Running and Mantra


It is often said that yoga clears the mind and can be considered a moving meditation. It is for many an addiction. There are many parallels between yoga and running. Some yogis report not being able to “go without their yoga class”, runners feel the same.

So to combine the two becomes even more powerful. Adding cardio to your routine alongside yoga is an amazing way to stay fit in mind and body. Plus if you add mantra you can get even more benefits into your run. So here are some of the benefits of mantra and the significance of the amount of times you repeat the mantra.

Mantras have a positive effect on the brain. They can reset neural pathways in your mind and jump start you past your negative beliefs and into a more positive way of thinking and being.

Simple mantras like:”om shanti”, are good ways to start a pattern of calming the mind.

“Om shanti” simply means “peace”.  If you repeat this 108 times whilst running, you will feel calmer and be more ‘at peace’.

Repeating a mantra 108 times is said to have spiritual importance. Traditionally malas, or garlands or prayers beads come as a string of 108 beads plus one for the guru bead. You count the beads as you repeat your mantra like a Catholic rosary.

Mathematicians in the Vedic culture viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. It is viewed to connect the sun, moon and earth. The distance between the Earth and Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.

108 is everywhere -There are apparently 108 pittas or sacred sites thoroughout India. There are 108 Upanishads and 108 Marma points or sacred places in the body. The Buddhism tradition talks about the 108 earthly desires in mortals, 108 lies humans tell and 108 human delusions. The list of 108 significant facts is endless and you can easily google and discover a myriad of reasons to use the number 108.

In yoga, especially at the times of the Equinox, 108 Sun Salutations in yoga practice is often used to honour change. At a time of tragedy it is used to bring peace, respect, and understanding. If one can be so calm in meditation practicing pranayama to have only 108 breaths a day it is said that enlightenment will come.

So given that 108 is such a significant number, let’s practise mantra 108 times and see what happens. It is said that if you repeat a mantra 108 times for 40 days it permanently changes you. If you repeat “peace” for 40 days, that is what you receive. If you repeat “om shree mahlakshmiyai namaha“, you receive abundance, wealth and riches. What a great way to combine your exercise with life enhancing coaching! You can practise it sitting still or whilst you run.

Mantra has long held powerful results. Try repeating Ek Ong Kar for 40 days and see what happens. It may make you permanently happy! (If that’s what you want that is!)

Bring about some serious mind body cardio!

Check out one of our yoga for runners workshop: next one is Sunday 25th September  7.30pm £15 – or mail us for further details.




Published by Sophie Bickerdike

I came to yoga with a bad back and a full mind, lots of constant chatter, no different to anyone else... after 15 years of teaching... my mind still goes all monkey on me, the so called wild horses are still there... but I have it under control, I am aware of it..... my body has never felt so strong... yoga really solves so much...mind body and soul...

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