Mantra (man-tra) noun: A word or sound repeated to aid in concentration or meditation.

When I first began meditating and really realizing what it meant to dive deep into my realm of consciousness, the most difficult aspect was consistency. Some days it was easy for me to close my eyes and think of nothing for extended periods of time. Other days, my thoughts got the best of me and my brain ran 100 mph with no end in sight.

It is easy to get wrapped up in everything going on in your world. Family, friends, finances- Talk about stress! We are programed to prioritize our relationship with our environment, but too often we forget to cultivate the relationship with ourselves. That’s where the mantra comes in. My mantra became a gateway to my meditation. A way to step outside of my mind, take a few deep breaths, and focus on what really matters.

The key to a good mantra: repetition. No matter what phrase, word, or sound you use to calm your mind; the important part is that you repeat it over and over and over and over… This is going to ease your thought process. The same goes for our daily lives. People who wake up to a habitual practice find more joy in their mornings. Wake up, shower, breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed. This continuous action is shown to destress and turn a hectic morning into a routine of happiness.

Often students are reluctant to chant or OM out loud during a yoga class. That’s Ok! Most of the time I find myself simply repeating the word “Relax” to myself over and over and over and over… I go over every aspect of the word in my head until suddenly I am thinking of how the word FEELS instead of how it looks. Then, like magic, my body begins to respond. I can feel every muscle of my being melting into the floor below me. Every bit of tension that I was holding onto has now dissipated and I can be at peace in my meditation. I encourage you to try!