Mantra is a powerful tool that helps aid in concentration and focus. Typically a mantra is a word or a sound that is either said aloud or in your head and sometimes repeated in order to create an awareness or focus in meditation. Some mantras are directly correlated to our chakras, or energy centers. These mantras are called seed or “bija” mantras.
If you have taken a yoga class, chances are you have heard the bija mantra “OM”. Om is made up of three syllables, A-U-M and phonetically said like “ahh” “oh” “mm” allowing the sound itself to feel like it has 3 parts. Om and its three parts can be thought to represent something larger like the heavens, earth and the underworld or the mind, body and spirit. I think the best definition of Om it its representation of the beginning, the middle and the end. Others have said that Om is the sound the universe makes. I also like to point out the vibrational qualities that Om creates for a group of people. When chanting “om” together we are uniting in voice with those around us and connecting on a deeper level to our community and the world around us. We are connecting on a vibrational level through sound.
Here is a breakdown of the bija mantras that correlate to each chakra and their uses:
1st: Muladhara or Root Chakra- LAM use this mantra to feel grounded and secure
2nd: Swadisthana or Sacral Chakra- VAM, use this mantra to open to awaken your creativity
3rd: Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra- RAM use this mantra to feel confident and tap into your personal power
4th: Anahata or Heart Chakra- YAM use this mantra to open your heart, accept and let go
5th: Vishudda or Throat Chakra- HAM use this mantra to express yourself freely through speech and writing
6th: Ajna or 3rd Eye Chakra- OM use this mantra to discover your purpose or your intention
7th: Sahasrara or Crown Chakra- OM or Silence use this mantra to connect with higher power and spirit
For harnessing your creativity, it would be best to start at the root chakra. Find a comfortable seated position where you can stay for 5 minutes or so. Take a normal breath in and a normal breath out. Notice any thoughts that enter your mind. Repeat the mantra LAM in your mind or out loud. Notice the vibrational qualities of the mantra. Feel LAM and its vibrations down at the base of your seat. Feel the rooted sensation of your sitting bones on the ground. Feel the strength of your seat and notice the steadiness of your breath. When your mind goes back to your thoughts, bring yourself back to your mantra, LAM. Try this for as long as you’d like.