Buddhi mudra, or enlightenment gesture, is often associated with the Buddha, and is ideal for centering and calming. Bring your thumb and index finger together, tip to tip, as in the Om mudra. Then bring both hands together, knuckles touching, and rest your hands against your lower abdomen at your Jupiter chakra. This mudra represents divinity and the oneness of self and also the joining of all energies. It quiets the mind, stills action, and enlightens the self to its inner divinity. Try this mudra when you are feeling tense or rushed.
The buddhi mudra.
Mantras: Beyond Om
"I'll do yoga," you say, "but I draw the line at chanting." Okay, so you've been put off by a few Om stereotypes on television and in movies. But bear with us for just a little bit—it's not as bad as you think, once you understand what chanting is all about.
Om is a common mantra because it's designed to invoke a universal perspective: You see your body/mind in relation to its place in the big picture. In Sanskrit, Om is spelled "aum," and each letter is a sacred symbol:
> a represents the self in the material world.
> u represents the psychic realm.
> m represents indwelling spiritual light.
Chanting Om unifies your perceptions so you can sense yourself as an integral part of the universe.
Wise Yogi Tells Us
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (pronounced OHM SHAHN-tee SHAHN-tee SHAHN-tee) is a great beginning mantra to try. Shanti means "peace," and when repeated three times, it balances the body, mind, and spirit. It's easy to use and to remember.
Gradually, the chant helps you shed everything that separates you from the universe —all your negativity, illusions, and misperceptions of yourself and the world. Om is a great mantra for anyone. Don't be embarrassed! Give it a try!
But as we said, Om isn't the only mantra. Many Sanskrit word combinations serve as common mantras, but any sequence of words meaningful to you can be a mantra. You might find something that works for you in the following list:
> Light (inhalation), love (exhalation). Love (inhalation), light (exhalation).
> Om namah sivaya (pronounced OHM NAH-mah SHE-vah-yah). (Note: Siva destroys and recreates. The energy that destroys the lower self builds the higher self.)
> Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (pronounced OHM SHAHN-tee, meaning all peace, peace, peace).
> Hari Om (pronounced HA-ree OHM, meaning removing fear, uncovering bliss).
> Hong Sau (pronounced HONG SAW, meaning the holy breath; inhale "hong," exhale "sau").
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