If you’ve been around yoga and meditation for a while, you know that a big part of some practices involves chanting. Using a mantra or some other sacred phrase, many who chant use the practice as a way to better focus and reap the benefits that a yoga and meditation practice have to offer.
Jenna Pelletier takes a look at the gaining popularity of yoga and meditation chanting in this recent Providence Journal post. According to Pelletier, chanting can provide a more useful approach to calming and focusing the mind than just sitting in silence or trying to twist into a yoga pose.
Also known as the yoga of sound or bhakti (devotional) yoga, chanting involves repeating sounds, the names of Hindu gods or other sacred phrases, over and over, most commonly in Sanskrit. The purpose is to merge with the divine.
“We’re lifting ourselves out of our limited experience and going to that infinite experience, to the place where these sounds can take us,” said Sada Sat Kaur, a renowned Kundalini yoga teacher who recently led a workshop at Santosha.
Nearly all yoga studios incorporate some form of chanting into the curriculum, whether it’s simply closing class with three oms, reciting longer prayers or mantras before or after the physical practice or hosting world famous kirtan performers such as Krishna Das, Jai Uttal and Deva Premal.
Read more from Pelletier on the gaining popularity and benefits of chanting here.