Inhale, exhale… Grab your mat, blankets, bolster and blocks. Find a comfortable seated position with a straight spine rooting yourself into the mat. Gently close your eyes or soften your gaze allowing yourself to dive inwards.
- Choose Your Mantra:
Take a moment to choose your mantra to guide you through your meditative practice. What brought you to your mat today? What intention did you set this morning when you awoke? What emotion does your mala evoke within you? Your intention is personal to you- it can be a thought, a word, a sentence or song. Once you have chosen your mantra chant it aloud or silently.
- Japa Meditation:
Hold your Mala Beads in your right hand allowing it to drape between the thumb and middle finger. Starting at the Guru Bead or the sacred stone- gently roll each bead while repeating your mantra. Repeat this 108 times, or until you are back at the sacred stone.
- Yoga Practice:
Place your Mala beads at the top of your yoga mat. Allow your mantra and intention to flow through you guiding you through your asanas. If you feel yourself getting lost in the physical practice, use the intention you set with your Mala Beads to bring yourself back to the present.
Finish your yoga practice on your mat with a juicy savasana. You may choose to end with another round of Japa Meditation bringing your practice full circle.
In the past few years I have had the really rad experience of becoming a yoga teacher. I have gone from chugging 5 diet sodas a day to chugging my veggies each morning. I have learned Sanskrit words for poses and been to a few chanting festivals. Kirtans, tattoos, loving soul sisters walking the same walk, mala beads, out of body experiences, meditation, opening a studio and been in step with LOVE (always).
Here’s what I’ve learned through all my readings, teacher trainings, workshops and teaching/practicing from the mat: we are all on a similar journey. Our paths may not be the same and our lives will look entirely different, but deep inside we are all walking the same walk. It’s a simple mantra that puts itself on replay whenever we need it most: more love, less bullshit. It’s as simple as that.
All of us are looking to let go and release that which no longer serves us in order to step into our path, into greatness and into a deeper connection of love. Today I want to share with you 8 mantras for letting go in order to help you let go and step into that greatness.
1. Ishvara Pranidhana – This mantra is my FAVORITE. As one of the yoga sutras, this is my constant connection to the divine (and my tattoo). Ishvara means divine, God, universe, higher power. It is blind faith, surrender and trust that no matter where we are right now, it is exactly where we are supposed to be. It’s a love and an acceptance. It’s the truest amount of trust you can put into yourself and the universe. Repeat this mantra as you count your rudruksha beads or place it as your intention at the beginning of a Prana Flow class.
2. Om Shanti – Om Shanti is more than one of those yogic greetings that you see at the bottom of every yoga teachers email, it’s an intense and beautiful mantra with a meaning of peace. I often tell my students that om “simply means creation” but it is so much deeper than that. It may even stem from the big bang theory when the world exploded into itself and was created the vibration of OM. It is the all encompassing idea that we are all connected. Shanti means peace and in combining these two words together we are able to wish for peace and love to all beings. By wishing peace for all you are including yourself and allowing anything that no longer serves you to leave you immediately. Chant this with your favorite incense as you relax before bed.
3. Om Gum Ganapateyi Namaha – This mantras translation is to release obstacles. It is a call or a devotion to Ganesha, one of the most popular deities. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and by using this mantra in your meditation, it is helping you to let go of that which is blocking your path. And do you want to know something extra tricky? Sometimes Ganesha PUTS the obstacles there for us to maneuver around, the idea that wherever we are is EXACTLY where we are supposed to be is always present. Sometimes we need to work around things and learn the lesson before we can fully move on into grace.
4. Lokah Samasta Sucinho Bavantu – May all beings be peaceful and free. This mantra allows us to release jealousy, anger and any negative feelings to make way for peace for all. Chant this whenever you need a boost. Sometimes chanting for not only ourselves, but for others can give us the lightest of intentions and the biggest opening in our hearts.
5. Om Shrim Maha Laksmeyi Namaha – Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune and wealth. This chant is for abundance, so if you’re needing to let go or release any money blocks this would be the perfect mantra for you. I often grab my citrine quartz as I chant this mantra and begin to release anything that is blocking me from receiving abundance.
