When beginning a yoga class, you always want to sit or stand with a straight spine and bring the hands together at the level of the heart. Bringing the hands together balances the left and right side of the brain. Placing your hands at the level of the heart, helps to open the heart centre for possibilities. If your feeling disconnected, it helps you to get connected. When we tune in closing the eyes, bringing the hands together and using a mantra it sets a certain positive frequency for practice.

In hatha yoga, we begin the class by chanting “Om” and in Kundalini yoga we begin chanting the Adi Mantra “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”.  At first it is common to listen and hum along until you get comfortable with the words and hearing your own voice. Once you get familiar, it’s a part you really don’t want to miss! So, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and chant along. It feels good.  Let go of the idea of the words and what the words mean and let the mouth move to the mantra.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo means, “I bow to the Creator, to the Divine Teacher Within”.

Ong: Means the creator, the primal vibration from which all creativity flows.

Namo: like namaste in hatha yoga, which means reverent greetings, to bow or call on.

Guru: is the giver of the technology, mover from darkness to light. GU=darkness and RU=light

Dev: means transparent, Divine

Ong, the “O” sound is long as in “go” and the “ng” is long and produces a vibration against the back of the throat. Na is a short syllable while the Mo is extended, rhymes with No. Guru, sounds like G’roo, rhymes with who. Dev pronounced like Dave is a higher tone than the rest of the mantra. You can chant the entire mantra with one breath, however if you need to catch your breath you would take an inhale after Ong Namo.

The use of a mantra is not only valuable when beginning a class, but also valuable for meditation. For many people it is often very challenging to sit in silence. In silence, it is easy for the mind to bring up old patterns, subconscious fears or negative thoughts. Using a mantra in meditation effects our consciousness in a different way to help process emotions and remove the subconscious blocks.

Mantras can be a word or words of combinations of syllables. Mantras can be in any sacred language of Sanskrit, Gurumukhi or in English that patterns the mind and chemistry of the brain. There is a vibratory frequency that connects to all sounds. When chanting a mantra, the tip of the tongue hits the roof of the mouth stimulating all 84 meridian points, which stimulates the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is found in the brain and is connected to the pituitary gland (the master gland of the body). The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, hunger, thirst, sleep, moods, emotions and sexuality. Now that is some cool yoga science!

Once you Tune in, you are set to receive a greater outcome from practice allowing the self to be in total awareness. You are ready to begin any movement or meditation with a deeper connection.

Sat Nam