What is this “weirdo chanting stuff” in my Yoga Classes?

I wanted to share a few of my favorite Sanskrit terms and mantras.

It is believed that these sounds are manifestations of ultimate reality, that mantras have inherent meaning independent of the understanding of the person uttering them. It is believed they have spiritual transformative power. It’s difficult to scientifically document spiritual transformation, but it has been widely documented that chanting mantras has positive effects on your physical and mental health, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, calming the nervous system, etc. The simple beauty of a daily ritual of chanting can be a profound and comforting addition to your life. (I admit, I need to do it more!)

1) Namaste. Ever wonder why your yoga teacher says that at the end of class? It means “the divinity in me salutes the divinity in you”. I can’t think of a more beautiful thing to say to someone or to hear.

2) Sat Nam. This phrase simply means “I am truth”. It is used in meditation and chanting. I like to meditate on this phrase a lot, especially when I feel like someone is not being very nice to me or doesn’t understand me at the moment.

3) Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. This is the beautiful Adi mantra, lovely to chant, especially with other people. It’s typically used to start a Kundalini yoga class. It means “I call upon the divine wisdom”.

4) Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Se So Hung. This is a healing mantra that Yogi Bhajan, the man who brought Kundalini Yoga to the west, prescribed to us for meditation on healing and bringing peace to the earth. You can read details of exactly what it means and how to sing it here: http://www.sahej.com/Ra_Ma_Da_Sa.html

I love chanting it with some white candles burning…my friend and partner instructor for Chakra5, Gretchen, is a fan, too. We sometimes get together to chant it for 20 minutes or more. It’s something you really should try to experience-you might be quite surprised at how it makes you feel and what it brings into your life.

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in Meditation, Philosophy