Yoga teaches us that the cosmos arose from the vibration of sound. Within all life there is a vibration at the cellular level, just as there is in the galaxies… and the sound is always OM. Long before there were Yoga poses, there was Mantra Japa: the chanting of sacred sounds. The wisdom of the great Vedas, from which Yoga arises, traditionally was passed down from guru to disciple through Mantra Japa (repetition).
Commercial advertising is effective because it repeats phrases that become implanted in our subconscious and affect our thought process, and therefore our behavior. When harsh words are spoken to us, or we speak harshly to others, there is a deeply toxic and lasting effect. Likewise, words of praise, love and support lift us up and help us move forward in our lives. Through mantra we can purify our consciousness, help to still our busy minds and energize our devotion to sadhana (our yogic practice). In the process we relieve stress and find inner peace.
The mantra So Ham (so-hum) means “I am That.” This means “I am the Divine.” Chanting So Ham helps dissolve our individual dramas and petty concerns while moving us towards experiencing the oneness of all that is.
I invite you to practice the Yoga of Mantra in a simple way. Regularly chant So Ham silently to yourself, inhaling “So” and exhaling “Ham.” Notice when you get “thought loops” in your mind and dissolve them through use of the mantra. Use it when you feel anxious, frustrated, fearful, angry or sad. Remember, the more consistent you are with this practice, the deeper the benefits. Please let me know what you experience.