Significance of Chanting Mantras for Your Yoga Practice

Because of yoga’s ancient roots, chants (or mantras) are offered in Sanskrit, however, their meaning is said to be universal as Sanskrit is the language of the heart.

Chanting and mantra recitation has accompanied yoga practice for thousands of years. Chanting is of course both the in-toning of the rich vibratory sounds and the simultaneous listening to them. The concentrated in-toning of sound vibrates all along the axis of the body from the perineum up through the head, giving access to subtle and deep sensation and feeling. The deep listening naturally suspends the normal movement of the discursive mind and allows contemplation of the patterns of sensation, emotion, and imagination.

Chanting is a beautiful tool and practice that activates the Vagus Nerve which is connected with the parasympathetic system, the Vagus Nerve branches out to smaller nerves located in the brain, the tongue, the heart, the lunges, and the stomach. In moments of stress or discomfort where asana or meditation don’t work, chanting can help you overcome these situations.

Chanting acts to shift the consciousness of the individual practicing the chant to a higher level of vibration. This brings us closer to our Source or Higher Self—the aspect of ourselves that remains eternal—and leaves the practitioner filled with peace and feeling calm and centered.

Studies have shown that when a person chants it can stabilize their heart rate, lower blood pressure, produce beneficial endorphins in the body, and boost metabolic processes—so it perfectly complements the physical practice of asana.

The Opening Prayer is a blessing of gratitude offered to the lineage of teachers and their students who have enabled this ancient practice to survive through thousands of years so that we can experience its benefits today. The recitation of this mantra cleanses the energy of the space we have chosen to practice yoga, as well as preparing the mind, body, and emotions for the forthcoming sequence.


Benefits of Chanting Mantras:

• The rhythm & sound is thought to move energy throughout the body.
• Helps release feel good chemicals (like endorphins).
• Helps regulate (and slow) the heart rate.
• Works to enhance the brainwaves of meditation: alpha, theta, and delta.
• Lowers blood pressure.
• Relieves stress.
• Boosts immunity.
• Quiets mind chatter, fear.
• Boosts positive thinking.
• Reprograms the subconscious mind.


How to Chant Mantras to Set an Intention for Your Yoga Practice:

1. Choose your mantra and breathe deeply to ground yourself as a precursor of chanting your mantra.
2. You can set your intention either standing or sitting at just the beginning of the practice.
3. You can keep repeating the mantra throughout the practice or whenever you feel you need to recenter.
4. Just remember to breathe deeply while imagining your mantra or affirmation touching every cell, tissue, and organ in your body.
5. You may whisper gently, chant it out loud, or repeat it silently.
6. Whatever the method you choose, do it sincerely.

The Mantras:

1. Aum Mantra

Pronunciation: A-U-M

Om is said to be the first sound heard at the creation of the universe. When each syllable is pronounced fully, you should feel the energy of the sound lifting from your pelvic floor all the way up through the crown of your head. The droning sound of the Om is said to unblock the throat chakra, which can lead to more attuned communication with others.

2. Peace mantra

Om Sahana Vavatu Sahana Bhunattu

Saha Viryam Karawavahai


Ma Vidvishavahai

Om Sshanti Shanti Shanti Om

Which means:

Together may be be protected

Together may we be nourished

Together may we work with great energy

May our journey together be brilliant and effective

May there be no bad feelings between us

Peace, peace, peace

(From the Kato Upanishad)

3. Prayer for Enlightment


Asatoma Sadgamaya

Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya

Mrithyorma Amrutangamaya

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Which means:

Lead us from darkness to light

From ignorance to truth

And from death to eternity

Let peace prevail everywhere

4. Om Saha Navavatu: Let we move and grow together to shine

This mantra is great for personal bonding with your teacher and fellow students. Read the complete mantra with meaning:Om Saha Naav[au]-AvatuSaha Nau Bhunaktu

Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai

Tejasvi Naav[au]-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai

Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

Which means:

Om, Together may we two Move (in our class, the Teacher and the Student)

Together may we two Relish

Together may we perform with Vigour

May what has been Studied by us be filled with the Brilliance

May it not give rise to Hostility

Om Peace, Peace, Peace

5. Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah: Let Peace and Happiness Prevail Everywhere

This mantra is to spread a message of peace and wellness as an integral element of yogic life and is a part of the following mantra.

Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah

Sarve Santu Niraamayaah

Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu

Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet

Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

Which means:

Om, May All be Happy

May All be Free from Illness

May All See what is Auspicious

May no one Suffer

Om Peace, Peace, Peace

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