More than at any other time in history, we are constantly surrounded by distractions of all kinds. Between work, social engagements, family responsibilities, and smart phones, it can be nearly impossible to give anything your undivided attention. But the good news is that there’s an ancient, tried-and-true solution to this problem, and you don’t have to look any further than the teaching team at Symmetry Yoga Alameda to find it!
The ancient yogis described the flighty, distractible wanderings of the human mind as “chitta vritti” which roughly translates into “monkey mind”. Much like an adventurous little monkey (think Curious George) our minds are constantly seeking the next source of stimulation and adventure. We’re almost always reminiscing about the past or wondering about the future, and almost never settled in the present, experiencing the here and now with total attention.
On the surface this may not seem like a problem, but the truth is we miss the best and sweetest parts of our lives if we can never quiet the “monkey mind” long enough to savor what’s right in front of us.
Mantras are an incredibly effective way to cut through the “chitta vritti” and focus the mind on something simple and easy, to help train the mind to chill out and let us just be present. Mantras can be words, phrases, or sounds that are repeated to help us step out of thinking mode and into feeling mode. The traditional yogis used Sanskrit for theirs, but Mantras can be anything that feels right to you. Kind of like setting intentions for your yoga practices, you can focus on a particular word (like “peace” or “forgiveness”) or even a wordless sound, like a hum.
The teachers at Symmetry Yoga Alameda are well practiced at incorporating powerful Mantras into our classes, to help our students “drop in” and get the most out of their meditative experience. The benefits of well-executed mindfulness exercises, like yoga, are far-reaching. Research has shown that mindful yoga lowers blood pressure, increases our tolerance for stress, and makes us more loving partners, parents and friends.
If you’re curious about how Mantras can help you live your best life, check out the schedule at Symmetry Yoga Alameda. The first step to inner peace is as easy as saying “Om”!