Meditation has become a popular topic in the past 5 years. Apps, Books, and podcasts are all out there to help you achieve the benefits of meditation. When we run yoga teacher trainings in Vancouver, we don’t necessarily train our future yoga teachers to mediaite, but instead teach them how to do the different mudras and mantras.
What are Mantras?
Mantras are tools for the mind. They are often words, syllables, or sounds that are repeated in 1 of 3 ways to elicit a specific outcome.
One can chant them fully vocalized, simply mouth the words, or just think the mantras. This represents the scale of increasing subtly and potency of the mantras.
OM is a common mantra in yoga. Repetition of OM is said to be a mediation of itself. This, or any mantra, provides the mind with a single point of focus. Further, when chanting holy sanskrit words, the mystical vibrations of the mantra permeates your mind. This is said to take you deeper into the self and closer to samadhi.
What are Mudras?
Mudras are yogic hand postures. The most commonly known is the posture of thumb and forefinger touching with palms open. The energetic pathways of the body (the nadis) end at and cycle back from the fingertips.
When one meditates with a particular hand posture then they are looping their prana through specific channels. There are many more mudras than the aforementioned one, each with the capacity to channel prana to a different area of the body. Where attention goes, prana flows, and vice versa. When we can channel and focus the flow of prana to a particular area of the body we will have an easier time resting out focus there. This can be advantageous for other yogic healing practices as well.
In tandem, Mantras and Mudras utilize more than the will power of them mind to achieve the result of meditation. They are both holistic yogic tools to assist you in deepening your connection to yourself and enhancing your meditation practice.