I have been beginning and finishing my Mysore-style Ashtanga practice with the Sanskrit opening and closing chants for quite some while. Although I knew the direct translation, I have only recently come up with my own interpretation of what they mean to me. This is in part thanks to my lovely YTT mentor, Emma, who actually set it as my homework to find an interpretation that rang true and was relevant for me. So, with no further ado, here are the Ashtanga Yoga opening and closing chants, in Sanskrit including phonetic spelling , along with the direct translation and my interpretation of them. Om Vande gurunam charanavinde I bow to the lotus feet of the gurus, Sandarsita svatmasukhava bodhe who awakens insight into the happiness of pure being, Nishreyase jangalikayamane like the jungle healer, who brings great well-being, Samsara halahala mohashantyai dispelling the poison of conditioned existence. Abahu purusakaram The upper body having human form, Shankachakrasi dharinam Holding a conch, discus and sword, Sahasra sirasam svetam Having a thousand branched heads of white [light]. Pranamami Patanjalim I bow to Patanjali Om. The discus chakra was used by Vishnu to fight negative spirits, which in this context can mean negative emotions that prevent us from being enlightened. Finally, the sword asi can cut through illusion, and is therefore used here as a symbol for discriminative wisdom. The penultimate line sahasra sirasam svetam can also be translated as a thousand-headed snake.
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Ashtanga Closing Chant
Ashtanga Opening Chant
The world around us is moving at a pretty fast clip, in so many ways. The opening mantra helps stop that from happening. Beyond better, acting like the jungle physician,. Pacifying delusion, the poison of Samsara. Taking the form of a man to the shoulders,.
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. 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. The 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. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga - in the tradition of Shri K.
At the start of each Ashtanga yoga practice, the class unites by chanting a poignant and symbolic Sanskrit mantra. The mantra is said to elevate inner frequencies and align the yogis with their universal purpose. Its soothing-yet-energizing vibration helps them focus on the most important part of practice: the breath. The Ashtanga yoga opening mantra has profound historical significance. The Ashtanga chant, flanked by the sacred sound of Om , contains a powerful message with deep meaning. This line symbolizes a deep respect and appreciation for all the practitioners who refined the gift of yoga, paving the way for us to enjoy it today. Lotuses grow from murky waters , so by bowing at their lotus feet, we recognize them as blossoming sources of strength and purity. This represents an awakening into the happiness of finding our truest self.