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!

7 comments:

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.