The Healing Power of Chanting
In the year 2001, I was introduced to the practice of singing mantra (chanting) for it’s health and spiritually elevating benefits. Through my practice of Kundalini Yoga (KY), which incorporates chanting into each class, I was exposed to an instructor, who not only did the monotone type chanting as a meditation, that I was used to, but also used melodic mantra music for each posture and invited everyone to sing along! I had never experienced singing in a yoga class before? I found that singing with each challenging exercise, and there are many in KY, really opened up my energy body and it was like I was tapping into an energy reserve I had no idea even existed.
After that experience, I began to experiment with using mantra music in the KY classes that I taught and eventually expanded into offering the experience simply on it’s own as a chant circle. I’ve experienced many benefits over the years from having a chant practice and would love to share some of those with you, as well as some advice on choosing the style of chant practice that will serve you.
How Does it Work and What Are the Benefits?
We have 84 energy meridian points on the roof of our mouth that become stimulated when we chant mantra. The way in which mantra stimulates these points acts as a code for health and wellness in our glandular and nervous systems and aids our immune function.
When our breath slows down to four breathes per minute, a channel opens between the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands. This opening releases a nectar that rains down vitalizing our nervous system and our immune function.
It is said that the effect of chanting becomes exponential with each person that joins in.
Each mantra holds within it the potential for a specific transformational state of being. The more awareness one has, the more ability they will have to recognize when this occurs and to be able to embody that state.
Many people report feeling uplifted and elevated in mood after a chant circle. Within each chant circle, there is a potential to experience a deeper connection with one’s self as well as the community. Singing in general, tends to open one’s heart. Singing mantra, tends to open one’s heart and heal it as well.
Choose a Chant Experience That’s Right for You?
Sometimes a good place to “dip one’s toes in the water” is at a larger chant concert event, such as a Deva Premal or Snatam concert at a venue like The Jack Singer Concert Hall. At events such as this, there will be over 1000 people gathered to chant together. The larger event makes it possible to blend in and maybe not feel so conspicuous with your voice, and also have an experience of how the energy becomes exponential when that many people chant together.
From there you could try a smaller community chant circle, where 15-30 people gather. These events tend to feel more intimate and will usually be geared more towards your specific process with chant. They also tend to be more focused on building and connecting with a community of like-minded people.
Try It Several Times Before You Decide
Either way you go, I suggest trying it several times before you decide if it is right for you or not. Sometimes people who never have had chanting anywhere on their radar before, somehow happen upon a chant circle, and they are blown away by the experience and are instantly onboard for the next one. Others take time to warm up to it and work through some of the resistance that arises if they’ve had parts of their voice shut down in the past. Heightened energy in either direction, yay or nay, can be a signal that a chant practice will be of benefit to you.
Find a Facilitator That You Resonate With
Keep in mind when choosing a chant experience that each facilitator channels something different. Shop around until you find a particular kind of experience that speaks to you. For instance, in the chant circles that I facilitate, there is a focus on opening our heart center, connecting with the innocent and magical aspects of our soul and experiencing both the playful and sacred nature of that through our musical expression. No matter what the intention, each facilitator will have a unique way in which that flows through them to the participants and the space that is evoked.
Once you find an experience that serves your soul, then practice it! Reap the benefits of connecting with your whole self that includes the totality of your voice. Each voice sings a unique tune and when put together we become a world in harmony. And that’s a beautiful world to be a part of!
Owner, Tracy’s Vision