Ah, the daily grind. For five days of the week, we’re coffee-chugging zombies, stressed out by high-pressure jobs, deadlines, and an endless list of errands. And, if anyone knows stress — and how to deal with it — it's Olympic snowboarder, Gretchen Bleiler.
Bleiler adopted primordial sound meditation (PSM) as part of her training for the 2014 Olympics and has since become a certified meditation teacher. A key component of PSM is the mantra, a mental sound used to anchor your thoughts from distractions. The mantra is a specific sound or vibration that helps you move into a state of awareness.
Shape caught up with Bleiler at the fifth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, where she led a class on how to ease into a regular meditation practice. While mantras are typically chosen individually, Bleiler offers the universal “so-hum,” Sanskrit for "I am that." This sound naturally corresponds to breathing — try it by silently repeating "so" on your inhale and "hum" on your exhale.
Bleiler explains that meditation is like a dance between your thoughts and your mantra, letting your mantra be the lead. For more meditation tips, head on over to Shape. (Shape)