Do you ever feel like you are in a constant state of unrest? Yeah, me too. How could you not be with the way the modern world is constantly bombarding you with decisions, information, and negative sensationalized stories? It’s time for a nervous system reset.
The best news? You don’t even need a yoga mat.
By using a powerful mantra – using only your voice – you can reset your nervous system so you are less reactive. Enter the Thunderbolt Mantra – Ek Ong Kar – one of my personal favorites I’m so excited to share with you.
Understanding the Thunderbolt Mantra: Ek Ong Kar
According to the Sikh religious text the Siri Guru Granth Sahib (from which most kundalini mantras are derived) Ek Ong Kar is translated to mean “the creation of one God” or “there is only one God”. It’s actually a section of the Mool Mantra (the opening text and essential teaching of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib), which I unpack in my Kundalini Demystified course.
It describes how you are created from the “True Guru.” Because you are a creation of the divine, you ARE the divine. As a human, you often forget this being caught up in the material world. So what does it mean when you infuse your kundalini yoga with this powerful mantra?Hint: if you need a refresher on what mantra is and why you should practice chanting, start here. Otherwise…
The Thunderbolt Mantra, also known as Long Ek Ong Kar, is an ashtang mantra. Meaning it has eight components, or eight syllables or beats, Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru. Let’s break that down and make it a little more digestible shall we?
Each short syllable has its own meaning:
- Ek – one (there is absolute one)
- Ong – that forms (I feel everything sprouting up)
- Kar – creation (the entire beautiful creation revolves around me)
- Sat – life (I become real to myself)
- Nam – identity (I lift myself to Infinity that I am the true identity of that truth)
- Siri – great (all meanness leaves me)
- Wahe – wow (it gives me all the humility)
- Guru – light in which there is no darkness (I just unite with it)
Another translation that I love, from my mentor and co-creator of Kundalini University Guru Singh, is “There is one portal that creates life and identity, “wow”, from great darkness comes to light.”
I know, you’re like “That’s all nice to know Brett, but what will this mantra DO?!” Well, this chant literally affects the primal parts of your brain to reprogram your thinking. So you can respond to situations and life intuitively instead of being reactionary. Here’s how that works:
Benefits of Chanting Ek Ong Kar
When you chant any mantra you’re changing your energetic frequency. Short vowel mantras, like the Adi Shakti Mantra for divine femininity or Mangala Charan Mantra for protection, are creating physical sensations in your body and rhythm in order to create connection. Long vowel mantras, like the Thunderbolt Mantra, work to erase patterns. Therefore, this mantra is about erasing subconscious blocks that may be holding you back. It’s one of the most powerful and profound practices you can do.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but chanting long vowels for as long as you can is HARD work. It’s an incredible workout for your abdominals and lunch.
As you chant the long vowels, you wake up the primal part of your brain, the part that controls your fight/flight/freeze instincts. It helps you shift this energy from your sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. It stimulates the vagus nerve and increases its influence with the euphoria the chant brings.
As you shift out of fear and into a state of calm, this allows you to operate through a larger lens. Meaning, instead of being reactive to the situation put before you, you can look at the big picture and truly make the best decisions for yourself.
This mantra also works to reprogram your blood cells. As you continue to chant, a sense of calm distributes through every cell of the body. It is inserted into the blood cells being produced as you chant, and then those blood cells carry it throughout the body. In the same way the mantra stimulates the vagus nerve, it reprograms your blood supply with messages of calm and hope. It clears negative thoughts and shifts your physical body into vibrating in a state of hope and gratitude. The shifts in your life will be extraordinary if you work with this chant for 31 minutes, 40 days in a row.
How to Chant Ek Ong Kar
Before we get into details, just try and say the mantra to yourself: Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru. Notice where you feel the words in your body, how your tongue strikes the mouth.
Now, let’s break down how to chant the mantra.
This chant is a 2.5 breath cycle. You will inhale deeply twice, once prior to chanting and once after “kar”, then take a half a breath after “siri” to finish the mantra. Trust me, you’ll need all of that breath for this long chant.
It can be difficult at first, it’ll feel like there’s too much to focus on. But, once it clicks you’ll find it to be life changing.
Come to an easy pose, maybe sit on a cushion or up against the wall to ensure a straight spine. Make yourself comfortable to set yourself up for success.
Your hands can be in either Gyan Mudra (index finger and thumb touch, backs of hands rest on thighs or knees) or Pranam Mudra (hands in prayer at heart). But, maybe you want to try it using a venus lock? It’s your practice, so do what calls to you.
