Meaning, Benefits and Use • Yoga Basics

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Yogis will often chant the Om Shanti Mantra at the end of their practice, as it holds deep spiritual meaning, numerous benefits, and serves as a powerful tool for transformation. Invoking a desire for peace, tranquility, and harmony within oneself and the world, this mantra has the ability to end a yoga or meditation practice with an intention to carry an abiding equanimity into the rest of one’s day. With its origins rooted in ancient Indian philosophy and spirituality, the Om Shanti Mantra has transcended time and culture to become a universal symbol of unity and serenity.

What Does Om Shanti Mean?

The Om Shanti Mantra originates from ancient Sanskrit scriptures and is composed of two powerful words: “Om” and “Shanti.” “Om” is considered the primordial sound of the universe, representing the eternal essence of all creation. It symbolizes the unity of body, mind, and spirit, and serves as a reminder that we are interconnected with everything around us.

“Shanti” translates to “peace” or “tranquility” in English. This state of peace is not just the absence of external disturbances, but also an inner harmony, equanimity, and stillness that can be cultivated through spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation. When chanted together, the Om Shanti Mantra serves as a powerful invocation and prayer for peace and harmony, both within ourselves and in the world around us.

Why Say “Shanti” Three Times?

Yoga and meditation practitioners often chant Shanti three times at the beginning or end of a session, signifying a sacred invocation for universal peace. By chanting “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” one aims to achieve a serene state of being, navigating the chaos of everyday life with spiritual peace and contentment.

The repetition of Shanti three times holds significant spiritual and philosophical importance. It represents the three periods of eternal peace—past, present, and future—as well as three levels of consciousness—the waking state, dream state, and deep sleep state. Chanting “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” also symbolizes three levels of peace and harmony in the body, mind, and spirit.

Benefits of Chanting Om Shanti

Chanting the Om Shanti mantra is a powerful practice that holds immense benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Here are some of the key advantages of incorporating this mantra into your yoga practice:

  • Promotes Inner Peace and Balance: The repetitive chanting of this mantra helps to quiet the mind and bring about a sense of inner peace and tranquility. It helps to release stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts, allowing the mind to become more focused and centered. It has the potential to manifest peace not only within ourselves, but also in our relationships and surroundings.
  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety: The rhythmic repetition of the sounds creates a soothing effect, allowing our thoughts to settle and our emotions to become balanced. This can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with anxiety, insomnia, or other stress-related conditions.
  • Removes Negative Thoughts: The repetition of this mantra fills the mind with positivity and creates a focal point to redirect one’s attention away from negative thoughts. By consistently chanting this mantra, individuals can cultivate a strong and focused mindset centered on a state of equanimity and inner peace.
  • Improves Concentration and Focus: By focusing on the sound and vibrations of the mantra, we bring our attention to the present moment and let go of distractions. By chanting this mantra, we can quiet the constant stream of thoughts that often overwhelm us and experience a heightened sense of clarity and mental agility. This can be especially helpful for those who struggle with concentration or find themselves easily distracted.
  • Deepens Spiritual Well-being and Connection: A daily meditation using this mantra brings a sense of peace and harmony, allowing you to tap into your inner wisdom and intuition. By focusing on the powerful vibrations of these sacred words, you can align your energy with the universal consciousness. You can use this sacred sound to strengthen your meaning or purpose in life, deepen your connection with the divine, improve self-awareness, and enhance your overall spiritual well-being.

How To Use the Om Shanti Mantra

If you are new to yoga, meditation, or mantra chanting, here’s how you can add it to your daily practice:

Mantra Meditation

This is the most common and popular way to use this mantra. Find a comfortable seated position, either on the floor or in a chair, with your spine straight and your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths to relax the body and clear your mind.

Begin by chanting “Om” three times, allowing each repetition to be slow and deliberate. As you chant, visualize the sound vibrating throughout your entire being, filling you with positive energy.

Now shift to chanting “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” with each exhalation. Focus on the meaning of the mantra and allow it to resonate within you. Allow any thoughts or distractions to simply pass by, without giving them any attention. Feel the peaceful vibrations permeating every cell of your body, bringing a deep sense of calm and tranquility.

When you feel rooted in the mantra, you can challenge yourself by repeating it as a whisper or chanting it silently in your mind. This will deepen your connection with the mantra and allow it to work its magic on a subtle level.

Continue chanting the mantra for 10-15 minutes, or for as long as feels comfortable to you. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring your focus back to the mantra. You can also use mala beads to count the repetitions, with each bead representing one chant of the mantra.

Affirmation

Besides using this mantra as a meditation practice, it can also be used as an affirmation to cultivate positive thoughts or regain your peace of mind. Throughout the day, whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a moment to close your eyes and silently repeat Om Shanti as you focus on taking deep breaths.

Intention for Practice

You can chant the mantra to set an intention for your yoga or meditation practice. Before you begin your practice, close your eyes and take a few moments to connect with your breath. Then, chant the Om Shanti mantra with sincerity and conviction, setting the intention to cultivate inner peace and harmony within yourself. Continue to come back to the mantra throughout your practice, using it to center your thoughts, maintain your balance, acknowledge your efforts, and reaffirm your inner peace.

Listen to the mantra

There are numerous videos available on YouTube where you can listen to variations of this mantra being chanted. These videos offer a powerful tool for deepening your practice and experiencing the benefits of this sacred chant. By closing your eyes, immersing yourself in the mesmerizing sounds, and allowing the vibrations to resonate within you, you can tap into a profound state of peace and inner stillness. The videos below are our favorite selections to relax, meditate or practice yoga with.

Closing thoughts

The Om Shanti mantra is not just a mere collection of words. It is a sacred invocation that holds immense meaning, benefits, and use. When chanted with devotion and sincerity, this mantra has the power to bring peace, tranquility, and harmony into our lives. The power of this mantra lies not only in its words but also in the intention with which we chant it. By infusing our hearts with true peace and positive energy, we can tap into the transformative power of this mantra of universal peace.



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