Chanting in Yoga
Chanting in Yoga
There are a few teachers at the Kyo Yoga studio who always incorporate chanting into their classes. To some students, chanting can be incredibly foreign and perhaps even a little intimidating. However, there are many benefits that can be gained from this ancient practice.
Chant can result in reducing stress and anxiety as well as boosting immunity and soothing the senses. The best part is that it’s easy!
When we chant, we combine sound, breath and rhythm. This results in a flow of energy that can adjust chemical compositions of our internal states and brain hemisphere imbalances. The endocrine system is also balanced resulting in more normalized hormone production. Therefore, through chant, we can work to counter the effects of our super busy and stress filled day to day lives.
It is not necessary to understand the meaning of the chant in order to benefit. In fact, the benefits of chanting cannot be gained through intellect or reasoning but rather through opening the heart and mind. If you come to class and you are not quite ready, just listen and open yourself up to the soothing vibrations.
Jill Harris is a teacher here at Kyo Yoga that often chants in her classes.
“Chanting (or mantra) is a tool that is said to influence change from within. Reciting these ancient Sanskrit sounds is considered one of the most important tools of yoga in relationship to healing.
According to mythology, the letters of Sanskrit evolved from the beating of a small drum by Lord Siva. Chant can be used to evoke health, abundance, clarity or whatever may be needed by the student – from the perspective of the teacher.
Just as there are many asana postures in yoga there are also a great number of chants.
One of the most popular is the Gayatri Mantra, which is a chant suitable for everyone. The Gayatri implies that we all have clarity within us but need an instrument to help reveal it – in this case the sun (in it’s neutral, feminine form).
When we chant the Gayatri we are asking for the sun to dispel ignorance, fear or whatever it is that may be holding us back from seeing the truth. This is a great chant to recite in class and is done primarily first thing in the morning as the sun is rising.
Chanting can be an incredibly focusing tool for a distracted mind and is often why it is used in class. Often students may prefer to listen to the chant until they feel comfortable trying it. I find it can be a great way to finish a class – creating a positive focus to take you into the rest of your day.”
– Jill Harris, Yoga teacher in the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya.