The practice of Trataka (TRAH-tuh-kuh), or candle-gazing is often recommended to alleviate eye strain, but here I will share the use of Trataka as an "energy hygiene" technique.
EXTENDED PRACTICE WITH HEART HEALING MANTRA
You may wish to experiment with repeating this mantra several times before your trataka practice. Click here to listen with SoundCloud
Vishoka Va Jyotishmati
(Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1:36)
(Vee-show, Kuh-vah, Joe-teesh, Mah-Tee)
Vishoka – free of suffering;
Jyotish- Inner light;
Mahti- concentration of inner light
Interpretation: By contemplating and expanding our inner light we become free from suffering. May my inner luminosity is glow bright. (This mantra is a heart opener on the inside and the chanting equivalent of doing a large chest opener like a backbend. )
Credit: Thanks to Missy Felsenstein of Inner Sounds Yoga for sharing this powerful mantra with us during the Harvesting Wholeness series!
Mantra (Man= mind, Tra = thread) The word mantra literally means "thread for the mind". Chanting a mantra repeatedly steadies the mind by giving it a single pointed focus. Each yogic mantra holds a special sacred vibration that is medicinal for all layers of your being.
One of the most popular mantras is "Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha" - a chant to Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles. This mantra is often chanted before chanting any others. Ganesha (the elephant headed god), represents the strength within to overcome any obstacle in our path. Although we often perceive obstacles as "bad", we can see how obstacles help us grow and get stronger. Therefore, each obstacle is actually a tool to bring us a certain medicine in our life. The frustration of meeting an obstacle and the determination to overcome it is the exact fuel needed for growth.
The practice of repeating a mantra is called "japa". Traditionally one uses a string of 108 beads called a "mala" to count the reptitions. 108 is a sacred number to yogis and chanting a mantra 108 times is said to bring out the full power of the medicine of the mantra. Chanting not only brings you personal healing but also sends much needed positive vibrations out into the world.
After chanting mantra, sit quietly and receive the silence. You may choose to repeat the mantra silently in your mind or you may find it does it all on it’s own - like getting a song stuck in your head. Practice feeling the energy of the mantra but also the silent space within which your experience is occurring.
The above recording was made at Ojas Yoga Center in November 2016. Listen along or join in! Many blessings to you on your path. We are all together as One.
Author, Nicole Becker
Yoga Therapist, Retreat Leader, and Heart of Yoga Teacher, Nicole Becker offers yoga and self-care insights and tips.