21-Day Meditation Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 23

Day 11: Hamsa

20 min - Practice


We settle in before moving into a mantra-based meditation practice working with the energizing and uplifting mantra, Hamsa: That I am. Notice what you are experiencing.
What You'll Need: No props needed


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to meditation number 11. This basically marks halfway. So we're switching it up and we're going to stay mantra based. We will continue the pattern of aligning the body and then breath and then mantra. But today's mantra instead of so hum is kind of its opposite in the yoga tradition, which is hum sa.

So instead of I am that, so hum, it is that I am. It is considered to be more on the uplifting or energizing side, but again, you might not have that experience. We are all unique in our own experience of any mantra or any practice. So try this one on for size and see how you like it, especially in opposition to so hum. So find your seat, get comfortable, close your eyes, place your hands how you prefer.

Go for maximum ease. Go for maximum ease in terms of your body when it comes to meditation. It's hard enough to focus the mind. We don't want to struggle with discomfort physically. So establishing your base, making sure there isn't anything uncomfortable building up in terms of feet, knees, hips, aligning your sitting bones.

Again, you can align the pelvic bowl and with that bowl of water, that imaginary bowl of water level, not spilling forward, not spilling backwards, and then up through the vertebra, shishumna energy channel, spine aligned. Lift all the way through the crown and then that settling process, relaxing, releasing, aligning around your structure, become aware, emotional content, current mental state, quality of energy today. Then observe your breathing and have a few moments, just watching the breath, not yet adding on the mantra or any other layers, just observing flow of breath, focusing your mind on the natural movements of your breathing. Once you feel settled and fairly focused on your breathing, then you're going to add that next layer, hamsa. So just as we did with the earlier mantra meditations, let's link it with the breath.

As your inhalation occurs, hum as you breathe out, sa. Do not lengthen the breath, let it be natural. As the inhale happens in your mind, hum as the exhale happens, sa. Do not lengthen the breath, hum as the exhale happens in your mind, hum as the exhale happens. And then whatever your state of mind is today, coming back anytime there's a distraction, whether this is happening frequently or not much at all, be gentle with yourself, come back, hamsa, hamsa.

So just as you breathe out, hum as the inhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, hum as the exhale happens, at the same time to help you stay right here. The mantra itself and the combination of breath with mantra. And breath with mantra. Inhale, hum, exhale, sa. And breath with mantra. Inhale, hum, sa. And breath with mantra. Inhale, hum, sa.

And breath with mantra. Inhale, hum, sa. And breath with mantra. Inhale, hum, sa. Stay with the mantra. At the same time become aware of your body. Any sinking or collapsing, I want you to realign, sit tall, scan for tension. Anything you find, any pockets of gripping, let go, relax.

And then mind on the mantra. Hum, sa. That I am. Hum, sa. Hum. Hum. Hum.

Hum. Hum. And just maybe five more minutes here. Five more minutes with the mantra. Keep placing your attention on that inner sound. And also the feeling tone. So this is like so hum, this is an ancient mantra used for thousands of years.

So that feeling of reverence as you partake in the tradition. Hum, sa. That I am. Hum. Hum. Hum. Hum.

Hum. Hum. Hum, last minute or so, coming back to technique, using that inner sound, last moments before we close, hold your steady focus. Hum, sa. Hum.

Now letting go of the mantra, want you to pay attention to what you're feeling. So as always that check-in, but in particular, having shifted into a new mantra, what are you experiencing? Internal inventory, not good or bad or right or wrong, just what is. Bring the practice to a close, hands together now at your heart. Namaste. Thank you for practicing with me. I want you to pay particular attention.

You really notice for yourself the difference between yesterday's mantra and today's mantra. What worked, what didn't, were they both doable or was it very clear for you that one mantra was effective and the other one you really had a hard time with? This is important information for yourself and your meditation practice going forward. Thank you.


Glenford N
3 people like this.
Felt I was tapping into a source of energy, there was a palpable sensation of something coming into me. I was refreshed and revitalized , lighter, more at ease and graceful. You are a wonderful teacher Nikki. Namaste.
Nikki Estrada
Glenford wonderful to hear!
Kate M
My understanding of the Sanskrit is as follows: "soham" = saha (he) + aham (I), and the verb "to be" is understood. I am he; saaham = saa (she) + aham (I). I am she; hamsa translates as "swan",  saaham and hamsa are both heard in the recitation of this mantra. Two meanings for the price of one!
Barbora K
2 people like this.
hello. I felt warmth filling my body within the first few seconds of reciting the mantra..I also find really interesting that even though I get "caught up" in thinking about different things from time to time the mantra is still there, I never lose it. Is that something standard? :)
Nikki Estrada
Barbora yes its very common. Our minds are so good at staying busy even while using a tool! But even still you are dropping in more than no meditation at all. You are still accruing positive effects is what I mean to say. 
Brigitte M
1 person likes this.
Oh wow, that was invredible. It was so uplifting and touching and I had a lot of tears of feeling like a huge weight that disappeard during this meditation with this mantra. It was an amazing experience…! It surprised me because I did not connect with soham. I was a little disappointed over the past days and even paused yesterday to breath and restart with new motivation today. And today it was a pure revelation! ✨ Thank you for your guidance, Nikki! 💫
Nikki Estrada
Brigitte M thats wonderful to hear! and yes we all have times of resistance and some meditations are harder. But sticking with it over time, yields results. 
Sara S
1 person likes this.
 A sense of floating. The Grand Canyon below me. No fear, just peace and connection 

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