6. Om Namah Shivia – I honor the divinity within me. This mantra is one of the simplest and yet most complex of mantras. It allows you the opportunity to accept yourself where you are today. It allows you to let go into the knowing that you are enough, you are perfect and you are divine. Honor and love yourself, always.
This week I hope you hold onto one of these mantras that resonates with your spirit. As with all things boho babe and yogi lifestyle, you get to choose which one you’re connected to and hold onto it for as long as you need. Whenever you need a refresher, come back here and check these mantras out to infuse your malas with more love.
Jenny Ravikumar is the owner and a yoga instructor at Barefoot Yoga Shala.
I love traveling the world teaching holistic health and wellness. Whether it’s delivering a motivational speech, whipping up a raw vegan lasagna or teaching an Acro Flow Yoga class, I love sharing how harmony with all parts of ourselves brings happiness.
What brought you to the mat for the first time?
Yoga came to me as a gift, a painful gift that I didn’t want to open. I remember my first class…I cried. I was a track and field athlete in college who put my body through everything it could handle until one day I dropped to my knees from a striking bolt of pain that I later found out was a stress fracture in my 4th lumbar vertebrae. My season was over…my full scholarship threatened, and I all I had to offer the world at that point was an overflow of tears.
A concerned counselor suggested I try yoga. I’d never really heard about it before and remember my first class being full of pain and tears. Somehow I found myself halfway on my head and I thought my head was going to explode. I think if I had a way out I wouldn’t have returned for a second class but I signed up for the semester so I was stuck.
Day after day inch after inch I saw myself improving. After a week I’d cried all the tears my body was capable of and my teacher suggested I focus on my breath. I stopped thinking about the poses and only thought about fully breathing the entire class. After a month my spirits were lifted and I added swimming and biking to my routine to heal my body. I forgave myself for being so hard on my body without proper rest and after a year of therapy and self love I returned to the track to win 3 Championship titles in the High Jump, Heptathlon and Mile Relay which led my team to Wichita State’s first Women’s Track and Field Championship title. My continued practice of yoga has helped me strengthen my body, mind and spirit in SO many ways. I truly believe everyone should experience this gift.
I also use mantras in my daily practice to uplift me when I’m feeling down and set the tone of my day.
My favorite mantras are:
I am a being of love.
Saying this mantra takes me quickly out of feeling like a victim and empowers me to be a creator. A being of love can find the love in even the darkest situations and bring light to the toughest times.
Love is all there is.
When I say love is all there is it reminds me that no matter what happens I can always choose love. When I am outside of love it is usually because of fear and when I return to love things seems to magically work out.
I am healthy, wealthy and wise.
Health is extremely important to me because I am a teacher and entertainer. When I’m healthy, have an abundance of cash flow, and making intelligent decisions, I’m more beneficial to the planet.
I am beautiful.
Being a fitness model you are judged a lot on how you look. Some say I’m too thick…too skinny…not enough muscle…too much muscle. If I’m not careful I can sometimes feel insecure and try to change myself to fit some unachievable mold. When I chant “I am beautiful” I remember I am beautiful just the way I am.
Chanting thank you is my favorite expression of gratitude to the universe for always providing what I need when I need it. Sometimes I think about something I want to manifest and I chant “Thank You” to express gratitude because I know what I need is on its way.
Koya Webb is an internationally recognized holistic health and wellness coach, author, motivational speaker, and professional fitness model who is helping revolutionize raw/vegan cuisine, yoga and the holistic living landscape.
Facebook: Koya Webb
We all experience the feeling of being stuck in our lives – in our job, relationship, living situation, growth, and it is up to you to shift your perspective in order to move past the boundary you’ve created for yourself and have a breakthrough!
Choose 1 of the following mantras that speaks to you, and begin to meditate on this single thought. When you feel yourself come into a space of frustration, anger, resentment in the current situation – take a breath, repeat your mantra, and let go.
I realize my true potential and take action to accomplish my dreams.
