Ashtanga Yoga asana practice traditionally starts with an opening chant and ends with a closing one. The chants also known as mantras or invocations are offered in Sanskrit , as this is the language they were all originally composed in, though they have different authors. The act of chanting is said to be able to elevate the consciousness of the individual performing it to a higher level, closer to its Source. It is also strongly correlated with the breath, which has a soothing and calming effect, leaving the practitioner self-centered and at peace. Specifically, and also according to my own personal experience:. In particolare, e anche sulla base della mia esperienza personale:. Ashtanga Yoga Italia.
Das Mangala Mantra - Dr. Ronald Steiner 20.7.2016
The opening and closing mantras we use as part of our Ashtanga practice are Sanskrit mantras, the language most classical yoga texts were written in. Today, Sanskrit is no longer a spoken language, however chanting Sanskrit mantras is very common in India where there is a long tradition of transmitting sacred texts orally. Mantras and philosophical texts were, and still often are, memorised in full before translations are provided. So chanting mantras is a way to protect the mind and enhance your concentration.
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Honoring something bigger At the beginning of many Ashtanga yoga classes the teacher will lead students in chanting a few lines of Sanskrit. As you chant you close your eyes and assume the attitude of gratitude, being grateful to learn yoga, to relieve us from the rigors of living. The first paragraph thanks the teachers for sharing the wisdom of this practice which brings us insight into our true beings, giving us refuge, to help us deal with the poisons of living. The second paragraph honors the sage Patanjali, who is credited with writing down the teachings of yoga. Patanjali is the author of the yoga sutras. Who is Patanjali? Patanjali is the author of the Yoga Sutras, a book of about verses of the processes of yoga written about years ago. The verses are very short and to the point without much commentary, so many translations abound. This text is one of the first texts known on yoga, it is believed Patanjali compiled this information that was handed down through the centuries from master to student, he did not create it. There is much mystery surrounding who Patanjali really is, so just like the author of the Tao, no one really knows for sure who he is.
Ashtanga Yoga traditionally has both an opening chant and a closing chant. Because of Yoga's ancient roots, chants or mantras are offered in Sanskrit the ancient language of India , however their meaning is said to be universal as Sanskrit is the language of the heart. Chanting acts to shift the consciousness of the individual practicing the chant to a higher level of vibration. This in turn 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 centred. Studies have shown that when a person chants it can stabilise their heart rate, lower blood pressure, produce beneficial endorphins in the body and boost metabolic processes, so it perfectly compliments 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.