I've got my mind on the MANTRA & the mantra on the MIND

{MANTRA + MALA} These are two of my favourite healing + meditation tools. Powerful. If you're having a busy-distracted-mind-kinda-day, bust out your mala and/or favourite mantra and mix things up. It's also a great way to ease your way into a meditation practice, and I'll tell you why.

If you really want to get your mind on board, use your mala + mantra. Without getting too sciencey, your whole body is mapped out on the brain {it's called a cortical homunculus - Google it to learn more!}. Short story = each part of your body is allocated a certain area and focus/attention. Some parts have been allocated a bigger area ... your hands being one of them. This is one of the reasons why {MUDRA} can be such a powerful addition to your practice. Using a {MALA} works in a similar way!

When the {BRAIN/MIND} has something to focus on, there is less space for less nourishing, unhelpful thoughts, or simply thoughts in general. mmmmm white space.

The combination of your hands/fingers + a mantra can really fire up your practice, bringing you deeper, calmer, and more focused in a shorter period of time.

Then, once you're in the zone, you can gently relax into stillness and breath. Allowing the mala + mantra to take a backseat. The possibilities are endless!! 

Mala Meditation

1. Get yourself a Mala :: This is tres personal. If you're tapped into your intuitive Soul, let it do the choosing. If you can shop for one in 'real life', hold it, feel it, listen, let it pick you. If you're shopping online connect with a maker that speaks to you. What are their sourcing practices (e.g. where do they buy their beads, etc.), do they have a philanthropic heart, are they local? What matters to you? What type of crystals or materials are being used? Perhaps choose qualities that you most want to attract and cultivate in your life.  

2. Prepare to Practice :: I'm a bigggggg fan of ritual. One of my favourite practices is called "Just one Thing". It's ideal for the procrastinators out there (ahem, I speak from experience), or if you're just starting your meditation journey. Whether you have an alter or not, just take one step at a time ::

- I'm just going to hold my Mala
- I'm just going to light my candle
- I'm just going to light some incense
- I'm just going to sit on the bench
- I'm just going to go for a walk, sit down, lay down, whatever
- I'm just going to turn on my fave meditation music
- I'm just going to close my eyes
- I'm just going to breathe

... you get the idea. Just one thing at a time, until VOILA!, you find yourself practicing.

3. Holding your Mala :: Drape your mala in whatever hand is most comfortable. Lay it over your middle finger, starting at the "Guru Bead" - which is usually the biggest bead, hanging at the front/bottom of your mala, often with a tassel below it. As you breath or chant your mantra {silently or outloud}, use your thumb to move from one bead to the next. Again, a full breath can be 1 bead, or you can break the inhale and exhale into 2 beads. Freestyle my sisters & brothers!! Just freestyle. It's gotta feel good. 

4. Begin :: Close your eyes. Feel your breath. Bring your full awareness into THIS moment. And begin. As best you can, don't over complicate it. Remember, as Patabhi Jois said, Yoga is 1% theory, 99% practice. I'm a huge advocate of just starting and smoothing out the wrinkles as you go. 

Inhale, one bead
Exhale, one bead  {or inhale & exhale on the same bead)


Inhale mantra
Exhale mantra

Either repeating the same mantra for the whole breath, or break it into two parts {one for the inhale, the other for the exhale}. Whatever feels right; this is YOUR practice.

Be curious.

Get creative.

What's your Favourite Mantra?

I'm a Mantra junkie. The more I learn and read, the more I fall in love. The depth and history and richness behind the traditional mantras light me up from the inside.

What's your favourite??!! Please share with me in the comments below.

That being said, you can also create your own ::

1. Ask yourself :: what do you most want to cultivate? In your practice, in your life? 
2. Ask yourself :: what do you most want to release, surrender, let go of? What is no longer serving you? 

Then, Inhale 1, Exhale 2. For example, I inhale EASE, I exhale TENSION. Symbolically {and kinda literally} inviting in what you most desire with your inhale, and then releasing that which no longer serves you with your exhale. In. Out. Mmmmmm.

Let's practice.