In yoga, chants are called mantras. "Mantra" is a Sanskrit word that translates into 'word of power' or 'free the mind'. The purpose is to shift our focus from our mind thoughts to our heart intelligence and ultimately to experience union.
Benefits of chanting a mantra include: decrease stress and negativity, along with increasing calm and wellbeing.
In Ashtanga we have our own Mantras we use at the beginning and end of each practice.
Astanga Vinyasa Opening Mantra
Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe
Nih Shreyase Jangalikaaymaane
Samsara Haalahala Mohashantyai
Sahasra Shirasam Shvetam
Translation: I bow or to the lotus fee of the Supreme Guru
The awakening or revealing of ones of happiness is revealed through our Guru & self knowledge.
The practice that can cure use like the jungle physician beyond better.
The practice that eliminates the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samasara.
I prostrate before the sage Patanjali who has an upper body of a human holding a conch shell, a wheel and a sward. The one who has though ands of radiant white heads. My salutations to you Patanjali.
Meaning: The chant can be interpreted in several different ways. In short, the mantra begins and ends with a line expressing salutations and gratitude to our teachers (Gurus) and surrendering to the practice and to one's own self. The first verse explains what benefits a yoga practice can offer us and the second gives the symbolic description of Patanjali in his form as Ananta.
To Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TotruQmxZPk
Ashtanga Vinyasa Closing Mantra
Svasthi Prada Bhayaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Lena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi
Translation: May every human in the world be happy & well.
may the reader protect the earth by following the path of virtue.
May there be goodness & wellbeing for everyone who know the earth to be sacred.
May the universe & world be happy and peaceful.
Peace, Peace, Peace.
Meaning: This mantra is chanted at the end of the class to bring 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. The essence of the finishing mantra is to which for peace, prosperity and happiness for all creations of the world. Through the energy we create in our practice, we send it out to the word in the form of Love, Light and Peace.
To Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xImSd-M26a4
Other Mantras Used
(Sanskrit Hymn for Peace)
Om saha nāv avatu
saha nau bhunaktu
sah vīryam karavāvahai
tejasvi nāv adhītam astu
Om śāntih śāntih śāntih
Om! May God protect us both together.
May God nourish us both together.
May we work conjointly with great energy.
May our study be vigorous and effective.
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Om! Let there be peace in me!
Let there be peace in my environment!
Let there be peace in the forces that act on me.
To Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3N0A9nDn-I
(Sanskrit Hymn for Peace)
om asato mā sadgamaya
tamaso mā jyotirgamaya
om śāntih śāntih śāntih
Lead us from the unreal to the real.
Lead us from darkness to light.
Lead us from death to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace!
To Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni88uy9WavY