I began learning about Vedic Chanting (a very powerful yogic practice to integrate body, mind, voice and our emotions) in 2006. At that point in my career I kinda sucked as a yoga teacher. My voice was always two octaves too high as I tried to mimic the exact cues I learned in Teacher Training. So I decided to take a 2 hour workshop to learn to pronounce the names of the asanas correctly, so I would at least SOUND like I knew what I was doing. In that class I accidentally began a life-long love affair with Sanskrit, the language of Yoga, and now I have the honor of working to help others with pronunciation as well as teaching Yoga. Over the past seven years I have used chanting in all areas of my life; I’ve chanted protection mantras on airplanes at 30,000 feet; I’ve chanted inside my motorcycle helmet while riding up switchbacks in the Rocky Mountains; I’ve also chanted silently in my own mind during dreadful first dates; and while being stuck on a chairlift in the freezing cold at 9 o’clock at night.
One of the first chants with which I forged a relationship (I’ve come to learn it is truly a relationship; full of sweetness as well as struggle), is the Siddha Yoga mantra, which is a selection from Guru Gita, and also used as an Invocation for Anusara yoga.
The chant goes like this:
“Om Namah Shivaya Gurave (which means: Hail to Shiva, the Teacher)
Sacchidananda-Murtaye (which means: Whose Form is Truth, Consciousness and Bliss)
Nishprapanchaya Shantaya (which means: The Singular One, the Peaceful One)
Niralambaya Tejase”(which means: The Self-supported One, the Lustrous One)
The whole chant, roughly translated, means:
I bow to (God / Shiva/ teacher) whose form is sat (truth / the existent) chit (mind/consciousness) and ananda (ever present peace, ~ self-existant light)
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