I’m so excited to begin introducing you to the beautiful world of mantras!
Chanting mantras is part of a beautiful Bhakti (devotional) practice that offers so many incredible benefits to our mind and heart.
We chant to:
- Encourage mental focus to clear the mind move into deeper realms of consciousness
- Give thanks
- Develop Concentration, Humility, and Gratitude!
Vibrations of words in chants help to:
- Remove blockages that may come
- Bring harmony to the center
- Be with each word or sound as you chant
The Ashtanga Yoga Opening Mantra is a two part mantra: a thanks and dedication to all the teachers who have kept this beautiful Ashtanga Yoga practice alive for thousands of years; and the second part of the mantra is a specific thanks to Patanjali, who codified the yoga shastras during the Kali Durga.
The purpose of the opening prayer is to thank all the teachers that have kept yoga alives for thousands of years, thereby making it available for us to enjoy today. It also sets the intention for our practice to follow.
Ashtanga Opening Mantra comes from two separate mantras that have been put together. The first half of the prayer comes from Yoga Taravali, by Adi Shankaracharya. According to Shankaracharya, a yoga teacher is to lead the disciple from darkness to light, from the poison of existence to the nectar of enlightenment.
Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde
Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai
The second half of the prayer comes from Patanjali Mamtram – ‘Prayer to Patanjali’ which is performed each time Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are recited and honors his contribution to the history of yoga.
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
Ashtanga Closing prayer is the Mangala Mantra Mangala Mantra comes from the Rig Veda. The essence of the mantra imparts that the practice we have just completed be of benefit to everyone in the world “May all beings everywhere be happy and free”. By chanting this mantra at the end of your practice, you are basically saying, “I have completed my practice – let it benefit the world!”
Chanting Mangala Mantra at the end of practice is the perfect way to bring closure to your physical, mental, and spiritual session each day. Like the opening mantra, the repetition of this mantra brings harmony to your center, peace in your heart, a feeling of togetherness with the world, humility to your mind, and gratitude in your soul!
If you would like to learn more about mantras and listen to and learn the Ashtanga Yoga Opening and Closing mantras, tap here to access Olotita’s Youtube Channel and video on Mantras. Tap here to read the Sanskrit and English translations of the Ashtanga Yoga Opening and Closing mantras.
If you are brand new to chanting, yoga, or self-care in general, you are at the right place! And if you have an established practice, I would love to help you take your practice to the next level.
If you want to join me for any in person classes, I offer classes in Orlando weekly and I will be leading a Yoga Retreat through Turkey October 1-15, 2022. I also offer virtual sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship. Check out www.olotita.com for more details.
I am Krista Shirley, a level II authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher with a passion for sharing these teachings with all who wish to learn.
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