Mantra is sound current, it is the sound of creation, and the underlying vibration of everything in manifest form. It simple terms it is a word, phrase, syllable for sound that is recited, sung or silently repeated in the mind. Every mantra carries it's own rhythm and sound vibration and so each mantra creates it's own particular effect.
The science behind mantra is known as Naad. I first learned of the power of mantra when I found Kundalini Yoga. Since then, it has been an integral part of my life, inspiring my yoga teaching practice as well as the m+m jewelry line. You can read about my mantra experience here.
“What is a mantra? Mantra is two words: “Man” and “tra.” “Man” means mind. “Tra” means the heat of life. “Ra” means sun. So, mantra is a powerful combination of words which, if recited, takes the vibratory effect of each of your molecules into the Infinity of the Cosmos. That is called “Mantra.” -Yogi Bhajan
Chanting mantras causes the tongue to move in a particular way across the roof of the mouth, stimulating the 84 meridian points that are found there. This, in turn, stimulates the pineal-pituitary-hypothalamus which causes the glands to secrete producing feeling of relaxation, heightened awareness and peace.
The practice of mantra also creates a particular rhythm of breath in the body, this breath pattern changes the flow of prana and apana (ascending and descending energy) balancing the blood oxygen ratios. This relaxes and resets the nervous system and creates a pranic force of vitality and radiance around you.
Mantra has a unique ability to tap into the subconscious mind. Just think for a minute about the "old tapes" that play in your subconscious 24/7. For most of us, those old tapes contain some very negative and limiting beliefs. These subconscious patterns are exactly why it is so hard to create change in life. Even if we take the outward steps, without changing the old tapes, we don't get very far.
Mantra can both erase and replace those tapes. In Kundalini Yoga we use the Bij mantra, or seed mantra, Sat Nam with every breath. Sat Nam means "truth is my identity" - or "my identity is truth" . When repeated, not only do we stimulate the glands of the brain that makes us feel good, reduce stress, strengthen the nervous system and oxygenate our blood, but we also plant this seed, Sat Nam, into our subconscious.
As our practice continues, this becomes the new pattern from which we create our life. By resetting the limiting patterns of the subconscious to new, consciously chosen and elevating patterns of the mantra, you begin to experience radical shifts.
The mantras I use are from the Kundalini Yoga tradition and are usually Gurmuhki although some are Sanskrit or English.