Understanding the  Opening Chant

A beginner's explanation the Ashtanga Yoga opening mantra.

Ashtanga Yoga Opening Chant

The opening chant in Ashtanga Yoga can seem a little like a voodoo spell to the unfamiliar student.  But don't worry, it's nothing like that.

The opening chant is a prayer of gratitude and respect for the yoga practice and the yoga sutras (guidelines for living a more meaningful and purposeful life).  The chant specifically references the man Patanjali who is said to have put together the yoga sutras.

We suggest that, as you come to practice, and learn the chant (simply by hearing it enough times) that you join in as a way of expressing your thankfulness for yoga, regardless of where it came from.  Of course, you do not have to partake in the chant at all.  It's completely up to you.  If you choose not to, however we do ask that you stand with the rest of us silently and wait until the chant is over to start your practice.

If you're interested in knowing exactly what the chant means, or how it is said, please download´╗┐ our guide here. 

Please note that translations vary slightly, however the meaning is always the same.

If you'd like to listen to the chant (and see another slightly different translation) click this link here.