Ade Belcham Ashtanga Image

Chanting in yoga

The Ashtanga Yoga practice is opened and closed with a Sanskrit chant.

Opening Chant

The opening chant is a dedication or homage to the tradition and lineage of yogis leading up to our practice. Patanjali is mentioned by name - the author of the yoga sutras - probably the most important yogic text and a reference for ancient and modern yogis alike.

Om

Vande gurunam charanaravinde

Sandarashita svatma sukhava bodhe

Nishreyase jangalikayamane

Samsara halahala moha shantyai

Abahu purushakaram

Shankha chakrasi dharinam

Sahasra shirisam svetam

Pranamami patanjalim

Om

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I bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru who teaches the good knowledge, showing the way to knowing the self-awakening great happiness; who is the jungle physician, able to remove the poison of Samsara (conditioned existence).

To Patanjali, an incarnation of Adiesa, white in colour with 1000 radiant heads (in his form as the divine serpent, Ananta), human in form below the shoulders holding a sword (discrimination), a wheel of fire (discus of light, representing infinite time), a nd a conch (divine sound) - to him, I prostrate. 

Translation - Pattabhi Jois 

Closing Chant

The closing chant is an expression of well being to the world - a turning out at the end of the practice and a wish for peace to all people.

Om

Swasthi-praja bhyah pari pala yantam

Nya-yena margena mahi-mahishaha

Go-bramanebhyaha-shubhamastu-nityam

Lokaa-samastha-sukhino-bhavanthu

Om

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

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May all of humankind be happy and well.  May the great noble lords protect the earth in every way by the path of just virtue.  May there be perpetual joy for those who know the real nature of things.  May all the worlds be happy. 

Om, peace, peace, peace. 

Translation - Richard Freeman 

Teaching Shantipat

The teaching shantipat is used at the end of a pranayama practice and to me expresses a deep sense of connection and respect for my teachers and the teachings received from them.

Om

Saha navavathu, saha nau bhunaktu

Saha viriyam karavavahi

Tejasvi navadhitamastu

Ma vidvishavahahi

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

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May we together be protected.
May we together be nourished.
May we work together with great energy.
May our study together be brilliant and effective.
May we not hate or dispute with each other.

Om peace, peace, peace. 

Translation - Richard Freeman 

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