Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is a Mantra?

Om.  What is a mantra?  In the yoga classes that I teach, I usually define it as a meaningful sound, word, or phrase that, when repeated, can bring about a sense of devotion, calmness, and peace.  Throughout the past few years, I have had various meaningful mantras. 





"Love from a distance".
When one of my children goes through a difficult time, this is my mantra.  As a mother, my first instinct is to run in and rescue. However, I realize that in order for my children to grow and mature, I need to step back and let them solve some of their own problems.  This one is tough. The mantra helps.

"Drop everything and go".  I've lost several friends and a close relative to cancer in the past two years.  It has been a sad time.  Instead of focusing on the past, this mantra has helped me to focus on the present. 

These people gave me a gift - the realization that life is precious, and so very short.  Because of their untimely passing, I'm all the more aware of the importance of family and friendships. 

When my son asks me to join him for lunch at his school, I can think of several things I'd rather be doing than eating a happy meal in a noisy cafeteria.  Then I remember this mantra.  He won't be my sweet little guy who wants to spend time with his mom forever.  Drop it.  Go.

"Stand up".  This is my current mantra. In the yoga world where my career resides, I've noticed so many changes.  It seems to have become a world where superficiality reigns over substance. This is not the yoga I signed up for.

So what is?  A yoga that brings peace of mind and has integrity of purpose.  A yoga where people can learn at their own pace and feel good about themselves.  A yoga where people don't feel that they have to dress a certain way, look a certain way, pose a certain way.

So, here is where I landed.  A little gym in a little suburb.  And a hospital where women who are surviving cancer can come and practice their yoga among a system of support and non-judgment.

Here is where I stand up.  Here is where I find meaning.  Many have questioned my decision to leave the studio world of yoga.  This mantra reminds me that I am doing the right thing.