I am constantly bragging about how wonderful my students are. This weeks class theme, Sanskrit, was chosen by them and proves just why I am so lucky to have them as students! They are always eager to better themselves and their practice.
What is Sanskrit you may ask.
“Sanskrit is the classical language of India and Hinduism. The language was systematically developed in regards to the natural progressions of sounds created by the human mouth.
Designed to be an unchanging and perfected mode of communication, it is believed Sanskrit belongs to no one and, thus, belongs to all.
Many words and mantras used within the practice of yoga are of Sanskrit origin.
The use of Sanskrit in India for literary and religious purposes is comparable to that of Latin throughout Europe, as both have been studied for more than two thousand years. Authoritative yogic texts, such as the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, were initially compiled in Sanskrit.
Also known as “the language of yoga,” Sanskrit terminology and concepts are pondered by practitioners of yoga to help better understand the power of one’s actions. Chanting Sanskrit mantras in this ancient language is particularly powerful because it focuses and calms one’s mind as well as promotes overall well-being.”
Also in the Indian traditions of knowledge the sounds of the Sanskrit language are believed to have a profound healing effect. The healing effect of the sequential flow of sounds in the Sanskrit language is said to not only ballance the mind and the body, but even extend further to create harmony in the collective consciousness of society as a whole.
An interesting point is that in order to experience the beneficial effect of the Sanskrit sounds, understanding the meaning is not necessary. This is because in Sanskrit there is a special connection between the sound and the meaning, between the name and the form it represents. In Sanskrit the sound and the meaning are not considered as two different entities but as one and the same.
In other words, the sounds of Sanskrit carry the qualities of the meaning on the very level of their vibrational frequency. This means that even without understanding the meaning, chanting or listening to Sanskrit verses (or repeating short mantras in meditative procedures, or even reciting the flow of the Sanskrit alphabet) could generate a very beautiful effect on the mind and on the body.
Thus why I am a firm believer in using their names in our asana practice and most of you are already familiar with the use of this language in our chanting, but it excites me hear that you are not only listening but feeling the effects of it and wanting to learn more.
That is why this week I have created a sequence with most of our basic postures/asanas that we will repeat in a sequence a few times in the class to help the names stick into our minds along with a new chant.
Happy to share this experience with you all this week!