atha yoga anushasanam ||1|| – अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥ Yoga in the here and now
Opening and Closing mantras
Yoga Chants 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.
Ashtanga Yoga Opening ChantThe 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. The recitation of this mantra cleanses the energy of the space we have chosen to practice yoga, as well as preparing the mind, body and emotions for the forthcoming Ashtanga sequence.
Om Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane Samsara Halahala MohashantyaiAbahu Purushakaram Shankhacakrsi Dharinam Sahasra Sirasam Svetam Pranamami Patanjalim OmTranslationomI bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being, which are the refuge, the jungle physician, which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara (conditioned existence).I prostrate before the sage Patanjali who has thousands of radiant, white heads (as the divine serpent, Ananta) and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man holding a conch shell (divine sound), a wheel (discus of light or infinite time) and a sword (discrimination).omAshtanga
Yoga Closing ChantThe Closing Prayer brings the practice to a peaceful end; sealing in the work done and offering the efforts of our practice to improve the state of the world.
Om Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu Om Shanti Shanti ShantihiTranslationMay the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue For protecting the welfare of all generations. May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed, May all beings everywhere be happy and free Om peace, peace, perfect peace
Imperturbability results from a balance in the consciousness, and when the desire for all things that we see or have heard of is extinguished. ||15||
तत्परं पुरुषख्यातेः गुणवैतृष्ण्यम् ॥१६॥
tatparaṁ puruṣa-khyāteḥ guṇa-vaitṛṣṇyam ||16||
The highest state of imperturbability arises from the experience of the true self; in this state even the basic elements of nature lose their power over us. || 16||
Excerpt from an interview with Dr.Jayashree, a renowned Sanskrit scholar from Mysore, India, about the benefits of chanting the Yoga Sutras: "Chanting and memorising is vital for our knowledge to become wisdom. Whatever texts you study, chanting reveals itself to you in time. It is a kind of tapas, where we bring the physical mind, the rational mind and the emotional mind to a single point. There, not just understanding, but revelation, happens!" You can listen to Dr.Jayashree teaching the Samādhi Pāda on this link. She has been a great inspiration.