As Sri Dharma Mittra often states at the start of a Master class, “all yoga practices begin and end with the sound of OM.” True to form, this video captures this instruction at the beginning of his full day of teaching at the Washington Convention Center April 6, 2014.
Beyond the sacred sound of OM, which is said to be the oldest mantra in the world, there are many other mantras frequently chanted in asana classes at yoga studios around the world. Mantras exist for many things including world peace, liberation, purification, creativity and of course self-realization.
Last month (shortly before Sri Dharma arrived to DC) I was honored to receive a complimentary copy of Alanna Kaivalaya‘s new book Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth & Meaning of Mantra & Kirtan. Known for her Myths of Asana book, this book in my opinion is much more useful for the modern yogi…especially those attending yoga classes saying (chanting) things they are instructed to say and told to just “trust the process.”
Chanting, known as nada yoga (yoga of sound) and as a form of bhakti yoga (yoga of devotion), is one of the many forms of yoga where no yoga mat is required. This is a great book to help modern yogis understand and appreciate the meaning behind the words whether they decide to partake or not.
Chanting is a great way to extend your yoga practice beyond the yoga mat —walking the dogs, washing the dishes, sitting in traffic, etc. And this book offers the tips, tricks and tools you need to feel comfortable trying it. Pick up the book, try a few for yourself and be sure to refer to the mantra library on Alanna’s website for help along the way. Happy chanting!