Each of the 7 main chakras has its own balancing chant

Seed syllables are one word chants in the language of yoga: Sanskrit. Each of our 7 main Chakras has a seed syllable associated with it, except for the Crown Chakra – it is the energy point of silence, also called Sacred Pause.

The Sanskrit word for chanting can be loosely translated as mantra. The following list for each chakra, if incorporated into a daily mantra practice, can help yogins balance their energy fields.

Shh for # 7. Purple = Sahasrara – Crown, “Thousand petaled lotus”
AUM for #6. Indigo = Anja – Third Eye, intuition
HAM for #5. Turquoise = Vishuddha – Throat, our will
YAM for #4. Green = Anahata – Heart, understanding
RAM for #3. Yellow = Manipura – Solar Plexus, “full of rays”
VAM for #2. Orange = Svadhisthana – Belly, finding one’s own place
LAM for #1. Red = Muladhara – Tailbone, “energy from the Earth supporting me”

Use the breath to help bring forward your heart and soul in each uttered seed syllable. Breathing deeply into the belly – let your diaphragm rise and fall naturally, not constricted by tight stomach muscles. Let your whole belly be loose for your mantra practice, and beyond…

Mantra for Sun Salutation Series

The Yogi of Yogis, T. Krishnamacharya, includes the following long mantra among his teachings. It was actually written in 1934, along with the popular Sun Salutation series, as part of “gymnastics” (or warm ups)  for Indian wrestlers.

It’s also a great way to stay warm on a cold Canadian afternoon!

backbend

Uttanasana – back bend

adho mukha

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha

The asanas of the Sun Salutation series are:

Namaste
The Mountain
Back-bend
Standing Forward Bend
Forward Lunge
Downward-facing Dog
~ Cobra pose ~
Downward-facing Dog
Forward Lunge… on the opposite side
Standing Forward Bend
Back-bend
The Mountain
Namaste

The series is called Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, and loosely translated means “sun” and “bow”. Reverence for the sun as divine is the feeling behind the mantra, and the request… Please remove the darkness from my clouded mind.

As we move through round after round of Sun Salutations, we utter the words of worship as a meditation on breath and body. Both become like rivers, with rhythms of their own and revelations on the shore.

Surya Namaskar

Let us arise
Stretch our minds, our spirits and our physical beings

As we sweep our arms up and forward
We honour the earth, the heavens and all of life that is nourished by the breath cycle

As we lower our bodies, we connect with the earth
We stretch thought the atmosphere once more reaching for the sky

As we bring our hands together in Namaste
We gather the space of the heavens back into our heart and breath

Acknowledging that our bodies form
The centre point between heaven and earth

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Krishnamacharya (T.K.) is credited with bringing the Hatha limb of yoga back into the forefront of practice. His flow yoga sequences are still used, and are often referred to as viniyoga. Sun Salutations are a well known example of viniyoga.

T.K. was such a potent force as a teacher that  he inspired his son to abandon his engineering career to follow his father.  T.K.V Desikachar went on to become a well loved teacher in his own right.

Both are authors. Desikachar’s 1995 The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, has become a staple for many yoga students, and T.K. achieved great scholarship in various darshanas of orthodox Hindu philosophy.

Find your diamond being with the 100 Syllable Mantra – Vajra Sattva transcription

The 100 Syllable Mantra, chanted formally from memory during the Vajra Sattva Purification Practice, is basically a confessional exercise and should only be done after completing the prayers said prior to meditation. The practice involves reviewing one’s imperfections, the faults and failings of the pain body, all rooted in false identification with the mind stream. Through this ancient mantra we shift away from falsehoods toward the Truth of our divine light body, heal separation anxiety and bring union to Self.

Union, a direct translation of the Sanskrit word yoga, is the ultimate aim of all yogic practice.

AUM
VAJRA SATTVA SAMAI YA MANU PALAYA
VAJRA SATTVA TENO-PA
TETRA DRIDHO MEH BHAWA
SUTO KAYO MEH BHAWA
SUPO KAYO MAH BHAWA
ANURAKTO MEH BHAWA
SARWA SIDDHI MEH PRA-YATZA
SARWA KARMA SUDZA MEH
CITTAM SIRIYAM KURU HUM
HA HA HA HA
HOH
BHAGA WEH SARWA TATHA GATA VAJRA
MAH MEH MUNDZA
VAJRA BHAWA MAH
SAMAYA SATTO
AH

The following are three transcribed versions of the mantra. It’s good to compare different transcriptions in order to get a solid feel for the underlying meaning:
Continue reading

Find a Gayatri Mantra translation to suit your Sun Salututations

The Gayatri Mantra and the Sun Salutation series are meant to be performed together. While it’s true the Gayatri is more than 5000 years old, and the Sun Salutation series, or vinyasa, is younger than the turn of last century, the two have an ageless relationship. Both chanting the mantra and the yoga series honour the highest good in the form of divine light, and the expression of gratitude for continued awakening.

