If you’ve ever sat in a Jiva or Kundalini class wondering how on Earth you’re supposed to remember the minute long chant your teacher just sang and repeat it back, you’re not alone.
In more spiritual branches of yoga, you will certainly come across some form of chanting. Whether it’s just a simple om or a full on Sanskrit verse, here’s the lowdown on why we do it (and some of the more common mantras so you’ll at least have a clue what’s being said).
Aum (a.k.a. Om)
We personally don’t mind which way you spell it! This chant consists of four parts – bear with us for the spiritual part – A represents the beginning or creation, U connects us to a sense of something greater than ourselves and M purports the transformative energy of the universe. And the fourth sound? Silence, which represents the pure consciousness of the self. Ooh, we get chills just thinking about it.
Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
If you’ve struggles to remember the end of this mantra by the time you hit sukhino, you’re not alone. Although this isn’t the longest chant (yes, there are longer ones, eek), once you’ve got it down it brings a beautiful vibe to your practice. The translation from Sanskrit is “May this world be established with well-being and happiness”. Aww.
Literally translating to “Truth is my name”, Sat Nam is all about recognising the divinity within you. Sat reaches up to a higher plane, and Nam grounds it on our plane. We’re not sure what that means either, but it sure sounds cool.
Ra Ma Da Sa
Our favourite mantra, mainly because it’s so easy to remember. Ra ma da sa calls for compassion, self-love and healing. The perfect antidote to being too harsh on yourself and a great way to cultivate kind eyes when looking at others.
Chant your heart out at your next class. Don’t be embarrassed about messing it up – we can guarantee we’ve done it before!