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Mantras + Chants

10 Top Teachers Share Their Go-To Yoga Mantras

Looking for a mantra to help you focus during your yoga or meditation practice? We asked some of our favorite teachers to share their go-to mantras.

We’ve all been there during a yoga practice or meditation session: Despite our best efforts, monkey-mind takes over and we’re running through everything from that sticky interaction with the boss to all the to-dos that need to happen before the end of the day.

One way to quiet this all-too-common scenario is to practice using a yoga mantra. Similar to the breath, mantras are a useful tool for anchoring into the present moment and providing a point a focus. The best part? You can easily use a mantra anywhere you go. In fact, for many of the teachers we talked to, mantras are a way to help them experience the kind of peace they feel on their yoga mats and meditation cushions when they’re out in the real world.

Even better, your mantra can change whenever you like, depending on what you need. And it doesn’t have to be in Sanskrit or so long that you need a little print-out. A mantra can simply be a word or phrase that is accessible and supportive.

See also The Beginner’s Guide to Common Mantras

We asked top yoga teachers to tell us their go-to mantras, so you can get inspired to use a meaningful mantra in your practice, too. Here’s what they shared with us.

Lauren Taus, yoga teacher and clinical therapist

None

MANTRA: “I am love.”

WHY: I use this mantra to manage my insecurities, judgments, and tendency towards comparison. The more I connect with my own heart, the more love I have to give. I also believe in vibrational match dot com! As I fall into deeper love with me, I see love everywhere.

See also 10 Things Burning Man Taught Lauren Taus About Life

Ben Sears, yoga teacher and founder & CEO of LUXYOGA

None

MANTRA: Spread love and kindness.

WHY: While I practice Sanskrit mantras, at the recent behest of my Ayurveda teacher (who grew up on an ashram in India), I have also begun to create mantras in my own language. Yoga is about optimizing well-being and using the body as vehicle to begin to observe the mind, ultimately preparing you for deeper reflection. Chants with religious themes may not be accessible to many people. Over many years of teaching, I’ve found students respond well to doing serious inner work in a lighthearted way, and one of the greatest gifts of a practice is the feeling that everything is going to be OK, it’s alright to chuckle, and we’re all in this together.

See also Chanting 101: 6 Things To Know If You Don’t “Get” Kirtan

Annie Carpenter, yoga teacher and creator of SmartFLOW Yoga

None

MANTRA: Neti, Neti

WHY: My mantra changes often. Here’s one I return to when I find myself needing all the answers; it helps me get back to being in the flow of uncertainty. “Neti, neti” translates as “not this, not that.”

See also A Home Practice for Stamina and Self-Discovery

Meredith Cameron, international yoga teacher and the founder of Yoga Stability®

None

MANTRA: Get over yourself.

WHY: This mantra puts things into perspective for me (and for others), reminding me that we complicate sh%t for no reason!

See also 3 Restorative Poses to Optimize Organ Function with Meredith Cameron

Lauren Eckstrom, yoga/meditation teacher and co-founder of Inner Dimension Media

None

MANTRA: I have time.

WHY: “I have time” reminds me to slow down and move mindfully throughout the day. While we never know when our last day will come, we do know (thanks to science!) that the more present we are in any given moment, the happier and more fulfilled we are. In today’s world, we are all subject to the pain and influence of urgency. We all have moments where we get caught in the rush and flood of emails, information, and overflowing schedules. When I gently remind myself, “I have time” it encourages me to take each moment as it comes with the fullness of my attention, and when the end of the day comes I have a greater sense of peace, joy, and fulfillment.

See also Lauren Eckstrom on Embracing Your Truest Self

Laura Burkhart, yoga teacher

None

MANTRA: Dream Big.

WHY: I say this a lot throughout the week. It helps me to not limit my thinking in how I can help a person, a community, or as many animals as possible, while I still have breath in my body. I believe what you think about and choose to set your focus on is where you’re headed. Whether people experience great things—big or small—has a lot to do with how they think.

See also 10 Ways to Get Real About Your Body’s Limitations & Avoid Yoga Injuries

Sara Clark, mindfulness coach and yoga teacher

None

MANTRA: Om Ritam Namah

WHY: I love this mantra’s translation, which is “My intentions and desires are directly connected and supported by universal intelligence.”

See also Sara Clark on the Value of Practice and Stepping Into Your Power

Kathryn Budig, international yoga teacher

None

MANTRA: Be dangerous. But be kind.

WHY: I’m all about taking risks and reminding myself of my talent. This means I need to be kind to myself and others in this transformative, and often volatile, process.

See also Kathryn Budig Shares How She Finally Started Living the Life She Actually Wants

Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, co-founder of Red Clay Yoga & founder of Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp for Teen Girls

None

MANTRA: I am grounded and capable of making choices even when I am questioning.

WHY: This mantra is deeply meaningful for me right now. It is both my mantra and perfect sankalpa I crafted under the guidance of my yoga nidra teacher, Tracee Stanley.

See also A Meditation for Peace with Chelsea Jackson-Roberts

Elena Brower, yoga/meditation teacher and creator of Practice You journal

None

MANTRA: Maha Mrityunjaya

WHY: The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is a nurturing mantra, a healing force. The words of this mantra strengthen our will, wisdom, and willingness to act, creating an internal environment of creativity, courage, and clarity. I repeat this mantra every morning before meditation, and a few times a day to optimize what I’m learning, eating, hearing, or experiencing. 

See also Elena Brower’s Go-To Recipe for Nourishing Comfort Food

About the Author
Bridget “Bee” Creel is the editorial producer for Yoga Journal. She works as a yoga teacher in NYC and is the co-founder of the wellness community, Mood Room