What Is A Mantra?
The word mantra is derived from the sanskrit root words man – mind – and tra – tool. A mantra is a tool for the mind! An instrument with which you can learn to control your mind. Once you control your mind, you control your life.
Let’s do a little experiment to find out how much control over your mind you already have: Sit in a cross-legged position with an erect spine. Set the timer of your smart phone for one minute and close your eyes. For the next minute just don’t think of anything. Pretty hard, hum?
Don’t worry, you are not alone! Most people can only control about 20% of their thoughts. The percentage increases with persistent meditation practice.
Now try the same again – but make use of a mantra while doing it. For the next minute with every inhalation think “Sat” and with every exhalation think “Nam”. Sat Nam. That’s much easier, right?
Sat means “truth” and Nam “name, identity”. Sat Nam thus means “truth is my identity”. Your true identity beyond duality and separation. The level on which we are all connected.
Why Do Mantras Work?
Sounds intensively vibrate matter. Everything on this earth consists of the same elementary particles: protons, electrons, neutrons. These particles are in constant vibration. Every impulse, every thought, every emotion affects this vibration. Already a mantra recited quietly in the mind has a particular vibration and a sound. We just cannot hear that sound because it exceeds our audible spectrum.
Specific sounds trigger specific frequencies. With mantras you can purposefully alter the state of your vibration and re-balance imbalances. In principle, sound can heal everything.
What Happens In The Body During Chanting?
In the body there are 72 main nadis – subtle energy channels – that are put into vibration like the strings of a musical instrument through mantras. 84 meridian points are located in the mouth. With the tongue information is transmitted like from keyboard to harddrive. A particular tongue position gives a particular order to the brain. For instance, it tells the pituitary gland which neurotransmitters to secret.
Crucial is the connection between the tongue and the 10th main nerve – the nervus vagus. If this nerve is stimulated, we relax. The chanting creates inner peace. Good vibes so to say.
Tipp: Next time when you begin to ponder or have negative thoughts just try to recite a mantra for a couple of minutes and observe what happens! You can for instance use the above explained mantra Sat Nam.
The sound stream uplifts your vibration and thus outsmarts your mind. Mind cannot defeat mantra.
Which Role Do Mantras Play in Kundalini Yoga?
Mantras are an essential part of Kundalini Yoga. In this tradition we do not chant in Sanskrit but in Gurmukhi, the old Indian language of the Sikhs. Opposed to most other yoga styles, Kundalini Yoga is not based on the Hindu but on the Sikh culture. From the very beginning, it was designed for householders - people who do not live as ascetics in ashrams and caves but who do live in the material world and have jobs and families.
Kundalini Yoga is a very effective technology to maintain health and elevate consciousness. Through the connection of asanas (exercizes), meditations, pranayam (breathing) and mantra, the whole body system (nerves, glands, muscular, emotional and mental functions) are influenced in a positive way and the creative potential expanded.
You Want To Learn More?
Until the last May weekend you can still start your Kundalini Yoga teacher training with the Karam Kriya School and Daljeet Kaur at Kreuzbergyoga in Berlin. The comprehensive training is 3HO-certified and takes one year. Hope to see you at Kreuzbergyoga soon! Sat Nam!