Yoga has a very deep spiritual aspect. It is said that Yoga was developed to help the ancient religious stretch their muscles after remaining in a meditative pose for a long time so that they could resume their practice. Thus, to signal the start of a class the Yoga instructor will usually begin with a chanting session. But why do they do this? What is the benefit of chanting? In this article, we’ll shed more light on the subject.
Connecting with vibrations
When we chant our mantras (which is the Sanskrit word for this practice) we give off a vibration. Everything around us gives off vibrations. When you chant the Om Mantra harmony is created in your body which helps calm and soothe your nervous system. Om is chanted three times at the start and end of a Yoga session. It is the whole universe condensed into a single sound and represents the union of the mind, body and spirting which is at the heart of Yoga practice.
Mantra is a sound that has significance but may not necessarily have a meaning. A mantra can be a word, a syllable or a sentence that is recited or chanted in repetition. One of the most common mantras that is recited is ‘om’. This is the symbol for the whole universe. It carries three basic sounds: A-U-M through which all other sounds from the universe have evolved. Om is considered the greatest mantra because it implies the whole existence. It represents the sounds of silence, consciousness, subconsciousness and unconsciousness, waking, dreaming and sleeping.
Ujjayi breathing in Yoga
Yoga is all about the mind-body connection and about being fully present in whatever you do. Together with practising mantras, such as the Om Mantra, a staple of Yoga practice is Ujjayi Breathing which, in Sanskrit, means “victorious breath”.
Whereas with Pilates breathing you need to breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, Ujjayi Breathing both inhalation and exhalation take place through your nose. You’ll deeply inhale and constrict the back of your throat when you exhale.
Ujjayi breathing has many benefits both inside and outside the Yoga studio. These are, according to Yoga and Meditation Instructor, Melissa Eisler:
- Increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood
- Building internal body heat
- Relieving tension
- Encouraging free flow of ‘prana’, which means ‘vital life force’ in Sanskrit
- Regulating blood pressure
- Helping Yoga practitioner to maintain a rhythm while they practise
- Building energy
- Detoxifying mind and body
- Increasing feelings of presence, self-awareness, and meditative qualities
Yoga is all about connection with the earth
The earth gives off positive vibrations. Yoga is done without shoes on so that practitioners can feel connected with the earth and take in this positivity. In fact, the meaning of “asana”, which is the name given to the various Yoga poses, actually means “connected with the earth”. Thus the entire practice of Yoga encourages connection with the earth so when we perform Yoga we are able to refuel ourselves with the positive energy that the earth gives off.
Let’s bring it all together
To reap the full benefits of Yoga, we strongly advise that you find a studio which combines the spiritual nature of Yoga with the various poses.
On Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Yoga Certification, we teach all our aspiring Yoga instructors on how to combine these two aspects seamlessly. The modules on this Yoga Course include:
- Preparatory exercises for your Yoga session
- Sun Salutations
- Standing poses
- Forward bends
- Backward bends
- Arm balances
- Inverted postures
And so much more!
Our Yoga Certification is fully endorsed by the Yoga Teachers Fellowship of South Africa. In addition it is the only Yoga Course to be accredited by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport SETA (CATHSSETA). This means that you will be able to take your Yoga qualification and present it with confidence to a potential employer as they will be able to trust that you have the best Yoga education under your belt. For more information and to sign up, follow this link.