Thursday, July 08, 2010
Chanting is between speaking and singing. The text is chanted with one voice that remains even.
Many yogis/yoginis make a song out of the opening prayer. The voice goes up from time to time and down at other times. Each yogini/yogi creates his/her own song. This gives me the impression, when I listen to a group of "chanting" yogis/yoginis that I am amongst individuals, that love free style.
But chanting is not singing.
Last time I listened to Sharath very carefully. Of course he is chanting. The voice remains the same during the entire opening prayer, only the words change.
To chant can be a concentration exercise. Yoga is controlling, it is also controlling the voice during the opening prayer even though the voice might like to sing perhaps even an aria.
A very experienced yogi once said "the entire practice is a prayer, why chanting?"
Instead of chanting in the beginning of my Ashtanga practice, I prefer standing in samasthithi for a while, palms touching each other in front of my chest, while I listen to my even breath, that I want to maintain during my practice. I prefer to think on the focus of my practice.
But sometimes I chant.
Not to chant is free style as well.