Keep in mind also, you can chant this magic mantra in one of two ways:
- Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri WA heguru or…
- Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe guru
In the first option WA is accented on its own and HE runs together with guru. The second option Wahe is kept together to sound like wah-hey and then guru is pronounced on its own. I prefer option one.
Time To Chant
Start with a Huge Inhale
- EK comes from the pelvic floor. Rectum, sex organs, navel moves up and in. Pelvic floor lifts. Sits bones press down. Think of splitting the atom, first chakra, and visualize red.
- ONG, your tongue presses the upper palette. Think of vibrating second chakra. Visualize water or the color orange below the navel radiating out in all directions.
- KAAAAAR, pull navel in, abdominals engage. Hollow out the belly. Use up all of your remaining breath here. Keep this long, slow, steady – powerfully chanted with a tone drop.. Solar plexus chakra. Visualize yellow, fire, power
- SAT comes from the navel point again. Think of Manipura, Third Chakra again, but this time. specifically shooting energy from the navel, up into the heart. Pelvic floor engages. Abs engage. Sits bones press down.
- NAAAAM is from the heart. Long vowel sound. Visualize expansiveness around the heart space. Fourth Chakra. Green.
- SIDI Feel the words in the throat. This is on the last little bit of breath. Get all remaining air out of the body.
Half a Breath
- WAH – from the Third Eye Chakra, where the root of the nose meets the skull bone.
- HEY GURU – from the top of the head. Light moving up through the crown of head and into the auric field. Tongue strikes the upper palate on “Guru.”
- Engage the whole body and all the bandhas.
How Long Ek Ong Kar’s Stimulate Your Chakras
Not only does this mantra have the physical benefits listed above, but energetic benefits as well. Chanting the Thunderbolt Mantra is like playing or pressing on each of your chakras from the inside out. This mantra sends kundalini energy into each chakra center to cultivate energetic balance. Mmmmm, doesn’t that sound delicious!
Here’s how it works. Exhale completely, then take a huge inhale and chant Ek Ong Kar.
- Ek vibrates into the first chakra by engaging mula bandha
- Ong stimulates the second chakra, notice where you feel it in your body. The lower abdominal area right?
- Kar causes your navel point to pull in massaging third chakra, the solar plexus.
By now you should be out of breath. Make sure you exhale all your air out (pull your navel back, empty out your lungs) and take a big inhale again. Now we transition from the lower to upper chakras.
- Sat transitions from third chakra with the intention of moving up to fourth.
- Nam vibrates with the long vowel around the heart space fourth chakra.
- Siri, pronounced “sidi”, comes from the throat, fifth chakra, say it and you’ll see you feel it primarily in the throat.
By now you should be out of breath again. Take a half breath in to bring your energy even higher:
- Wa brings attention to your third eye chakra, sixth chakra, although your eyes should be closed focusing on that center brow point throughout the entire practice.
- Hey-guru is where you think of light moving through the crown of head through the auric field, seventh chakra.
Do you see how this kundalini yoga mantra is great for the physical, emotional, and energetic bodies? It’s a TOTAL body workout. Inside and out.
Incorporating Ek Ong Kar into Your Practice
You can practice this mantra for 3, 7, or 11 minutes. You can even do it for 18, 31, 62 minutes or 2.5 hours. I know that sounds hard, but you have to let go of perfectionism. You can chunk it down to 31 minute increments. You don’t have to be perfect and not move from your seat the entire time. Take small breaks to stretch or take a sip of tea.
I suggest starting small, open your morning practice by chanting this for several minutes prior. And although it is advised to practice this in the morning, sometimes you have to fit it in where you can. In an effort to bring the benefits of this practice to my entire family, we are actually practicing it together after dinner.
You have to do what works for you so play with how you want to incorporate this mantra into your daily routine.
If you chant this morning call consistently each day, you will notice parts of your being mentally, emotionally and physically that will come into alignment. It quite literally brings out of you components you never thought existed before. Pull away from instinctual response and look at life through a larger more intuitive lens. You won’t be disappointed.
Try this FREE kundalini yoga class to warm up with before you chant:
- Watch my Kundalini playlist on YouTube for more Kundalini kriyas, mantras, and meditation.
- Join my Chakra Challenge! And get to know each chakra through your yoga practice. Open up a whole new dimension in your yoga practice.
- Try my Kundalini Demystified 30 HR teacher training course. It’s the perfect intro to Kundalini yoga, the serpent, and more!
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