I was given my first mantra at a new age crystal shop in NYC where I purchased my first string of mala beads. I lied to the intimidating sales woman and said ‘I was buying the beads for a friend.’ For some reason I didn’t feel worthy of the beads and thought she might judge me. It is very likely that the saleswoman’s feelings towards me were in my head, but with a skeptical eye she included a mantra with the mala beads, ‘for my friend’ to use as she meditated with them. The mantra was: Om Maha Lakshmi Namaha. A year later I’m still not exactly sure how to use this mantra.
I love chanting in Sanskrit. I love using all the beautiful Sanskrit names of yoga poses. However, a Sanskrit mantra rarely resonates with me (with the exception of number 4.) When it comes to mantras, my opinion is: simple is best.
1. I am already enough. This mantra can be applied on a yoga mat, a first date, or at a job interview.
2. Simplify and surrender. Enough said.
3. I am (happy, healthy, strong, capable…)This ‘create-your-own’ mantra is good for yoga teachers to offer to students in class. It allows the participants to choose the third word (remember mantras are supposed to be kept private…whoops)
4. Inhale LET, exhale GO. This one is good for traffic situations.
5. Sat Nam. This is a very simple and short Sanskrit mantra that translates to: ‘truth is my identity’ or ‘I am truth.’ Sat Nam is a perfect mantra when making big decisions. Stuck at one of life’s crossroads? Tune in and repeat ‘Sat Nam’.
6. Let it be. We can thank The Beatles for this one. This is my favorite mantra to use during my personal yoga practice.
If a mantra is affirming and helps you through a difficult time or keeps your mind from crossing over to the dark side, than anything works. Keep it short and sweet and use your mantra when you need it.
Floyd in my mala beads.