Mantra singing is a time-honoured practice that is prevalent in many belief systems around the world. The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic Sanskrit by Hindus in India, and are at least 3,000 years old! They can be a single syllable, a word, a group of words, or even multiple lines. However, a mantra might not always have a syntactic structure of literal meaning. It is not necessary to know the meaning of a mantra as what is important is the effect of its unique frequency on the body. Regardless of their heritage, language, shape or form, mantras - which can also be known as hymns, prayers or chants - serve similar purposes, which is to raise our vibration and connect us with the divine. Mantra meditation also helps to induce an altered state of consciousness via the brain’s entrainment capacity, due to the steady, rhythmic flow of the chanting. Apart from its spiritual role, mantra singing also has a host of benefits;
Blocks stress hormones
Regulates heart rate
Increases immune functions
Lowers blood pressure
Suppresses negative thoughts
Eases fear and anxiety
Strengthens community bonding when sung together
The mantras we use at HOA are typically in Sanskrit and Gurmukhi, because of the cultural roots of yoga, but any sacred utterances in any language would have the psychological and spiritual effect intended, if recited with full-hearted conviction. Yes, you can even sing Christian hymns or Muslim prayers during yoga, if those work for you!
Read on to learn more about the mantras we use at HOA;
To “tune” each chakra, we chant a specific syllable which frequency resonates with the appropriate chakra. The syllables are as such;
Root chakra - LAM
Sacral chakra - VAM
Solar Plexus chakra - RAM
Heart chakra - YAM
Throat chakra - HAM
Third Eye chakra - OM
Crown chakra - AUM
This mantra is commonly heard at the end of a yoga class, but what is it exactly? AUM represents everything. It is the source, it is the vibration and consciousness of the entire universe. AUM actually has 4 syllables, A, U, M and the silence at the end. The 3 letters embody the divine energy and its 3 main characteristics: creation, preservation and liberation. The mantra, when chanted, vibrates at 432Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency as the universe. By chanting AUM, we are tuning into our connection to all living beings, nature, the universe and the divine.
If you have been to our Lunar practice, you will find this one familiar. SAT means truth, while NAM means identity. However, its significance goes beyond its literal meaning. To use a simple allegory: SAT NAM represents the Bija or seed mantra, and within this seed is contained the knowledge of the fully grown tree. The vibration of SAT NAM initiates the journey to self-hood, where individual truth and universal truth become one and the same. When you plant the seed in your consciousness by chanting SAT NAM, the soul awakens to its destiny; its true purpose.
The following mantras are used for protection, to gain clarity, and to receive guidance from our highest self. You might find it familiar from our gong meditation sessions and lunar practices. The mantras honours both the inner wisdom of the yogi and the power of the community, referred to by the Kundalini tradition as the “golden chain.” The mantras are as follows;
Aad Guray Nameh
Jugaad Guray Nameh
Sat Guray Nameh
Siri Guru Dayvay Nameh
I bow to the Primal Wisdom.
I bow to the Wisdom through the Ages.
I bow to the True Wisdom.
I bow to the great, unseen Wisdom
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
I bow to the infinite creator of all
I bow to the divine subtle teacher who guides my soul Ad Such Jugad Such Haibhee Such Nanak Hosee Bhee Such
The truth that existed before beginnings
The truth that exists through all time and circumstances
The truth that exists at this moment
That truth which Nanak’s mind sees will ever be true