Just as it wasn’t love at first sight between yoga and me, it wasn’t with mantras either.
“It’s all too esoteric for me”, I thought at the time. I, who had already discovered an interest in tarot cards as a teenager, suddenly found this music “too esoteric”. What irony!
The first time I attended a yoga class in which mantras were recited at the beginning and end, I had to stifle my laughter because I found it so absurd. Overall, I felt a little uncomfortable and strange with it. But over time I got used to it and no longer found anything strange about it.
How I learned to appreciate mantras
The fact that I had gotten used to it, however, only meant that I simply tolerated this aspect of yoga classes without thinking anything of it. I was still a long way from becoming a mantra fan.
During the first intensive weekend of the yoga teacher training course, I experienced a satsang for the first time. Satsang is an event where people first meditate together before chanting mantras together. This is followed by a few Hindu rituals. This was completely new to all of us and at first we didn’t really know what to make of it all. But interestingly, we quickly warmed to it. While the days in general and the satsangs in particular felt like an eternity at first, they just flew by on later weekends.
We had become so comfortable with the topic that we went to the cinema together to watch the movie “Mantra – Sounds into Silence”. Many of the training group went along and it was a wonderful evening. After the movie, we had dinner together and talked about the movie. It was a documentary that not only featured mantra musicians but also scientists. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it yet!
The absolute breakthrough came when I took part in a mantra yoga class, which was absolutely magical for me. The asanas were held for longer and accompanied by matching mantras played live on the harmonium. A wonderful experience that I described at the time as “flossing for the soul”.
The Mantra Playlist
Maybe you are still as skeptical about mantras as I was at the beginning. That’s completely okay! With this playlist, I want to appeal to doubters and fans alike.
If you’re more in the first category, try to let go of the “esoteric” image and simply see the mantras as beautiful music. Yes, the content is spiritual. Yes, it often pays homage to Hindu deities. But none of this need concern you if you are unspiritual but are still looking for some inner peace. Meditating with mantras can have a very positive influence on the spinning carousel of thoughts; completely independent of the content, which you won’t understand anyway if you’re not a Sanskrit expert.
If you are already a mantra fan, this playlist may provide you with some new inspiration or you may enjoy listening to well-known and popular mantras. Classics such as the Gayatri Mantra, Om Namah Shivaya or the Maha Mantra are of course not to be missed and are brought to life by well-known artists such as Deva Premal and Krishna. But lesser-known mantras also find their place here.
Use this playlist to meditate, practise yoga – or simply to unwind.