Through the mouth you utter a sound current, to which the Divine listens with love.
— Guru Nanak
Mantra is a word or phrase used as a tool for the mind in obtaining states of consciousness such as focus, meditation and bliss. They are repeated silently, spoken and/or sung depending on context and desired effect. Chanting yogic mantras has been clinically shown to improve brain function and mood, by stimulating acupressure points on the roof of the mouth (more about that here). Additionally, through repetition and contemplation, the mantra's metaphysical themes effortlessly integrate into our practice and everyday lives.
These benefits may be amplified by chanting in groups in a practice called Kirtan. Kirtan is an easy way to learn and enjoy mantras through call and response singing between the leader and group. This type of communal meditation invites the intention of Yoga–connection, union, oneness–into several layers of our experience: connection of mind and body through voice, union of intention and vibration of individuals in the group, oneness of the group with the mantra and eventually bliss / pure consciousness. Singing in groups has been shown to release feel-good chemicals like Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, & Oxytocin, further enhancing a sense of connection, community, and bliss.
Contact me to learn more about how chanting can improve your practice and overall well-being.