At the beginning and at the end of each Yoga class that I teach, I chant.
I do this for a couple of reasons.
It sets the tone and establishes the spiritual aspect of our Yoga practice.
And it is a way for me to honor my teachers, past and present. It reminds me that were it not for them, my life would be very, very different. I am deeply grateful to them for their wisdom, guidance, compassion, and profound dedication to the art and science of Yoga.
My plan is to add an audio version of these mantras as well. As soon as I figure out how!
The first Mantra is the invocation to Patanjali, a prayer honoring and expressing respect to Patanjali, the Indian sage and author of The Yoga Sutras. The text that first presented the art of yoga.
yogena cittasya padena vacam
malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena
yopakarottam pravaram muninam
sankha cakrasi dharinam
sahasra sirasam svetam
hari …. Om
The translation is:
Let us bow before the noblest of sages, Patanjali, who gave yoga for serenity and sanctity of mind, grammar for clarity and purity of speech, and medicine for perfection of health.
I salute Adisvara (the primeval Lord Siva) who taught first the science of Hatha Yoga – a science that stands out as a ladder for those of us who wish to scale the heights of Raja Yoga.
The mantra that I chant at the end of each class is a Jain mantra for peace. Jain Bhrihat Santi.
parahitanirata bhavantu bhutaganah Jain Mantra
doshah prayantu nasam
sarvatra sukhi bhavatu lokah
The translation is:
Let blessings go forth into the entire universe!
May everyone rise above self interest through feeling genuine concern for the well-being of all;
May the mental veils which cloud our awareness, distort our understanding, and close our heart be completely removed from our consciousness;
Let everyone, everywhere live in peace in contentment, in health and happiness, in abundant reverence for life.
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
There are lots of great people doing great chant work out there.
One of my favorites is a man named Hein Braat. He is a Dutch mantra singer.
Here is a link to where you can purchase his music if you wish: