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Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit mantra popularised by Jivamukti Yoga. You will often hear it at the end of a yoga practice. I personally like to use a recording of the mantra during savasana to wrap up a practice.

Here is a version of a translation of the mantras:

Lokah: location, realm, all universes existing now

Samastah: all beings sharing that same location

Sukhino: centered in happiness and joy, free from suffering

Bhav: the divine mood or state of unified existence

Antu: may it be so, it must be so

And when you chain the words in the mantra together, it serves as a powerful reminder of why we practise yoga, and also speaks to Ahimsa, one of the yamas in Hinduism, that is the virtue of non-violence and non-harming.

One of the most memorable teachings from Jessica (our dear YTT teacher at Yoga Mandala) is that the practice of yoga is not just on your mat or when you are performing physical poses. Yoga is a way of life – and we must consider how we can extend the virtues of yoga (read up on 8 limbs of yoga) beyond the few hours of practise and let it guide our daily lives.

I tend to – we all tend to- forget to practise non-violence and non-harming in our daily lives. It’s easy to be genuine and nice to your batch mates at YTT because more often than not you are not carrying your emotional armour with you when you are going for yoga – most who practise yoga fervently are patient, and full of love and acceptance (you have to be patient and be kind and love and accept yourself for who you are to even make any significant progress in yoga AND enjoy it) – there is no need to defend against such lovely people.

But step off the mat and I find it challenging at times. How do we protect ourselves without being defensive, and to not practise violence and inflict harm through our actions and through our words towards others who have caused hurt or are still causing hurt willingly or unknowingly? I guess I don’t have all the right answers, at least not at this point in time, but I love how Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a constant reminder that our lives are so fleeting, it is fate that we are sharing the same space (perhaps we all are if we disregard the dimension of time – but let’s leave the abstract discussion for another time) and we should always endeavour to be kind, and that all beings have the right to be happy, and to be free.

200 Hour YTT Oct’20