Mantras have powers. They’re not just repetitive sounds, but carry vibrations that reverberate throughout our entire being. The top seven mantras for yogis align you with divine guidance and connect you to your inner guru.
So simple, so common, yet never to be underestimated. Om is the original sound and carries all sounds and vibrations throughout the universe. It uplifts for the upward transformation of the soul and harmonizes you with the world around you. It should be chanted at the beginning and end of a yoga practice, as well as at the beginning and end of all other mantras.
In the Upanishads, it’s explained that the sun chants om as it moves throughout the sky. In Jyotish, or Vedic astrology, om is linked to the sun. This is the planet that most relates to your individual soul for finding light and truth—perfectly aligning with a yogi’s spiritual goals.
Sometimes taught in vinyasa classes, so-hum is a gorgeous mantra to pair with the breath. It means I am that, reminding you that we are all part of the universal-consciousness rather than separate from it. So can be mentally recited on inhalations, and hum on exhalations. It can also be experienced the opposite way with hum on inhalations, and so on exhalations. It can either be paired with asana as a technique for enhancing awareness and bringing more spirituality to the practice, or as a meditation in itself.
Sham is the mantra of peace, detachment, and liberation. It’s pronounced more like ‘shum’, with the ‘a’ sound said similar to ‘the’. Because it calms the mind and promotes mental stability, it’s a great mantra for yogis. It helps in meditation, focusing the mind, and granting dedication to one’s sadhana or spiritual practice.
Pronounced ‘goom’, the mantra gum connects us to the inner guru and a yogi’s knowledge of the divine within. It’s also the mantra for Jupiter. According to Jyotish, Jupiter is the most beneficial of all the planets, signifying our dharma and the expansiveness of your soul. Gum is the perfect mantra for searching yogis who’d like to align themselves with the divine guidance that resides within.
Lam is the mantra for the root and first chakra: muladhara. In order to truly evolve spiritually, you must rise above your first two chakras because those keep you tied to your animal instincts. The mantra lam, which is pronounced with an ‘ahm’ sound, releases blockages in muladhara and activates its potential for evolution. It also grounds you and provides contentment.
Yam is the mantra of the heart and fourth chakra, anahata. Chanting yam while visualizing a smoky gray six-pointed star residing at this chakra creates love and devotion. According to some lineages, only when the kundalini has made it to anahata chakra is one a true yogi. Until then, they are merely a yoga practitioner.
Lokah samastah sukinoh bhavantu is a universal mantra meaning, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” It’s non-religious and a blessing for all beings. It’s the perfect mantra to teach to yoga students. This mantra reinstates within us the idea that we should love both ourselves and others. It promotes our compassion and dissipates our ill-will and envy.
Any of these mantras can be chanted softly for a few minutes. This form of meditation, called japa, guides the mind inward as it soaks up the power of the mantra.
Reference: Frawley, David. Astrology of the Seers: Course in Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda. Santa Fe: David Frawley, 2010.