Good Vibrations

The Benefits of Chanting

Among the various tools of yoga chanting holds a very special place. Sound can reach the deepest part of us, and create transformation from within. The practice of mantra japa (repetiton of mantras) can be done as a practice on it’s own, or we can add mantras to asana and pranayama sequences. We do this in class quite often, as it helps to keep the mind engaged, and also supports deep and steady breathing. When working with a bhavana (visualisation), a mantra can helps us to stay connected to the object of our meditation.

In the general classes, we focus on simple mantras and short chants from the vedas. Many of these chants are about aspects of nature. By inviting the sun, the moon, or the elements to support us, we acknowledge and reaffirm our place in the natural world. Seeing this connection is vital to our wellbeing.

“Mantras are powerful sounds, which when produced in the right manner and with the right intention, produce specific vibrations within our body. These vibrations have the ability to positively influence our psychological state, thereby improving physical, mental and emotional health…”

“…The process of chanting involves listening to the teacher and reproducing exactly what the teacher chants, and hence the student must be rapt in attention. This ensures that the distractions of the mind are reduced and concentration is enhanced. It is for this reason that recitation of mantras has been given a great significance in the discipline of yoga-darshana, where it is not only a tool in meditation but also a meditative process in itself.”

~ TKV Desikachar. From the introduction to Mantravalli, an Anthology of Sacred Chants.

In the next few months there will be several opportunities to explore chanting in more detail. Sandra Gerber will be offering four Vedic chanting classes on Sunday afternoons in September/October, while I will present a new course entitled Moon Mantra and Meditation, which will run on four Friday evenings in November. The details for both are below.

 

Vedic Chanting with Sandra!

Come and join Sandra Gerber at freed-om-yoga on Sunday afternoons! She will teach us some basic rules of Vedic chanting, and then guide us through the chants in the traditional way. This involves listening attentively, and then replicating the sounds as closely as you can. Over time, with repetition, the chants will find their way into your heart and mind!

One of the chants Sandra is planning to teach us is the Gayatri mantra. This beautiful chant from the Taittiriya Upanisat honours the sun in a feminine form. By reciting this mantra we ask the sun to dispel  darkness, and in it’s place provide clarity and strength.

These sessions are two hours long, which gives us time to have a tea break. A selection of herbal teas will be provided.

We encourage you to book all four sessions, so that you can gain maximum benefit from the course. However, if you can only attend one or two classes, you are welcome to join us too. This course is open to all chanters, from beginners to those who have some experience.

Please note that the third session is on Labour Weekend, and there is no class on October 14.

Dates: Sunday afternoons, September 30, October 7, 21 and 28.
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: freed om yoga, 180 Melbourne Road, Island Bay, Wellington
Cost: $25 per class, or $80 for all four sessions.
Bookings: please visit Ezybook
For more information: Email sandragerberkm@hotmail.com or text Sandra Gerber on 027 570 0031.

 

Moon Mantra and Meditation

Join Lynda Miers-Henneveld for this four week course in November. During these Friday evening sessions you will learn the Candra-namaskrtya Mantra, which is an invocation to the moon. In this chant from the Taittiriya samhita, the moon is honoured as the king of all medicinal herbs. Through chanting, visualisation and meditation, we will link with the moon, in order to explore our own capacity for healing and reflection.

The mantra is relatively simple, and it has several progressions which we will learn over the course of the four weeks.

During this course we will be working with various phases of the moon in our meditations. Our first session coincides with the new moon, while on week three the moon will be full. The phases of the moon are a reminder of the cyclic nature of our human lives.

Please note: Due to the progressive nature of this course, there will be no drop-ins. Please join us for the whole course!

Dates: Friday evenings, November 9, 16, 23, and 30.
Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm
Location: freed om yoga, 180 Melbourne Road, Island Bay, Wellington
Cost: $80 for all four sessions.
Bookings: please visit Ezybook
For more information: Email lynda@freed-om-yoga.com or text me on 021 386914

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