I choose to live beyond my perceived boundaries.
I accept my fears, yet do not allow them to define me.
I lift myself from the heaviness I feel.
I live in abundance, I have all that I need to move forward.
I embrace change.
I am excited to see what life has to offer on the other side.
I am open to receive.
I deserve happiness. I choose happiness.
The first step in getting “unstuck” in your life is recognizing that you’re stuck in the first place. Once you create awareness around this fact, you can begin to transform your thoughts and therefor open yourself up to possibility and a new way of life!
Marissa is a Yoga Instructor inspiring others to live a fulfilling and healthy life. She has completed two 200hour Yoga Alliance certifications in Hatha and Power Vinyasa yoga. Marissa is also Reiki certified, Yoga Sculpt certified, and a SUP Yoga instructor. She was brought out to California via social media and has made beautiful Southern California her home ever since. Marissa believes in manifesting and setting goals in order to reach your most desirable dreams in life. She teaches and leads trainings for CorePower Yoga as well as offers private yoga, SUP yoga, and reiki healing sessions for those who are ready to dive deeper into themselves and discover their true life purpose. Photo by: Brian Crawford Photography.
Facebook: Marissa Rose Inspired
Don’t talk to strangers!
Don’t touch anything!
Summer is a great time to use healing affirmations to build a stronger, healthier and more loving relationship with yourself and your body. I have personally experienced the amazing power of healing affirmations in my own life, after having lost over 60 pounds naturally and healed my body of chronic health issues.
Your thoughts are powerful
Psychologists estimate that you have over 60,000 thoughts a day but the interesting thing is that 95% of them were the same thoughts you had yesterday!
In my experience, affirmations always work best when you first set a healing intention.
So, if you are ready to create a healthier body and mind for the summer, let’s first take a look at the power of setting a healing intention.
Setting your healing intention
Think of your healing intention as the general direction you want your life to head in. It doesn’t need to be specific. In fact, your healing intention can be quite broad. The important thing is to let your healing intention be something that brings you real joy and delight. Mala beads are a great way to focus and grow your intention.
Examples of a healing intention might be that you want
- To follow your dreams
- To listen to your heart
- To love your life
After you have set your healing intention, now is the time to turn your attention towards the quality of your thoughts.
What are the thoughts that you say quietly to yourself?
Within all of us, lives an inner voice, like a record player, that plays away in the background. It offers a ‘live commentary’ on you and how you are living your life, (amongst other things!)
When your thoughts are disapproving, critical or negative, this voice acts as your ‘inner critic’.
But, with awareness of your mind and your thoughts, you can learn how to transform it from your inner critic to your inner cheerleader!
How to befriend your inner voice.
If you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, just stop mid-sentence .
Congratulate yourself for noticing. Quickly ask yourself, ‘what is something kinder and more loving that I could say to myself?’ And then repeat that thought instead. Let this replace old, repetitive negative thinking. Critical thoughts transform effortlessly into healing affirmations when you flip them into more supportive, kind and loving ones that make you feel good from within.
Here are 3 healing affirmations to start using…
Affirmation #1: Today, I am choosing to be kind and gentle to myself.
Affirmation #2: Today, I am learning how to express my creativity in the world.
Affirmation #3: I am feeling healthier and stronger with each day that passes.
Use the power of healing affirmations this Summer!
To achieve your goals and dreams, transform negative or sabotaging thoughts into new, empowering and healing affirmations instead. Trust in the process and know that transformation and healing happens naturally within the space of conscious awareness. To get your Free e-course called ‘5 Steps to Transformation’ and find out more about how to transform any area of your life, please click here
By now we’ve heard and know many benefits of meditating (less stress, stronger immune system, higher levels of creativity, and such). Most of us have also heard of chanting, in some form or another. When you mixed the two of those together, what do you get? Japa Meditation!
Japa meditation is a form of meditative relaxation where the deliberation is to focus completely on one word or mantra being repeated for a period of time. Meditation can be very intimidating when you’re first starting out—Just sit there and do nothing? But I have a giant “to-do” list for the day ahead and that’s all my mind keeps thinking of, not nothing! Stay with the practice. Japa Meditation can be a great way to start a regular meditation practice because it provides you a focus to relax the mind. I actually started doing Japa Meditation for my meditation practice without even knowing the name of it!
