Bija Mantra – the Energized Sound
Mantra, the sacred word, is the most common yogic practice. It is the main tool for working on the mind. While asanas are postures for the body, mantras are postures for the mind. They provide the mind with well-being and adaptability. Whereas yoga employs mantra for self-development, Ayurveda uses it for self-healing.
Sound can be used to harmonize our panic energies around the seven chakras (see The Seven chakras). Each chakra has its own sacred syllable, a bija mantra. These “seed sounds” resonate with the cosmic vibration of each chakra evoking the body’s healing intelligence.
The chakras and their corresponding bija mantras are:
1.Muladhara (Root Chakra) LAM
2. Swadhisthana (Sacral Chakra) VAM
3. Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra) RAM
4. Anahata (Heart Chakra) YAM
5. Vishuddha (Throat Chakra) HAM
6. Ajna (Third Eye Chakra) OM
The crown chakra is the abode of unwavering silence. The vibrations of all the bija mantras reverberate within it.
When you repeat the bija mantras, you gradually cleanse and harmonize your inner vibrations.
Pronunciation of the mantras:
The letter “a” is pronounced like the vowel sound in the word “the”.
Pronounce the final “m” as a nasalized sound, the echo “mmmmmm”.
How to meditate:
Sit in the crossed legs posture with your spine straight. Sitting upright in any comfortable posture, even in a chair is perfectly fine (see detailed recommendations in How to meditate).
With eyes closed, begin to chant each mantra starting with the root chakra while you visualize climbing the ladder of chakras up the spine. Repeat a mantra aloud softly and at a natural pace. Say the sound, then wait for it to settle and come to mind again.
Repeat the sequence nine times. As you repeat the mantras, focus on allowing the chanting to become seamless so that the each sequence of sounds merges into the next, without beginning or end. Do not try to control your thought process. If you forget the sequence or get distracted, gently reintroduce it in the mind. Take the attitude that whatever happens, happens.
When you finish your meditation, don’t get up too quickly. Sit or lie down for at least two minutes before resuming regular activity.
Observe this practice for about seven minutes every day for seven weeks before progressing to the chakra – visualizing practice.
TODAY’S TIP: Do not use an alarm. However, you can time yourself by occasionally glancing at your watch or clock.