Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quick Link

Just back from a lovely weekend at the beach...child-free, if you can believe it. The wireless connection was non-existent, so my plans for a lovely, leisurely posting went unrealized. Tomorrow.

In the meantime, here is the link to the latest My Yoga Mentor article on yoga without chanting. Let me know what you think!


shinyyoga said...

Great, lovely article Brenda.. thanks! I rarely chant in my classes but fill them with spiritual readings, intentions and theming so it's very much still a well-rounded yogic practice.

I find teaching in a gym setting that chanting just hasn't worked for me so far - but it doesn't mean the class is lacking.

Interesting read : )

Sara said...

I love chanting and I want to chant in my classes but I have had so few teachers who offer chanting that I feel too inexperienced to offer it to my students. I do lots of other stuff - like breathwork and incorporating the Yamas and Niyamas - but I'd like to get my courage up and at least do some Om-ing at some point.

Thanks for the great article.

Linda-Sama said...

I love chanting and took vedic chant classes in India, which is truly a different experience from here, even very different from going to kirtans here, which in many ways seem too much like celebrity rock concerts to me. just a totally different vibe in India as you might expect. in India you'll see people sitting on the street chanting, spirituality is just a part of their lives, not something separate, not something that you do for 60 or 90 minutes once a week. I find chanting to be extremely potent and powerful but that's me.

Unless it's a class with long-time students, I would never chant. I find that Americans think it's weird and are afraid of it (yes, I said afraid.) But like shinyyoga, I also fill my classes with readings and always include meditation.

and it IS a good article, Brenda!

thewellnessdistrict.com said...

I enjoyed your article especially its implicit message that it is best to teach from one's personal experience. I mean that’s truly in the spirit of yoga isn’t it, as yoga is, at least in part, about an inward journey to one's true Self.

Anne-Marie said...

I am not a yoga teacher, but I hope to be one day. I can't imagine I would ever teach chanting because it doesn't mean much to me. In fact, I would say my only experience of chanting in yoga class has not been a good one. In one of the classes I attend, the teacher gives us a short Sanskrit chant to start the class. I have asked her what it means and she either can't or won't tell me - so I won't join in.

I really enjoyed your article, Brenda.

Brenda P. said...

Thanks for taking a look, all.

Asha, I appreciate that you commented on my implicit message. I love Donal Maccoon's research about what is essential to a yoga practice. I think way too much energy is spent trying to determine the "best" "most effective" yoga, which is such a personal choice.

What works for you, teaching or practice-wise, is the best!

LaGitane said...

I loved this article because it gets at the heart of teaching - your class is something that you create from the heart, but it is a practice FOR your students! So, you always have to pay attention to what they want or are ready for.

As someone who came from a very un-spiritual background it took me a long time to come around to the spiritual side of my Yoga, and at first I resisted it. Looking back I realise this was a reaction to what I felt was pressure when our teacher commanded us to chant or bow our heads etc.

So when I teach I offer the 'option' of spiritual exploration - using key phrases like "those students who would like to do so may bring the palms together in prayer pose", "if you want to, take a moment to turn your focus inwards to your emotional body". This gives students an 'opt out', so they don't feel pressured into a spiritual practice. I find that when people feel like they have freedom, they are more likely to try! I have had really good feedback about this from students who have felt pressured in other classes.

Another trick I have learned is that every now and then when I can't help myself from introducing 'oms' into the class, I give students the option to just hum through the chant. This way those who are chanting don't feel isolated, and those who don't want to can have a little part of the experience.