When most of us make our New Year’s yoga resolutions, we tend to focus on our asana practice – usually to do more of it. But yoga is a full spectrum lifestyle that aims to bring the body, emotions, intellect and spirit into harmony. So while we spend time with the poses and exploring ways to keep our bodies healthy and strong, it is important to remember that everything is interconnected and we can/should look for ways to be in balance.
Mantra chanting is a practice that can affect all aspects of our being and starting the New Year with a chanting practice is a great way to test this out!
The benefits of mantra chanting
Chanting is a breathing practice that has wonderful positive benefits to the respiratory and digestive systems. It is ‘exercise’ for the diaphragm, lungs and abdominal muscles that all play a part in breathing and singing.
Chanting is a meditation and in the style of chanting that I offer here on EkhartYoga, the repetition of mantra is a powerful tool to focus and calm the mind. Active meditations are different than just sitting and observing the thoughts. In repeating over and over again the same words / vibrations, we influence the active mind and keep our attention on the divine.
Chanting is a way to connect to the heart
Using our voices to express what is inside through chanting gives our emotions a pathway. This is not a substitute for authentically sharing our feelings, but can actually ‘open the door’ for us to feel what is really there and find the courage to express ourselves in a loving and compassionate way. Singing the names of the divine is like mixing sacred vibrations with those of our hearts and can create a sense of lightness that our emotions can use to evolve.
Ganesha – remover of obstacles
In the Hindu faith, Ganesha guards the doorways. So as we head through the door of the New Year, chanting to Ganesha is a way to call out for guidance and support. Ganesha is also known as the remover of obstacles so asking for his support is calling in a sense of ease and clarity on the path and to start 2018 in balance of body, emotion, intellect and spirit.
Try it with me in class and see how you feel afterwards
Jaya Ganesha Deva – Mantra Chanting – 10 minutes, All Levels
The chant is: Jaya Ganesha Deva Jaya Ganesh ~ Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
- The meaning of Om – what does Om / Aum mean and why do we chant it?
- An Introduction to Kirtan: The songs of yoga – Emma Newlyn on Medicine for the soul and mind