Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Chanting for beginners

Chanting-connect with the universal energy

Even if you do not at present practice chanting as part of your yoga practice, you must still be aware of 'om' which is used as a chant. 'Om', is pronounced 'A(aah)-U(ooh)- M (mmmm)'. Say the A and U with the mouth open and let your mouth close for the M, extending the sound so that you feel your lips vibrate. Om is thought to be the sound of the universe.  

But why chant? Chanting at the beginning of a practice can create a more meditative state of mind so that you can continue with the asanas and breath work more mindfully. Here are some more of the benefits of chanting:-

  • Chanting sets up healing vibrations. These vibrations help us to align with the universal energy and so help us connect with the divine.  
  • Chanting stimulates the third eye which enhances intuition
  • Chanting focuses the mind so that negative thoughts and emotions such as anxiety and fear, can be released which helps reduce stress and relieve fatigue.  This can help prevent cardiovascular illness and relieve headaches
  • Chanting prolongs the exhale helping the lungs to release stale air which can be replaced by fresh, oxygenated air. This also helps relieve stress.
  • Chanting can cause endorphins to be released from the brain stem.  Endorphins are nature's pain killers.
  • Chanting clears the energy channels (nadis of which there are 72,000) so that prana can flow freely which enhances wellbeing.

You can practice chanting seated in a cross-legged position or on a chair. Make sure your spine is straight so that the energies can flow freely.  
'Om' (aum) is a good one to start with. 
So hum can be chanted in a similar way (soooo hummm). It means 'I am that' and refers to us all having the divine within us, that is the individual self is one with the universal self.

I also like the ones below which may be spoken or if you prefer sing them!
Lokah samastah sukino bhavanto meaning 'may all beings everywhere be happy and free'.
Om namo guru dev namo is a kundalini chant meaning 'I bow to the subtle, divine wisdom'

Happy chanting 
Janet x

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