Episode 2 | Chanting is Weird

Do you think chanting is weird? Well, I used to think chanting was weird too. When I first came to yoga, like many people, I came for the more physical practices, but at some point I was introduced to chanting and even though it seemed odd to add my voice to a group who were chanting, it was a certain resonance and calming effect that happened with chanting. In today’s episode I am going to demystify chanting. If you have ever been curious about chanting, let’s dive in together on Episode 2, Swami Ji, the OG.

In classical yoga, it's very common to do chanting. We do it at the beginning and end of class. We have chanting programs and in my personal yoga practice, I have a chant that I do every day that connects me with my teacher. Before I delve into my day, I have found in my personal experience, that chanting can be very transformative.

Chanting is the practice of chanting mantras. The word mantra means to liberate the mind from bondage. You may be asking yourself, “Is my mind in bondage?” Well, are you active and proactive at facing the challenges of life? Or do you often find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again? Well, mantras can help with that. The bondage that the word mantra refers to, are the patterns that we find ourselves stuck in.

Most people think the words of the mantra are more important than the actual sound that comes from chanting. That is a common misconception. It's about the vibration, and how it affects us on a subtle level. If I chant Om, it can have two different effects based on how I chant it. When you change with the long O, it is more open and extroverted. When I chant with the long m, it is more introverted and calming.

That's a simple example. I don't even have to talk about what the word mantra means. You can feel it. This is what we should look at when we are chanting mantras. They may sound weird, and you may be hesitant to try, but when you chant, it is vibrating your whole body, your whole essence, and especially the subconscious mind. It's from the subconscious mind where all these patterns arise.

If you want to learn more, tune into the episode below.

Yoga terminology mentioned in this episode:

Mantra: to liberate the mind from bondage

Kirtan: singing of mantras in call and response

Guru: the master teacher

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra

Gayatri Mantra

Durga Path or 32 names of Durga

Ancient text: Rig Veda

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Beverly Singh