Mantra (a very powerful form of yoga) is still something relatively new to me. Even as a singer, I was shy to say “OM” out loud in a group at class. It seemed so embarrassing. Funnily enough, as a singer, the power of meditation has always come to me when I play the piano. I experienced exquisite visions. Perhaps that is why I naturally took to yoga, it grounded my heavenly head yet still allowed me to soar high and free and as far as the wind of my thoughts would take me. When I play piano I paint the visions I experience sonically as a way to energetically bring more people. I want them to feel and see what I see.
To break down what is mantra I happened to open to the exact page about it in the book: The Deeper Dimension of Yoga. Please read below!
“Sound is a form of vibration, and it was known as such to the yogis of ancient and medieval India. According to the dominate theory of the science of sacred sound- known as mantra-vidya or mantra-shastra– the universe is in a state of vibration (spanda or spandana). A mantra is sacred utterance, numinous sound, or sound that is charged with psychospiritual power. A mantra is a sound that empowers the mind, or that is empowered by the mind. It is a vehicle of meditative transformation of the human body-mind and is thought to have magical potency.
The most widely employed and recognized mantric sound is the sacred syllable OM, which symbolizes the ultimate Reality. It is found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. But, traditionally, a mantra is only a mantra when it is imparted by a teacher or disciple during an initiatory ritual. Thus, the sacred syllable om is not a mantra when used by an uninitiated person. It acquires its mantric power only through initiation.
Mantras, which may consist of single sounds or a whole string of sounds, can be employed for many different purposes. Originally mantras were used to ward off undesirable powers or events and attract those that were deemed desirable, and this is their predominant application. In other words, mantras are used as magical tools. But they are also employed in spiritual contexts as instruments of empowerment, where they aid the aspirant’s search for identification with the transcendental Reality.
My advice, at your next yoga practice (or even at your desk at work) close your eyes and began to use your voice and your vibrations. Take a deep breath and say out loud “OOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM”