A mantra is a repeated sound, word or phrase. 'Man' translates from Sanskrit as 'to think' while 'tra' is 'a tool or instrument'. Probably the most famous mantra is the sound of the universe, OM. Vinyasa teacher, Mary Beth LaRue uses the mantra, 'Happiness equals reality minus expectations'. What's your favorite mantra?
May the long time sun shine upon you.
All love surround you.
And the pure light within you, guide your way on.
The most beautiful rendition of this old Irish blessing is sung by Snatam Kaur. She dedicates the song at the end of concerts to her guru, Yogi Bhajan, and 'to all of those who find hope in hopelessness, and to all who remember the power of prayer'.
So wonderfully written by Carrie Owenko, a renowned Iyengar yoga instructor.
A yoga practice will help keep inquiry alive. We must question and contemplate our values and consciously choose what is meaningful to us. We must choose how to best help ourselves and each other to find stability, ease and freedom in this life. And though yoga is considered timeless, we must realize that for all practical purposes, yoga lives only in the now. It lives in the present moment through each one of us in how we treat ourselves and one another.
Susan Kain is a Registered Yoga Teacher, Pilates instructor and a Certified Personal Trainer with classes for toddlers to senior citizens.