Here are my top 8 tips on how to do Japa Meditation:
1. Set a time and stick to it every day. Find a time of day where you can dedicate 10-15 minutes to yourself with few distractions around you. You can even set daily reminders using your smartphone or computer to keep yourself accountable. Consistency is key! Make it a ritual, like brushing your teeth. For me, mornings work best, while I still have a somewhat clear head before I get tossed into the midst of the day ahead. Remember, 15 minutes a day is only 1% of your entire day, so you can make the time!
2.Create a sacred place. Set up a spot that is free from clutter, somewhat quiet, and that is inviting to be in. You might add a statue of a deity (a Buddha or a Genesha statue), some photos of people you are dedicating your meditation to, fresh smelling flowers or incense, and maybe add some cushions or old pillows you can comfortably prop up on. Think of it as your sacred, peaceful place to return to.
3. Choose a word, phrase or mantra to repeat. Ask yourself, what are your intentions are for the day ahead? Does something in your life need some extra attention or awareness? Has a thought been lingering in your mind all night that you need to let go of? Your mantra can be as simple as one word (such as peace, love, release, free), using a phrase (I honor the love within me, Peace comes from within, Go slowly, Be easy), or using a mantra prayer (Om Namah Shivaya, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu). Pick something that resonates with you and has positive personal significance.
4. Have some malas handy (literally). Malas are sacred and used for mantra practice and prayer, similar to the use of rosary beads in the Catholic religion to keep track or a count of the recitations of the mantra or prayer said. Generally handled in the left hand, one bead is counted for each recitation of the mantra, beginning with the first bead after the “guru” bead—the larger, more decorative bead at the mala’s end. The first bead is held between the index finger and thumb, and with each count the thumb pulls another bead in place over the index finger.
5. Situate yourself in a comfortable seat. Remember those cushions or old pillows we talked about? They will be your sore bum savior! Especially if you’re new to meditation, the first five minutes or so might feel like a piece of cake, but the body isn’t used to sitting for such an extended period of time (thanks to the invention of chairs), particularly in the bum area. So, pad it up! And if your hips are tight, add some extra cushioning under your bum to elevate the hips a bit higher to protect those knees.
6.Start with simple breathing. Once you’re seated, for the first minute or so, close your eyes and begin to notice your breathing. Ask yourself, what are the natural qualities of your breath? Is it short and choppy? Or long and fluid-like? Don’t try to change it, just let it flow naturally. Over the next few rounds, see if you can begin to even out the length of your inhales and exhales, so it becomes one long, continuous breath. Focusing on simply breath to start can help to initially calm and settle the mind, shifting you out of your day so you can be more present and effective during your meditation.
7. Begin repeating your word/phrase/mantra. Try not to control the mantra to follow your breath. Instead, let the flow of the mantra come naturally. You can be repeating your mantra out loud or in your head. Most malas come in strands of 21 or 108 beads, so that’s quite a few repetitions! You may notice the mind wander away from your mantra after the first 30 repitions, or after the first 5! Both are fine, it’s a practice that takes dedication and focus. Becoming aware of how much the mind wanders is the whole point of this anyway! Remember, it’s a practice. Which brings me to my next tip…
8. Be kind to yourself. Your mind will wander, you will loose count, you will forget to meditate one day, or your daily routine will simply change one day and throw you off your mediation schedule. Part of that is acceptance. Accept where you are, learn from it, and try again tomorrow. And if you find yourself getting upset or angry about it, maybe meditation on that. 😉
Do you meditate, boho girl? We want to know all about your meditation tips and tricks! Share them with us in the comments below.
Sara Grossi is a 10-year cancer survivor, dedicated yogi, teacher and freelance graphic designer. Her creativity, passion and determination for living life flows to all who enter the room. On her mat, I have found courage, confidence, strength, happiness, fearlessness and her true self.