There are as many ways to do Sun Salutations, or Surya Namaskar, as there are translations of the Gayatri Mantra. Most yoga students have encountered the series, and will notice the variations are endless, which is good because each body is different and each teacher is an interpreter. As with the salutations, the many translations of the Gayatri are a varied as each heart who prays it. Much can be learned from studying the following translations, and from reciting the ancient prayer in one’s own way while doing the Sun Salutation vinyasa, which is in essence prostrations to earth and sky.

Om bhur bhuvah svah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yonah prachodayat

The eternal, earth, air, heaven
That glory, the resplendence of the sun
May we contemplate the brilliance of that Light
May the sun inspire our minds.

We put our focus on
Our self-effulgent light (throughout all the realms: earth, air, heaven and beyond)
Which illuminates our subtle intellect
For the enlightenment of beings everywhere.

The Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit

May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the god, so may he stimulate our prayers.
~ The Hymns of the Rigveda

We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds.”
~ Swami Vivekananda

1. We meditate on the effulgent glory of the divine Light; may he inspire our understanding.
2. We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may he inspire our intelligence.
~ Two interpretations by S. Radhakrishnan

O God ! Giver of life, Remover of all pain and sorrows, Bestower of happiness, the Creator of the Universe, Thou art most luminous, adorable and destroyer of sins. We meditate upon thee. May thou inspire, enlighten and guide our intellect in the right direction.
~ The Arya Samaj interpretation

We meditate on the worshipable power and glory of Him who has created the earth, the nether world and the heavens (i.e. the universe), and who directs our understanding.
~ The Brahmo Samaj interpretation

Unveil, O Thou who givest sustenance to the Universe, from whom all proceed, to whom all must return, that face of the True Sun now hidden by a vase of golden light, that we may see the truth and do our whole duty on our journey to thy sacred seat.
~ Interpretation by William Quan Judge in his commentary on the Gāyatrī Mantra

Let us adore the supremacy of that divine sun, the god-head who illuminates all, who recreates all, from whom all proceed, to whom all must return, whom we invoke to direct our understandings aright in our progress toward his holy seat.
~ A paraphrase by Sir William Jones

Whoever produced me and the one recites this mantra, let Him save both of us from sinning against each other.
~ A common prayer

The Gayatri Mantra in Tamil

There are many other translations

We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of Heave.  May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.

Through the coming, going and the balance of life the essential nature which illumes existence is the adorable one may all perceive through subtle intellect the brilliance of enlightenment.

May we meditate on the effulgent Light (or Power) of the Worshipful One Who Has given birth to all worlds. May this One direct our Mind-rays towards the path of Good.

O Lord, Thou are the protector of life and of breath,
dispeller of miseries and bestower of happiness.
Thou are the creator and the most acceptable intelligence,
possessing eternal qualities. May Thine qualities and Thy inspiration pass to us.

Literal translation

  • bhūr bhuva sva “earth, air, heaven”. These are the names of the first three of the seven vyāhṛti or higher worlds of Hindu cosmology.
  • dhīmahi “may we attain”
  • tat vareniyam bharghas “that excellent glory”: varenya– ‘desirable, excellent’ and bhargas– ‘radiance, lustre, splendour, glory’
  • savitur devasya “of savitar the god”: Savitr-, ‘stimulator, rouser; name of a sun-deity’ and deva– ‘god, deity
  • ya prachodayat “who may stimulate”: set in motion, drive on, urge, impel
  • dhiya na “our prayers”: dhi– ‘mind, thought, meditation’

Learn a mudra prayer temple dance and boost your joy

OM Namah Shivaya, Lord of my Heart

Before we dance we offer a Boomi Pranam in gratitude to the earth for giving us ground stable enough to crawl, walk, run and dance upon in the first place.

The lyrics, tune, and melody of this mudra dance are taught by the Yasodhara Ashram yogins on Kootenay Lake, BC. Please note that the Sanskrit portion of the video is sideways at the beginning, but turns upright after a few seconds.

Here are the words to the English part of the song, which start at about 1:24 minutes into the video:

Let my mind always abide at your feet. x2

Let my speech always sing of thy glories. x2

Let my hands always be at they service. x2

Let my ears always hear thy stories. x2

OM namah Shivaya, OM namah Shivaya, OM namah Shivaya, namaho x4

Let me always contemplate on you. x2

Let my eyes always see thy glorious form. x2

Let the aim of my life now be to know you. x2

O, my lord, of my heart, thou art my refuge x2

OM Namaya Shivaya, OM namaya Shivaya, OM namaya Shivaya, namaho x4

Lotus mudra

The Hidden Language Of Hatha Yoga

The text we are studying on this blog is called Hatha Language: The Hidden Language and was written by Swami Radha in 1987. She developed a yogic way to investigate the symbols, secrets and metaphors that commonly arise from the human psyche while using the ancient postures of physical yoga. The book is a “bible” in the field of psychological yoga.

Swami Lalitananda also has a new book that puts her own deeply realized spin on the asanas. The Inner Life of Asanas is a companion text for us, in our ongoing journey of journaling from the yoga mat.

Both books are published by Timeless Books and available online, or they can be purchased from the Yasodhara Ashram bookstore located on Kootenay Lake, in beautiful BC.