you have a spiritual teacher or tradition, they can also guide you as the best “mantra medicine” for your particular nature.

Love, well wishes, Om Mani and Namaste to all!

Riding the Winds Change with Yoga, Meditation and Mantra

asanas

Go with the Flow…

Sometimes it feels like change is the only constant in life, and some people are more adaptable than others.  While a go with the flow attitude is second nature to some, many feel paralyzed with indecision in the face of big changes that require life decisions. In those moments of uncertainty, something familiar and practiced will support you.  Yoga, meditation, and mantra are three options for respite.

Create your own asana sequence that brings stillness to your body. In times of stress, the body tends to contract to shield the self from an onslaught of stress whether it is mental, emotional, or physical. Spend some time exploring yoga poses that bring comfort to your body and make you feel good.  This is not a practice to test your skills. Instead, choose postures that are second nature to you. This is the comfort zone that supports your soul during times of unrest.

After practicing your sequence, settle into a meditation that focuses the mind. Meditation comes in many forms. Simply focusing on the breath is a meditation as you bring the thoughts and mind to ease and tune into your body and the universe around you.

If you have problems clearing the mind during meditation, a mantra may be helpful. Mantras are words repeated either mentally or aloud. Focusing on a word or phrase helps to eliminate errant thoughts that clutter your mind and obscure your connection to the universe. Choose a word or phrase that means something positive to you. The key is to focus; one-pointed focus is easy with a mala. As you repeat the mantra word or phrase, roll a bead between your fingers, and move to the next bead with each repetition.

Our galleries feature a wide variety of malas. Choose the beads that speak to you. You may need to meditate to decide because there are so many! Rest assured, the perfect set of beads will find their way to you. Each mala bead description provides the historical meanings and uses, but follow your instinct. For example, you may be searching for heart-healing, which leads you to a beautiful Rose Quartz Mala, but you feel drawn to this Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise Mala which is said to provide great healing. Go with the one that makes your heart sing, and ride the winds of change in peace.

 

How to Use a Mala for Japa Mantra Meditation

Japa Mantra Meditation and the Use of Malas

buddha

 

Japa Mantra Meditation is an ancient Buddhist practice where a chosen mantra is repeated out loud 108 times in Sanskrit. Japa meditation is a sound meditation. Each sound of the Sanskrit language has a unique vibration which affects the energetic makeup of your mind and body. Sound is a form of energy made up of vibrations or wavelengths. Specific wavelengths in Sanskrit have the power to focus the mind, invoke spiritual qualities, promote healing, and fulfill desires. The intention or belief you are focusing on is embedded in the sound of the Sanskrit words themselves. The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit roots:  manas, meaning “mind,” and tara, meaning “to cross.” Mantra literally means “to cross the mind.” As the mantra is repeated the energy encased in sound is released, thereby creating a specific thought pattern in the mind.For example, the mantra “So Hum” translates to “I am That,” and profoundly declares our existence and communion with the Universe at large. This mantra strengthens and balances the root chakra which is where our sense of existence lies.

To enhance your Japa meditation practice, choose a mala necklace made with gemstones that heighten individual qualities you are seeking to strengthen. Our turquoise and jasper mala necklace aids in balancing the root chakra with grounding energy giving the meditator a sense of safety and security. Japa meditation can be done alone or in a group. It can be done formally with eyes closed on a meditation cushion or informally while you are driving (with eyes open, please!).

mandala

To practice formal Japa Mantra Meditation using a mala follow these simple steps:

  • Find a quiet place and sit comfortably on the floor, a meditation cushion, or a chair.
  • Hold your mala at the first bead next to the large Guru bead with your thumb and middle finger. Your index finger should point away from you, signifying the ego moving away from self during chanting.
  • Close your eyes. Take a moment to center yourself by taking several deep breaths in and out through the nose.
  • Begin repeating your chosen mantra out loud noticing the vibration of the words as you speak.
  • Slide your thumb to the next mala bead and repeat the mantra, going all the way around the necklace until you reach the Guru bead.
  • After 108 repetitions, check in with yourself and observe any shifts in your mental or energetic state.

To carry these healing energies with you throughout the day, try wearing our jasper mala bracelet. Wrist malas are beautiful reminders to repeat your Japa Mantra Meditation, bring you back to a state of mindfulness, or to pause for a moment of peace during a hectic day.

 

Mindful Meditative Yoga for Healing

 

yoga healing

 

In the fast-paced reality many of us have created for ourselves, we rarely have time to center our thoughts and our actions. Yoga for healing provides the body and mine some peace through mindfulness and relaxation. The benefits of yoga are endless, but the decrease of mental and physical pain may be the biggest advantage to exercise of this kind.

Yoga Makes You Appreciative

By taking 30-60 minutes to practice yoga, you are essentially celebrating the amazing things that your body can do. Yoga allows you to slow down and appreciate the miracles that occur within yourself each day. This type of exercise helps to better body image. Harvard Health Publications found yoga to be an effective treatment for those with body image issues. “…yoga has become an integral part in the treatment of eating disorders and programs that promote positive body image and self-esteem.” By tuning into what our bodies do for us, yogis are in a more positive place in life.

Yoga Gives You Peace

Our lives are so loud. Rarely do we take the time to pause and really feel the energy around us. Practicing yoga 3-5 times a week does just that. The breathing, combined with a positive mantra and physical challenge allows yogis to find a center in all of the chaos. As you meditatively practice yoga, your thoughts transcend trouble, worries, and stressors that can take years off of your life in the future and make you a lesser version of yourself in the present. Yoga helps you to find the peace within yourself for a better life.

Yoga Heals What Ails You

When people have aches and pains, they often turn to medications and expensive treatments to get relief. However, by practicing yoga, your body can create its own medicine. Yoga helps to heal migraines, back and neck pain, anxiety, and insomnia. According to Migraine.com, “Yoga’s relaxation techniques are thought to calm the body’s nervous system. This action on the nervous system is believed to reduce the activities in the brain that lead to migraines.” By practicing meaningful yoga, you are able to zero in on the aching part of the body, and self medicate through exercise of this kind. Before seeking drugs for pain relief, try yoga for 30 minutes. The difference is incredible. Please see our healing mala beads.

You only have one vessel, so you need to treat it well. Yoga is a vacation for the mind and a cure for what ails you. By giving your body what it needs, you are ready to face the challenges of the day with a clear mind and a healthy being.