Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha is today’s #MantraMonday . This mantra evokes Ganesha, an elephant-headed little boy who is the son of Shiva, the great yogi God that sets about destroying ego. We chant this mantra when obstacles are holding us back from realizing our true selves and living purpose. Gansesha helps us overcome obstacles to make room for new beginnings. He is particularly identified with the Hindu mantra, Om. Om is all sounds in one, and Ganesha personifies this primal sound. Gam is Ganesha’s potent seed or bija, Ganapataye is a nickname for Ganesh and Namaha is the act of bowing down ?.
I’ve chosen the Mantra because my book #YogaforLife: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom will be officially published tomorrow. And though I don’t have an elephant-headed little boy living inside me, I do still have the little girl from Indiana who suffered traumas that are still stored in my body, and I’m sure continue to hold me back in many ways. The book is a major new beginning for me; I had to overcome a sh-tload of obstacles to write it, and continue to overcome obstacles in owning the reality that the book is now out there, that I am now a published author. I also chose the mantra because I love the way it feels in my mouth and body when I chant it ?. Apparently there’s a reason for that. Mantras are a collection of what is called bijas or seeds, which are vibrational sounds that have meaning deep inside the body. The planting of these seeds have the potential to expand our consciousness, something the analytical parts of our brains can’t distort. Just by chanting this mantra, we’re saying that we are ready and willing to let go of old, stored junk. This elephant-headed little boy that resonates so deeply with me, that I made him the logo for my yoga studio and had him inked permanently on my back?. Ganesh resides in our root chakra, the muladhara. When we awaken root energy, we activate a strong and loving sense of self. We’re able to communicate clearly and without personal agenda. Intuition is also awakened. Ganesh holds a tusk in one hand and a sweet in the other, which I take to mean that he is sweet and powerful at the same time. It’s a beautiful combination, one to which we can all aspire. Chanting to the Ganesh that dwells within is powerful, playful, magical and mysterious. It is chanted in pods of 9, and is especially potent when chanted 108 times, holding mala beads. I will be doing this today in anticipation of the book entering the world. I’m hoping that I will be able to tune into others chanting to Ganesh, as obstacles are removed and we all reveal our true natures, and live to our potential ?. Here’s a great verse from a song by the hiphop artist and yogi, MC Yogi:

“You’re the ancient tone, known as Om,
Vibrating and illuminating all my bones.
The enlightened One, who’s tons of fun,
Ganapati rocks the party when he plays the drum.
Master of Mridangam, and the tabla,
When you’re blessed by Ganesh then nothin’ can stop ya.
I trust that you can bust with just one tusk
through every obstacle, until they’re crushed.
From dawn to dusk and from dusk till dawn,
Removing all obstacles — ’till they’re gone!”

Know You're Enough

The mantra I want to offer today isn’t a traditional Sanskrit mantra, but it’s one I’ve been living with for the past two years: Know You’re Enough.

I first heard the phrase in a Jason Isbell song, “Cover Me Up.” Like all mantras, these three simple words created a powerful feeling of visceral relief in me every time I listened to them, or spoke them. Know You’re Enough. I made these three words the title of the introduction of my new book, Yoga for Life. It was the mantra I needed to keep coming back to while writing, when feelings of fear, or imperfection or inadequacy would sneak up on me.

We all spend a lot of time and energy covering up our vulnerabilities and our strengths, afraid that we won’t be accepted if we expose them. In covering up real parts of ourselves, we hide our truth from world. We think we’re the only ones who feel these things; our armor gets thicker and thicker, ensuring that no one will ever see the real us.

It’s a crying shame. Only you can share what the real you has to offer. But if you keep covering it up, or running away from it, then it’s a waste of time and a loss, not only for you, but for the rest of the world that needs your contribution. This is what really makes the world go ‘round.

Let us support each other in this scary, crucial unveiling. Let us put aside judgment and competition and embrace honesty and authenticity. Know You’re Enough.


Starting next week, Mantra Mondays will be replaced with a series called Music Mondays. I’ll share a song, or a playlist that I chose to accompany each chapter of my book.