Sacred sounds known as the "yoga of sound"
Yoga chants, also known as the "yoga of sound," are considered sacred sounds that originated with the traditional Hindu traditional branches of Hatha and Tantra yoga. Yoga chants are made up of repetitive mantras. In North India, yoga chants are referred to as Kirtan; in South India they're called Bhajan.
Recently, as yoga gained popularity among Westerners as a system of physical and mental healing, yoga chants were also adopted and continue to be used as a method to achieve health and well being.
Although yoga chants are usually performed and written in Sanskrit, their meaning is believed to be universal – Sanskrit is the language of the heart. People believe the ancient chants contain powerful healing and transformational energies. Playing chants before or after performing yoga postures has many health benefits – lowering blood pressure, slowing down the heart rate, encouraging the body to produce natural painkillers and much more.
Yoga chants can be incorporated into your daily yoga practices in 3 different ways:
- Chant along as a part of meditation.
- Chant during postures.
- Listen to chants while meditating or relaxing.
Chanting is recognized as a form of personal prayer, so chanting during meditation is believed to put you in touch with your inner sense of self awareness. Prepare your chanting space for meditation by lighting candles, incenses or an oil lamp to help activate your body's natural healing processes.
Listening to yoga chants while you practice yoga won't distract you from what you're doing, in fact, it will smooth the progress of your movement so your poses flow into one another. Yoga chants calm your mind and open your heart, allowing you to experience clarity, peace and joy. They also stimulate your emotions; which in turn enhances your yoga postures greatly. Morning yoga chants are energizing and invigorating. They are based on traditional morning ragas.
Enjoying the sacred sounds of yoga chants doesn't have to be limited to practicing yoga or meditation. You can listen to yoga chants nearly anytime to invoke and energize or to relax and soothe your body and mind - during prayer, work, during breaks, or even in the kitchen while you cook.