Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chanting consciousness

One of the more rich traditions that I love is chanting. From modest Om (pronounced "Aum") at the beginning of class to the more hearty Om Shanti (Peace) to close class or my favorite, Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, I find myself grounded and bringing my mental state inward for reflection. That every mantra brings me to the present moment.

But for anyone new to yoga, chanting can create an outward, self-conscious state—the complete opposite of the tone you're trying to set for class. Or you leave class feeling as if you missed out or nervous. But this is all part of a beginner's mind set. That beautiful mindset of extreme awareness where you discover your body and its abilities on all levels. So even if your Om is whisper quiet, that's where your body (and mind) are at right now. Respect that. Love that. Honor that. Ever so slowly you'll feel your mind's eye turning to gaze inward and the outer world fall softly to the background.

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